MATTHEW Langridge has said he felt on course to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games from the moment the men’s eight final started.

The Northwich rower and his Team GB crewmates led throughout to finish well clear of defending champions Germany – winners in London four years ago – and the Netherlands, who placed third.

“I knew from the first stroke we would do it,” said the 33-year-old afterwards.

“We were so up for it, and we knew we had the speed.

“We knew what we had to do, and were so confident.”

Langridge, a former pupil at Hartford High School who tried the sport for the first time as a teenager at Northwich Rowing Club, has now won medals at three different Olympic regattas.

He was in the boat won bronze in 2012, while he brought back silver too from Beijing.

Now, at 33, he has the prize he had wanted from the start.

“It’s been a long time coming for me,” he added.

“Obviously I was disappointed to miss out twice before, but now I can say it’s been worth the wait.”

In London, the British crew led for most of the final before being caught by their German rivals.

This time Langridge, in the boat with Scott Durant, Tom Ransley, Andrew Triggs Hodge, Matt Gotrel, Pete Reed, Paul Bennett, Will Satch and cox Phelan Hill, said he was determined history would not repeat.

He added: “That last 400m in London has haunted me for four years.

“Going into this race, we knew the Germans would finish strongly again.

“But today we had more in the boat; there was so much belief and hunger – there was no way they were going to come back.

“In terms of the rowing it didn’t feel like our perfect race, but we weren’t to let this one get away. Not this time.”