It was the first Olympic victory for a German rowing eight for 24 years, leading to chaotic scenes as Andreas Kuffner leapt up and down while still in the boat, and team mate Kristof Wilke dissolved into tears, Die Welt newspaper's website reported on Wednesday.
“That was the hottest race of all time,” said Lukas Müller after he and the team beat Canada and Great Britain for the gold. The eight has not been beaten in the previous 36 races it has contested in the past four years and crowns its two world championship titles with an Olympic gold.
Arndt was only beaten by the US Olympic champion from 2008, Kristin Armstrong. She was about 15 seconds slower than the American on the 29-kilometre course at Hampton Court Palace. Armstrong, 38, immediately announced her retirement. She had a son nearly two years ago, and only returned to the sport for the chance of another Olympic victory.
Martin was 42 seconds behind British Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins – and sandwiched between him and British bronze winner Christopher Froome.
Hannes Aigner took bronze in the canoe slalom in his first Games, beaten by Italian former world champion Daniele Molmenti and the Czech world number five Vavrinec Hradlicek.
Judoka Thiele only lost to French world champion Lucie Decosse in Wednesday afternoon's final of the women's under 70 kilos category judo.