London 2012 Day 5: Historic first gold for Glover and Stanning
Helen Glover and Heather Stanning opened Team GB’s gold medal count in the women’s pair at Eton Dorney today and with that victory wrote themselves into the history books as Britain’s first female Olympic gold medallists in the sport.
Their win was also Team GB’s first of its home Games.
“I think I was slightly aware but it was not until we crossed the line that I realise just how big the expectations were,” said Glover.
“Hopefully it’ s a sign of things to come across Team GB. Let’s go for it, let’s make it our Games. I’d also like to think this will inspire more people to be active and enjoy sport.”
Stanning added: “I couldn’t hear what Helen was saying, I couldn’t see the bubble line and all I could hear was the crowd cheering. It was such fantastic support. We’re delighted, it’s brilliant.”
The British men’s eight also took a medal today – a bronze – after a gutsy row in which they took the race to the unbeaten Germans in the first half but did not have enough to hold on to the line, leaving Canada to take silver from a fast finish.
“We may have sacrificed a silver but we gave it our all,” said Matt Langridge from the eight.
The British women’s quadruple scull were desperately unlikely to catch a crab within the first 30 strokes and were always out of contention from there.
Earlier the equivalent men’s boat qualified for the final on Friday in third place, again making history as the first GB boat in this category to qualify for an Olympic final.
Alan Campbell is safely through to the final of the men’s single scull with a second-placed semi-final finish today and the new, young GB men’s pair of Will Satch and George Nash led from the front to win their semi-final. The red-heads were in red hot form today and have laid down a marker for the final.
Could this unassuming and likeable duo – a PE teacher and Army Captain – spark a gold run for the “home team” across the sports?
A little tug of the racing suit, a glance from Glover in the bow seat down the course and they were off. And what a start. By 250m they had a length on the field, by 500 they had a 2.8 second lead over their potential nearest rivals, New Zealand. They just kept going and going.
Nobody could catch them. Gold – a historic first for British women – at the Olympic Games. Silver to Australia and bronze to NZ.
“We’re delighted, it’s brilliant”, said Stanning. “Helen was calling to me all the way down ‘give us more, give us more’ but I could hardly hear her or see the bubble line at the finish. All I could hear was the crowd. They were fantastic.”
Glover said: “It’s fantastic. We were at halfway and I thought we’d better keep going as we were in the lead. I hope this can be an inspiration everywhere for people to do sport and for PE teachers, too.”
The British men’s eight had a herculean task today. Germany, their key rivals, were unbeaten in the past four years before today and are three times World Champions.
So it was decidedly brave of the GB combination to take the race to the Germans from the outset.
The famous Deutsche Achter had a lead at 500m but only a small one. GB were in close contention and kept pushing on through 1,000m where they led briefly.
With a renowned faster finish, the GB boat looked in a good position but as the line approached it became clear that the Germans had another surge within them. They moved through to take the gold whilst Canada came up quickly to take silver.
“We wanted to win, we took a risk. That’s why we got bronze not silver”, said Sbihi.
Stroke Louloudis added: “In the final 250m I had nothing left to give, my legs had gone and I just hoped that the other seven had something left as I didn’t. I certainly went to the limit.
“I feel proud of the way we raced today even if disappointed with the result. We all said we wanted to be able to look ourselves in the mirror afterwards and I believe we can. We really took the race to them in the first part of the race and although we did not have enough in the final 500m to hold on we are still proud of the input if not the result.”
Beth Rodford, clearly disappointed said: “it was not the way anyone would want to finish their Olympic Games,” after their women’s quadruple scull final in which the GB quartet caught a boat-stopping crab in the first 30 strokes.
From there they could not make any impact and finished in sixth.
Matt Wells, Stephen Rowbotham, Charles Cousins and Tom Solesbury are into the final of the men’s quadruple scull after a gripping second half to their semi-final today in which they took third place.
The result meant that they made history as the first GB men’s quad to make an Olympic final.
Russia stormed out to an early lead, followed by Australia and Croatia, the World Champions. At halfway GB, though, were still in contention and used that base to launch an assault on the leaders.
Croatia showed that Russia had gone too early by hauling them back in. Australia held their nerve on the main grandstand side of the course and just when it counted GB slipped past Russia to take third.
Perhaps the experience of Wells and Rowbotham – both bronze medallists in the men’s double scull – helped the crew to find the pace and momentum when they needed.
Wells said: “We are all part of one Team GB and to be the first men’s quad to get into a final is amazing. We want everyone to do well.”
Solesbury said: “It was good fun. I enjoyed it. We knew that Croatia would be fast and the Russians always start fast but we thought that they would fade in the second half.”
Rowbotham said: “We knew that we had this in us. When everyone starts level on the start line on Friday, anything can happen.”
Cousins said: “It’s great to be in the final. It’s a wicked feeling and fantastic for the quad to be in a final.”
Today they stunned the Dorney crowd – packed to the gills again – by winning their semi-final of the men’s pair in some style.
They led from early and held out to win. Their final is on Friday.
Nash said: “It felt quite together today and quite sharp. Maybe there are a few other things that we can do but it was a good row today.”
Satch added: It feels quite calm around us. We don’t feel the pressure. We’re new to this and it is a big advantage to be able to attack anything in a loose and relaxed fashion.”
Alan Campbell was in semi-final action today, too, in the men’s single scull. He had drawn the Beijng silver medallist and world cup star Ondrej Synek as well as the in-form Belgian Tim Maeyens.
The roar went up as his name was called at the start. Habitually Campbell starts well and likes to lead early. Today was no different. He was first to 500m but Synek was tracking him as was the newcomer Azerbajani. Maeyens was back in fourth.
Just before 1500m Synek glided past Campbell and kept going to the line. The Northern Ireland sculler took second, though, to safely book his passage to Friday’s final.
London 2012 Olympic Games regatta
July 28 – August 4, 2012
Wednesday, August 1
Single scull (1-3 into A final, 4… into B final)
1. Ondrej Synek (Czech Republic) 7:16.58
2. Alan Campbell (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:18.92
3. Aleksandar Aleksandrov (Azerbaijan) 7:20.80
4. Santiago Fernandez (Argentina) 7:29.68
5. Liang Zhang (China) 7:31.52
6. Tim Maeyens (Belgium) 7:39.78
Pair (1-3 into A final, 4… into B final)
1. George Nash/Will Satch (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:56.46
2. Germain Chardin /Dorian Mortelette (France) 6:58.67
3. James Marburg/Brodie Buckland (Australia) 7:02.12
4. Wojciech Gutorski/Jaroslaw Godek (Poland) 7:04.58
5. Nikolaos Gkountoulas/Apostolos Gkountoulas (Greece)7:07.15
6. Nenad Bedik/Nikola Stojic (Serbia) 7:07.78
Quadruple Scull (1-3 into A final, 4… into B final)
1. Croatia 6:03.39
2. Australia 6:05.45
3. Stephen Rowbotham/Charles Cousins/Tom Solesbury/Matt Wells (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:05.71
4. New Zealand 6:10.95
5. Russia 6:13.61
6. Switzerland 6:19.64
1. Helen Glover/Heather Stanning (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:27.13
2. Kate Hornsey/Sarah Tait (Australia) 7:29.86
3. Juliette Haigh/Rebecca Scown (New Zealand) 7:30.19
4. Sara Hendershot/Sarah Zelenka (USA) 7:30.39
5. Georgeta Andrunache/ Viorica Susanu (Romania) 7:37.67
6. Kerstin Hartmann/Marlene Sinnig (Germany) 7:42.06
1. Germany 5:48.75
2. Canada 5:49.98
3. Alex Partridge/James Foad/Tom Ransley/Ric Egington/Moe Sbihi/Greg Searle/Matt Langridge/Constantine Louloudis/Phelan Hill (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:51.18
4. United States 5:51.48
5. Netherlands 5:51.72
6. Australia 5:51.87
Crews listed Bow to Stroke followed by
(Club, Home Town, Date of Birth)
Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft RC, Warrington, 16/09/85)
Louisa Reeve (Leander Club, London, 17/05/84)
Jessica Eddie (Univ of London BC, Durham, 07/10/84)
Lindsey Maguire (Wallingford RC, Edinburgh, 15/01/82)
Natasha Page (Gloucester RC, Hartpury, 30/04/85)
Annabel Vernon (Leander Club, Wadebridge, 01/09/82)
Katie Greves (Leander Club, Oxford, 02/09/82)
Victoria Thornley (Leander Club, Wrexham, 30/11/87)
Caroline O’Connor (cox) (Oxford Brookes Univ BC, Ealing, London, 25/04/83)
Coach: Nick Strange
Melanie Wilson (Imperial College BC, London, 25/06/84)
Debbie Flood (Leander Club, Guiseley, W. Yorks, 27/02/80)
Frances Houghton (Leander Club, Oxford, 19/09/80)
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC, Gloucester, 28/12/82)
Coach: Ade Roberts
Jo Cook (Leander Club, Sunbury-on-Thames, 22/03/84)
Emily Taylor (Leander Club, Lincoln, 28/06/87)
Alex Gregory (Leander Club, Wormington, 11/03/84)
Pete Reed (Leander Club, Nailsworth, Glos, 27/07/81)
Tom James (Molesey BC, Wrexham, 11/03/84)
Andrew Triggs Hodge (Molesey BC, Hebden, N. Yorks, 03/03/79)
Coach: Jürgen Grobler
Alex Partridge (Leander Club, Alton, Hants, 25/01/81)
James Foad (Molesey BC, Southampton, 20/03/87)
Tom Ransley (York City RC, Cambridge, 06/09/85)
Richard Egington (Leander Club, Knutsford, 26/02/79)
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC, Surbiton, 27/03/88)
Greg Searle (Molesey BC, Marlow, 20/03/72)
Matt Langridge (Leander Club, Northwich, 20/05/83)
Constantine Louloudis (Leander Club, London, 15/09/91)
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club, Bedford, 21/07/79)
Coaches: Christian Felkel & John West
Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers School, Coleraine, 09/05/83)
Coach: Bill Barry
Bill Lucas (London RC, Kingswear, 13/09/87)
Sam Townsend (Reading Univ BC, Reading, 26/11/85)
Coach: Mark Earnshaw
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club, Winscombe, Somerset, 11/11/81)
Charles Cousins (Reading Univ BC, Willingham, Cambs, 13/12/88)
Tom Solesbury (Leander Club, Petts Wood, Kent, 23/09/90)
Matthew Wells (Leander Club, Hexham, Northumberland, 19/04/79)
Coach: Mark Banks
Marcus Bateman (Leander Club, Torquay, 16/09/82)
Cameron Nichol (Molesey BC, London, 26/06/87)
Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes Univ BC, Coleraine, 14/03/90)
Rob Williams (London RC, Maidenhead, 21/01/85)
Richard Chambers (Leander Club, Coleraine, 10/06/85)
Chris Bartley (Leander Club, Chester, 02/02/84)
Coach: Rob Morgan
Zac Purchase (Marlow RC, Tewkesbury, 02/05/86)
Mark Hunter (Leander Club, Romford, Essex, 01/07/78)
Coach: Darren Whiter
Adam Freeman-Pask (Imperial College BC, Windsor, 19/6/85)
David Tanner: Team Leader
Maurice Hayes: Equipment Manager
Ann Redgrave: Doctor
John Tetley: Boatman
Mark Edgar: Physio / Head of Rowing Medical Service
Caroline Searle: Press Officer
Sally Brown: Physio
Maggie Netto: Asst. Team Leader *
Liz Arnold: Physio
Jo Bates: Administrator *
Karen Burn: Physio *
Mark Homer: Sports Scientist
Craig Williams: Sports Scientist
Chris Shambrook: Psychologist *
Alistair Patterson: Performance Analyst *
* Non-Accredited Team Support
For background information about the The GB Rowing Team contact the Press office via firstname.lastname@example.org or 07831 755351
For picture requests please contact: GBRTpressoffice@gbrowingteam.org.uk
GB Rowing Team website, including full rower biogs: www.gbrowingteam.org.uk
Follow us on