Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown hung on bravely to grab a bronze medal in the womens pair rowing today at Eton Dorney.
It was New Zealands second medal of the games, following the bronze medal won by the New Zealand three-day eventing team yesterday.
Haigh and Scown were world champions in 2010 and 2011. They looked slightly off the pace in qualifying for the Olympic final, but put in a fine effort in the final.
The race was dominated by the British pair of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, who at one point led by seven seconds from the second-placed New Zealanders.
However, the hot early pace told and the British pair weakened over the final 500m, though they still had enough to win comfortably in a time of 7min 27.13s.
After going through the 1500m mark in second place, the New Zealanders began to struggle.
They were passed by Australians Kate Hornsey and Sarah Tait and then became locked in an exciting duel with Americans Sara Hendershot and Sarah Zelenka for the bronze medal.
It seemed as if Haigh and Scown might get pipped on the line, but they just hung on, finishing in 7min 30.19s, 0.2s ahead of the Americans.
Afterwards Haigh, who turns 30 in three days time, was ecstatic.
This was the race in which we wanted to put it all together, she said. We had the best start we had all season and gave it everything we could.
Haigh said her arms were cramping near the end. We were hanging on for dear life stroke after stroke.