Marieke Keijser and Ilse Paulis were on track to win an epic gold for the Netherlands in the women’s lightweight sculls when disaster struck in the final lengths.
The Dutch led for the entire final in a thrilling race where the top four were separated by less than a second for much of the showdown.
Keijser and Paulis were powering towards the finish line when they caught a crab and then another one immediately afterwards.
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The shockingly bad luck caused the Dutch to drop down to third place and sparked utter confusion when the boats crossed the line.
No one was quite sure who had won the gold and commentating for Eurosport, Gillian Lindsay was aghast with how the final seconds unfolded.
“Oh no, the Dutch, oh my goodness, they just lost the gold medal. Nobody has any idea what’s just happened. Nobody knows who’s won the gold medal,” she said.
The athletes don’t know what’s just happened there. The Dutch caught not just one, but two crabs.
"They caught the first one and they were still in front and then the second one, that was it.

Silver medalists Laura Tarantola and Claire Bove of Team France, gold medalists Valentina Rodini and Federica Cesarini of Team Italy and bronze medalists Marieke Keijser and Ilse Paulis of Team Netherlands pose with their medals during the medal ceremony

Image credit: Getty Images

“That was a boat stopper and it was game over, oh my goodness.”
As the results confirmed Italy had won gold and the Dutch had just pipped Team GB to the bronze by 0.01seconds, Lindsay was almost at a loss for words as to what had just happened.
“I feel like crying myself,” she said as cameras focused on the gutted Dutch pair.

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“They led the whole way, they led every single stroke. Why, why did that happen?”
“I think with the Dutch double they just need to be in the arms, the comfort of their coach right now,” Lindsay said during the medal ceremony.
“There are just no words, that is just going to take time to heal and almost be a little bit more at ease with, when you’re trying to process all of that in front of the whole world, that’s not easy when everybody is looking at you for a reaction.”
Watch every unmissable moment live from Tokyo 2020 across Eurosport, the Eurosport app and discovery+. Download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now.
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