ANDY Hodge made it a hat-trick of Olympic gold medal triumphs before insisting: "That's right up there with Beijing and London."

The Hebden rower helped Team GB’s men’s eight win their first Olympic gold for 16 years to bring the rowing events at Rio 2016 to a close in style at the Lagoa.

Having just watched the GB women’s eight win a historic first Olympic medal, the men powered home in 5:29.63 minutes to repeat their result from Sydney 2000 and claim a fourth medal from the last five Games.

European and defending Olympic champions Germany were the Brits’ closest rivals on the day but trailed throughout and ultimately finished second best in 5:30.96.

In addition to Hodge, the men’s team in Rio consisted of Scott Durant, Tom Ransley, Matt Gotrel, Pete Reed, Paul Bennett, Matt Langridge, Will Satch and cox Phelan Hill.

Victory brought third consecutive Olympic gold medals for Reed and Hodge, who won gold in the coxless four at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

Langridge completed his collection of Olympic men’s eight medals, having won silver in 2008 and bronze in London four years ago.

And Team GB’s rowers finished the competition on top of the rowing medal table with five medals in all – three golds and two silvers.

A delighted Hodge commented: “That’s right up there, both with Beijing and London. All three of my medals sit side by side. It was an incredible row.

“The heart and passion, the soul that people put into that race was phenomenal and it was exactly equal to the other gold medals from the Olympics that I have achieved.

“I’m proud to have been with such an outstanding crew and the eight, more so that the fours, is a wholly team event.

"Only teams win that, no individuals. We absolutely delivered for each other. It was incredible.

“We know Jurgen (Grobler, head coach) has wanted this for a long time. His whole strategy for the last four years has been building up to this, starting in 2013 when he prioritised the eight.

“He knew the talent and depth he had in the team. This is not a flash in the pan idea. It’s a genius at work and that’s Jurgen Grobler.”

Team-mate Langridge added: “It’s been a long time coming for me. What a way to finish. That’s been worth the wait.

"Obviously, I was disappointed to miss out twice with the silver and bronze but that was worth it.

“I knew we would win from the first stroke. There was no way it was getting away from us this time. In terms of the rowing, it didn’t feel like our perfect row but we weren’t going to let that one go.

“We were so up for it. We knew we had the speed. We knew what we had to do and we were so confident. The Germans weren’t going to come back – not this time.

“That last 400m from London 2012 has haunted me for four years and going into this, we knew they have a strong finish.

"But this time there was so much in the boat. So much belief and hunger that there was no way they were coming back.”