Germany fight back to win canoe sprint men's K4 500m gold

Max Rendschmidt, Ronald Rauhe, Tom Liebscher and Max Lemke of Team Germany compete during the Men's Kayak Four 500m Semi-final 1 on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Sea Forest Waterway on August 07, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Max Rendschmidt, Ronald Rauhe, Tom Liebscher and Max Lemke of Team Germany compete during the Men's Kayak Four 500m Semi-final 1 on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Sea Forest Waterway on August 07, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The German four breezed past an impressive Spanish team to win gold. Silver goes to Spain with Slovakia winning bronze. 

Germany have won a spectacular K4 500m gold, beating Spain to the finish line in 1:22.219.

The Spanish team entered the final as favourites, after setting an Olympic best of 1:21.658 in yesterday's (6 August) heats. However, it was the German team, made up of Tom Liebscher, Max Lemke, Ronald Rauhe and Max Rendschmidt, that took the Olympic title after a close-fought race ended with them 0.226 seconds ahead of Spain. Slovakia finished in 1:23.534 to take bronze.

Spain's Saul Craviotto, who has won five Olympic medals in total - two golds, two silver, one bronze - made history in the race, becoming his country's all-time joint-leading medallist at the Games.

However, the day - and gold - belongs to Germany, who took the spoils in a thrilling Olympic final.

After the race, Rauhe spoke about how special it felt to win gold at Tokyo 2020.

“I think it’s all about emotions. We have worked the last one-and-a-half years exactly for that moment,” he said.

“It was close, it was what we expected with the big challenge from the Spanish guys. But at the end when we saw that we first over the line, all the emotions that we have collected over the years, it’s free now.”

Teammate Lemke said it would take a while to process the win that made the team Olympic champions.

“I think we need some time (to) realise what actually happened in the last hour. I think if you ask us again tonight we know exactly how our feelings are but now it’s a bit hard to describe.

“We came here with one goal, to win the gold medal and when we crossed the line and won the gold medal all the pressure came off our shoulders.”