The race had to be stopped at the first time of asking as Purchase’s seat broke, but it was allowed to be restarted as the pair pulled up within the first 100m.
As the race began for a second time, the Briton’s took an early lead – with Hunter in the stroke seat – as they found a quick rhythm, but the pair ran out of steam in the final 250 metres as Denmark forced their way past the pair.
A distraught Hunter had to be carried from his boat following the race, but that they knows that they left everything on the water.
“We gave everything, we tried everything,” he said. “We wanted to win so badly.”
Purchase was equally downbeat following the race as the duo failed to seal back-to-back Olympic gold medals in the event.
“We gave everything we could and ran the best race we could,” he added.
“The crowd out here have been absolutely amazing, we’ve really enjoyed being part of this amazing team, we just wish we had been a little bit quicker than the other guys.”
Earlier on Saturday morning, GB’s men’s four successfully defended their Olympic title, edging out Australia, while Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking stormed to gold in the women’s lightweight double scull.
It ends what has been a stunning regatta for Team GB at Dorney lake, with four gold, two silver and three bronze medals as they helped to push Great Britain up to third place in the medal table.
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BIOGRAPHY: Daniel Sturridge
BIOGRAPHY: Kepa Arrizabalaga