ANDREW Triggs Hodge described winning his third Olympic gold medal as ‘incredible’ after Great Britain’s men’s eight triumphed in Rio.

It marked a successful Saturday for Oxfordshire rowers in Brazil, with all nine members of the crew, including the cox, having county links.

And the women’s eight, of whom seven of the nine have local connections, clinched silver just half an hour earlier at the Lagoa Stadium.

Triggs Hodge, who lives in Oxford, already had two golds to his name from the men’s four in 2008 and 2012.

The 37-year-old ranks his latest achievement just as highly after missing all of last season through glandular fever.

“It is right up there, both with Beijing and London,” said Triggs Hodge after helping the British eight to Olympic victory for the first time since 2000.

“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.”

The women’s eight had never won a medal in the event until Saturday.

Former Dragon School, Oxford, pupil, Frances Houghton who hails from Wheatley, was the only member of the crew to reach an Olympic podium before, winning quad sculls silvers in 2004 and 2008.

And the 35-year-old, competing at her fifth and final Games could not hide her delight.

She said: “I’m so proud of the girls.

“We just really trusted the way we decided to row and we really trusted the people around us and believed in ourselves and that was it.

“The rest was inevitable.”

The victories helped Britain finish top of the rowing medal table, with three golds and two silvers.