Gold medalist, Great Britain (George Nash, Constantine Louloudis, Mohamed Sbihi, and Alex Gregory) became the first NOC to win this event five times in a row, breaking the record of four set by themselves between 1908 and 1932, and equaled by German Democratic Republic between 1968 and 1980. Here is what they had to say after the race.
The British 4 has won a lot of medals in this event. What is the secret to keep the tradition?
Gregory: If I told you that secret, we wouldn't do it again. I think the secret is just... it's very simple. I think we just put a lot of miles in and, somehow, we practice what we do when we race. Thankfully we got it right on the day, and that's what we've done today. There is no real secret, I don't think. I think it's just lots of miles and consistency of training. But then, we all do that here on this table and there's maybe a little bit of luck on the day.
How are you going to celebrate this evening and are you going to stick around the Olympics to see a lot? Or other stuff you're looking forward to doing?
Louloudis: I think the first thing is we need to figure out if we're needed for tomorrow. If we're needed for tomorrow, then we've got to be on our best behavior tonight, if we're spares for the 8s race tomorrow. If we're not, there'll probably be a few a few beers and some probably pretty rowdy celebrations, followed by another beer and another beer until the closing ceremony. Or that's my game plan. I don't know what everyone else is up to. But no, in all seriousness, we're probably also going to soak up some of the events. We're keen to watch some of the other teams, guys performing in the second week, and support, really.
There's a tremendous rivalry between the two boats. Is it sweeter because you have beaten Australia?
Nash: No, I don't think there's any kind of... There's no personal hostility or anything. There's an extra sense of kind of satisfaction knowing that, credit to our opposition, we've beaten really high quality opposition and we had to have a really great row out there. The Olympics is never won easily, and to be pushed like that by such a quality crew just makes the experience a lot sweeter. Yeah, for sure, but it's not about anyone's loss. For us, it's about our accomplishment.
Gregory: I'd just like to say, I count these guys as my mates. I see them in other competitions throughout the year, and it's hard racing your mates. You know, out there on the water we don't hold back, of course. It's rivalry, as it is in sport, but it's nice to be able to come off the water and congratulate each other. We're all after the same thing. We're all here. We all spend the same amount of time training after setting goals. We all have the same dreams, and it's been a pleasure racing these guys over the last four years. And sometimes I wish they'd just go a little bit slower! But they are... Italy and Australia here, they're proper, proper good guys and real good competitors, and it's been a pleasure racing them.
How much extra pressure does it put on you when you're going out with such a record of British wins behind you?
Louloudis: I'd say the pressure really is more about kind of gambling that four years of your life for six minutes of racing, really, and for me, that pressure overrides and kind of sense of historical kind of...historical significance. It's more what do we stand to lose as individuals, and we sort of stand to lose that four years. That kind of personal pressure you put on yourself far outweighs that sense of being part of history. But, at the same time, it gives you confidence to be part of this kind of successful train that is the British 4. It's just another thing that's kind of bolted onto it.
How aware are you of the boats around you or much are you just entirely focusing on your own game plan? Louloudis: I think we're all a bit different individually. We always tease George because he loves to have a look around and see where they are and kind of work off other crews. I'm quite internal, but you can't help but notice when they're there or when another crew is there in the lane beside you. There's noise. You know when they're there, but to have your best row, you need to be totally internal, or you need to be totally focused on the processes. I saw a photo yesterday of Phelps swimming, and he was just totally focused. There was some other guy trying to beat him and looking at him, but you want to be that guy who's just totally focused in. At the same time, you are trying to distill four years of work into six minutes, and you want to know what your prospects are coming through the line. It's very tempting to look out, but I think we did a very good job though, being composed and just working off what we have in the corner of our eye and the feedback Moe was giving us. You know, he's the one guy who we said could have a look and give us feedback, because then the rest of us are just focused in and working off his calls, that gives us the best chance of getting our best result.