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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 August, 2004, 06:35 GMT 07:35 UK
GB pair battle to silver
Cath Bishop and Katherine Grainger
British rowers Katherine Grainger and Cath Bishop claimed the women's pairs silver in dramatic style on Saturday.

The 2003 world champions, trailing in fourth for much of the race, made a late surge to pip Belarus for second.

They finished in seven minutes 8.66 seconds, just 1.20 seconds ahead of the eventual bronze medallists.

The gold medal went to defending champions Romania, who pulled away after only 500m and soared to victory in a time of 7:06.56.

"There are a whole lot of feelings. We wanted the big one but we have got to be happy with that," said Bishop.

"There were tight margins but it was just great fun to be out there."

With only 500m remaining it had appeared as if Bishop and Grainger were out of the running altogether, 4.88 seconds off the lead and trailing both Canada and Belorussia.

But they produced a thrilling late surge, driving past the Canadians into the medals and then edging out the Belorussians to land silver just 2.02secs off the winning Romanian pair Georgeta Damian and Viorica Susanu.

"One of the problems was we dropped quite early and in hindsight we should have pushed on with the Romanians in the middle 1,000m," said Grainger, who becomes the only British woman to win two Olympic rowing medals after landing silver as a member of the quad in Sydney four years ago.

"It is bitter-sweet not to have won it but you can't be disappointed with a silver medal.

"We believed in it from the start and I think we have proved our point."

This was the pair's last race together and Bishop said: "That's why it is particularly emotional. It was a privilege to be rowing with Katherine.

"I don't think it was a bad one to finish on."

Having originally rowed in the pair together in 2001, Bishop and Grainger teamed up again in 2003 and had won all before them, until Saturday's final.

Bishop will now bid farewell to rowing as she heads off into a new career and a posting with the Foreign Office in Sarajevo.





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GB women in rowing final
15 Aug 04  |  Rowing


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