Preston rower Graeme Thomas misses out on medal at Olympics
Preston rower Graeme Thomas was denied in his bid for a fairytale medal at the Olympic Games.
The 32-year-old, alongside partner John Collins finished fourth in the double sculls in Tokyo.
Thomas was competing in his first ever Olympics after illness robbed him of his place at the Games in Rio 2016.
Thomas and Collins put up a brave fight but they were unable to make it on to the podium after a hard-fought race at Sea Forest Way.
They finished over six seconds behind gold medal winners France, who were represented by Hugo Boucheron and Matthieu Androdias.
In silver medal spot was Melvin Twellaar and Stef Broenink, of the Netherlands.
The China pair of Zhiyu Liu and Liang Zhang picked up the bronze medal.
The pair had set themselves the goal of finishing in the top three but were unable to overhaul the Chinese.
Thomas added: "We're absolutely devastated. We came here with high hopes. We gave it everything. The will was there but it just wasn't fast enough.
"Maybe we didn't start the regatta how we wanted to in the heat, stepped on in the semi, third fastest qualifier, definitely in with a shout, but we didn't have what it takes today.
"We gave it everything. The will was there but it just wasn't fast enough.
"I was making the calls earlier than we wanted to try to put the pressure on but the moves weren't making enough headway.
"There's not much I'd do differently. I was pretty much blown 50 metres before the line so I'd spent everything I had."
Collins said: "We used all our calls earlier than we would normally to try to get into a medal position but the consequence was we ran out of steam at the end without getting past the Chinese.
"Hats off to them. It took class to do that. We didn't make it easy today. Part of my mindset was if anybody's going to be in front of us I'm going to make them absolutely bleed to do it."
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