Page last updated at 08:15 GMT, Wednesday, 1 July 2009 09:15 UK

Olympic champions row in regatta

Henley Royal Regatta 2007
The finals will be held on Sunday

Seven Beijing Olympic gold medallists are taking part in the Henley Royal Regatta which begins later.

The annual rowing competition takes place over a stretch of the Thames, just under a mile-and-a-half in length, on the Berkshire/Oxfordshire border.

The 160th Regatta has attracted 468 crews from 15 nations, who will be racing in 19 events until Sunday.

For the first time since the Regatta began in 1839, there are also Chinese crews taking part.

Organisers are expecting tens of thousands of people to gather at the banks of the river during the five-day event.

Olympic gold medallists in the men's four, Andrew Triggs Hodge and Peter Reed, are among the British stars set to take part.

They will face New Zealand's Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, who beat them in the world cup in Germany two weeks ago.

Mike Sweeney, chairman of the committee of management, said: "I am delighted that, in this post-Olympic year, we have been able to attract such a high quality entry for this year's Regatta.

"The presence of almost the full British team is particularly pleasing and the strong international competition should produce some wonderful racing".



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