Posted: Thursday August 2, 2012 7:38 AM

South Africa wins gold in lightweight men's 4

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WINDSOR, England (AP) - South Africa captured its first rowing gold at an Olympic Games by producing a powerful finish to win a thrilling lightweight men's four on Thursday.

The crew of James Thompson, Matthew Brittain, John Smith and Sizwe Ndlovu burst through from Lane 5 to catch Denmark, the longtime leader, to win in 6 minutes, 2.84 seconds at Dorney Lake.

Britain just edged the Danes for silver, finishing 0.25 second behind South Africa. Denmark took the bronze a further 0.07 second back. Denmark won gold in three of the four previous Olympic finals in the lightweight four.

South Africa had only won an Olympic bronze in rowing and wasn't one of the favorites for gold here.

Denmark, led by triple Olympic gold medalist Eskild Ebbesen, almost delivered a wire-to-wire victory but faded in the final 100 meters.

Britain's silver was the host nation's third rowing medal of its home games.

World champion Australia was fourth.

 
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