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Last Updated: Monday, 30 August, 2004, 17:45 GMT 18:45 UK
Pinsent looks ahead to 2012
Matthew Pinsent is overcome with emotion after the win
Rower Matthew Pinsent says he hopes Great Britain's impressive performance at the Athens Games will boost London's chances of hosting the 2012 Olympics.

Team GB returned home on Monday boasting a haul of 30 medals - the best since Los Angeles back in 1984.

Pinsent, who won his fourth consecutive Olympic gold in the men's coxless fours, said: "I would love to see the Olympics come to the UK in 2012.

"Imagine what it would be like for the athletes. It would be amazing."

British Olympic Association chief executive Simon Clegg also feels Britain's gold rush in Greece will have done a lot to bolster London's 2012 bid.

"The medal table speaks for itself," he said at the press conference to mark Team GB's homecoming at Gatwick Airport.

It is great to be back on home soil and I can't wait to see my friends and family
Golden girl Kelly Holmes

"Success is measured against results - so it was mission accomplished. I believe we have considerably enhanced Britain's chances for 2012."

Clegg said he always believed his athletes would deliver in Athens.

"I confidently predicted the end of the sorry summer of sport," he said.

"Two things were key - the athletes' performance and the unprecedented level of support of the British people."

His words were echoed by Pinsent, who was proud of helping lift the country's sporting spirits.

"It feels fantastic to be a British sporting success story, especially in a year when other GB sport has been criticised," he said.

"It is the proudest moment of our lives to pull on that vest with the GB logo and five Olympic rings."

Pinsent said he would like to take part in a victory parade for Britain's medallists - although he admitted that would be difficult to arrange in practice.

"Of course a parade would be good. Bring it on. We are all ready to take on any celebrations that might be on offer."

"But how you would get 43 diaries together is another matter!"

Many of Team GB's Olympic heroes spoke of their delight at being back in Britain.

Kelly Holmes, who won double track gold in the women's 800m and 1500m, said: "It is great to be back on home soil.

I really thought it was just going to be experience for me but I won silver
Boxing silver medallist Ami Khan

"I can't wait to see my friends and family. It's been a long year of airports, hotels, suitcases. I've had to go where it is best for my athletics but it has been worth it.

"My mum knows what I have been through. I nearly broke down but I was worried about my mascara running, so I tried to keep myself together."

Sprinter Darren Campbell happily relived the British 4x100m team's stunning victory against America.

The British quartet of Jason Gardener, Campbell, Marlon Devonish and Mark Lewis-Francis had been criticised after poor individual performances in Athens.

"Going into the relay we had been slated and it drew it us closer together," said Campbell. "We pulled off something amazing.

"We put the US under pressure - they made a mistake and we won the gold."

Campbell is coming to the end of his career but 17-year-old boxer Amir Khan is only just starting out on his.

The Bolton young gun won silver in the lightweight class after pushing double Olympic champion Mario Kindelan from Cuba in the final.

"It's been brilliant for me," said Khan. "I really thought it was just going to be experience for me but I won silver.

"I boxed well and I got loads of experience and when I go to Beijing in four years time I think I can get gold for GB."





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