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Page last updated at 09:31 GMT, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 10:31 UK

Superb GB power into fours final

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Video - GB coxless fours win semi-final

Great Britain's crew laid down a marker as they surged into the final of the men's coxless fours with a commanding performance in their semi-final.

The quartet of Andy Hodge, Steve Williams, Tom James and Pete Reed crossed the line in first place, ahead of Australia and France.

On a successful day for British rowing, Steve Rowbotham and Matthew Wells made the final of the men's double sculls.

Alan Campbell, in the single sculls, and the women's eight also progressed.

The qualification of all four of the British boats in action on Wednesday increased Britain's overall list of finalists to eight - four more than the team managed in 2004.

"We've had an excellent day," said GB performance director David Tanner.

"Semi-finals days at a big event are always the toughest. We've also seen the unique nature of the Olympic Games which has produced some electric racing here."

The men's coxless four are doing their best to maintain Britain's proud recent tradition in the event, following in the footsteps of the legendary Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent.

606: DEBATE
Britain have won the event in the last two Games, and Williams - part of the crew which took gold in 2004 - said he was confident of another success.

"That was a good challenge for us because in the final more crews will stay with us for longer," said Williams.

"We have come a long way from the heat but we'll have to step on it again. But seeing where we have come from over the last three days I would back ourselves to do it."

James added: "It's great to have that kind of race in your semi-final. We set up such a great and strong rhythm."

Rowbotham and Wells, meanwhile, were not happy with their performance as they finished third behind France and Estonia, meaning they will start the final from one of the outside lanes.

"We haven't had our best race yet," said Wells.

"So now we need to produce it in the final even if we have to do it from an outside lane."

France's duo of Jean-Baptiste Macquet and Adrien Hardy set the pace and Rowbotham and Wells struggled to put their rivals under enough pressure in the latter stages.

"It was close at the end," added Rowbotham. "I think they've been learning how to race us."

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Video - Campbell into single sculls final

Campbell produced a courageous burst in the closing stages to force his way into his final at Shunyi.

The Northern Irishman, who lost six weeks of pre-Olympic training time after a knee problem left him on crutches, made his usual quick start to lead through 500m.

Ondrej Syrek and Mahe Drysdale, the favourites to fight it out for the gold medal on Saturday, soon reeled him in to control the race.

Greece's Ioannis Christou caused panic amongst the leaders with a surge in the closing stages, but Campbell responded superbly to finish second.

"I am ecstatic," said Campbell.

"I have been stepping it up every time and it was the same again here. I had to do the sprint finish but it was brilliant.

"It was very close in the end. I am more than pleased with that. I would have taken any of the top three places. I am in the final and I don't care what lane I get.

"Realistically, any one of us can win it. I have an outside chance, the underdogs chance. But it is always better to be the underdog."

And Britain's women's eight rounded off the day by finishing third in a hard-fought repechage to qualify for their final.

The team of Carla Ashford, Beth Rodford, Natasha Page, Natasha Howard, Jessica Eddie, Sarah Winckless, Alison Knowles, Katie Greves, plus cox Caroline O'Connor qualified behind Canada and the Netherlands.

"We got a dreadful start and that made it a lot harder for us in the next two 500s", said Knowles.


Rowing medals table

Sunday, 24 August 2008 10:17 UK
Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze TOTAL
1 also show each event results forGreat Britain 2 2 2 6
Men's Double Sculls 0 0 1
Men's Eight 0 1 0
Men's Four 1 0 0
Men's Lightweight Double Scull 1 0 0
Women's Double Sculls 0 0 1
Women's Quadruple Sculls 0 1 0
2 also show each event results forAustralia 2 1 0 3
Men's Double Sculls 1 0 0
Men's Four 0 1 0
Men's Pair 1 0 0
3 also show each event results forCanada 1 1 2 4
Men's Eight 1 0 0
Men's Lightweight Four 0 0 1
Men's Pair 0 1 0
Women's Lightweight Double Scu 0 0 1
4 also show each event results forUSA 1 1 1 3
Men's Eight 0 0 1
Women's Eight 1 0 0
Women's Single Sculls 0 1 0
5 also show each event results forChina 1 1 0 2
Women's Pair 0 1 0
Women's Quadruple Sculls 1 0 0
6 also show each event results forNetherlands 1 1 0 2
Women's Eight 0 1 0
Women's Lightweight Double Scu 1 0 0
7 also show each event results forPoland 1 1 0 2
Men's Lightweight Four 0 1 0
Men's Quadruple Sculls 1 0 0
8 also show each event results forNew Zealand 1 0 2 3
Men's Pair 0 0 1
Men's Single Sculls 0 0 1
Women's Double Sculls 1 0 0
9 also show each event results forDenmark 1 0 1 2
Men's Lightweight Double Scull 0 0 1
Men's Lightweight Four 1 0 0
10 also show each event results forRomania 1 0 1 2
Women's Eight 0 0 1
Women's Pair 1 0 0
11 also show each event results forBulgaria 1 0 0 1
Women's Single Sculls 1 0 0
12 also show each event results forNorway 1 0 0 1
Men's Single Sculls 1 0 0
13 also show each event results forGermany 0 1 1 2
Women's Double Sculls 0 1 0
Women's Quadruple Sculls 0 0 1
14 also show each event results forCzech Republic 0 1 0 1
Men's Single Sculls 0 1 0
15 also show each event results forEstonia 0 1 0 1
Men's Double Sculls 0 1 0
16 also show each event results forFinland 0 1 0 1
Women's Lightweight Double Scu 0 1 0
17 also show each event results forGreece 0 1 0 1
Men's Lightweight Double Scull 0 1 0
18 also show each event results forItaly 0 1 0 1
Men's Quadruple Sculls 0 1 0
19 also show each event results forBelarus 0 0 2 2
Women's Pair 0 0 1
Women's Single Sculls 0 0 1
20 also show each event results forFrance 0 0 2 2
Men's Four 0 0 1
Men's Quadruple Sculls 0 0 1

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see also
Olympics blog
07 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Beijing 2008
14 Feb 08 |  Olympics
GB women qualify for quad final
10 Aug 08 |  Rowing
Rowing boat classes explained
30 May 08 |  Rowing


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