The rowing champion beat his closest competitor, Damir Martin of Croatia, by the most slender of margins, edging Martin out by a mere 3 centimetres.
While both posted identical times of six minutes 41.34 seconds, the athletes had an agonising wait for Olympic officials to confirm the photo finish result.
Today’s result makes it the closest margin of victory in any Olympic rowing final.
Stuff reports that the previous closest margin was also held by a Kiwi boat, when Georgina and Caroline Evers-Swindell won the women’s double sculls gold, over Germany, by 0.01 seconds in Beijing.
Today’s stunning victory gives Mahé back-to-back gold medal wins, with the rower taking the top accolade at the London Olympics in 2012. He’s also a bronze medal winner from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
At 37 years, eight months and 25 days, Mahé is New Zealand’s oldest Olympic champion. He takes over from sailor, Chris Timms, who won in the Tornado at Los Angeles in 1984, aged 37 years, four months and 15 days, NZME reports.
The two-time champ was met at the finish by his family, wife Juliette, who is also an Olympic medallist, his mum Robin, and daughter Bronte, who was spotted wearing a t-shirt which read: “Row, Row Daddy”.