Kiwi rower Mahe Drysdale described the wait for the results of a photo finish as "agonising" after winning the men's single sculls on Saturday.
Drysdale and Croatian Damir Martin shared the same time of six minutes and 41.34 seconds, but the former won by half a bow ball.
The duo were left waiting for the photo finish and Drysdale revealed what was said in his exchange with Martin on the water.
"We were sitting there. He looked at me and said, 'what's the result?' I looked at him and I said: 'I don't know.' It was an agonising wait," he said after defending his title from London.
"I'm happy I was on the right side of it but it could have gone either way."
The 37-year-old Drysdale, who said he would wait a few months to make a decision on his future, felt top spot on the podium could have been shared.
"I was aware of what happened in Sydney in the women's single [0.01secs between first and second]," he said.
"If we get the same time, there's definitely a case to give out two medals. Damir certainly deserved as much."
Martin, however, was happy enough with silver, having also finished second in the quadruple sculls at London 2012.
"I was waiting for information. I was happy when I realised I was second at the Olympic Games and my name is Damir Martin," he said.
"I gave 1000 per cent of myself in that race. It's my first [medal] in the single. I hope the next one is another colour."