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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 August, 2004, 09:30 GMT 10:30 UK
Redgrave: Pinsent can win six

By Steve Redgrave
Five-time Olympics rowing champion

Matthew Pinsent is overcome with emotion at the medal ceremony for his gold medal
A thought has just hit me: I am no longer a reigning Olympic champion!

But Matthew Pinsent has just won his fourth gold medal and I am pretty confident he has the capability of winning not just the next Olympics but the one after that too.

He could be the oldest Olympic rowing gold medallist at the age of 42.

He will probably say he is going to retire and I know he wants to get into other things like broadcasting.

Whatever he says over the next day or two, I expect he will probably take a year off and then decide what to do.

But there is still time for him to get back into it and become Olympic champion again.

He is absolutely unbelievable and head and shoulders above everyone else in the world at the moment.

It was very emotional watching the four compete and I am really, really pleased for everyone, especially Ed Coode - I felt it was his destiny to win after what happened last time.

They have had a dreadful season but they always had the capability to win the race.

It was a tremendous performance. They didn't even know they had won when they crossed the line - that is how close it was.

I never dreamed it would be quite that close but I was pretty confident they were going to get that result.

I have to admit I was a little worried at one stage through the third 500m.

It doesn't matter if you are six lengths up or a couple of inches as long as you win
Steve Redgrave
We were always taught that is where you win the race and the Canadians and Italians were both moving well.

I was wondering whether our boys were going to disappear through the back door but they rose to the challenge, got it back together and really pushed on.

I have rowed with Matthew and I know what he is like. He never gives up and he responded again and again.

They tied up a bit at the end and Canada came on strong again but the distance is 2000m, not 2001, and that is what you pace it to.

It doesn't matter if you are six lengths up or a couple of inches as long as you win.

Matthew Pinsent (front) leads the celebrations for Britain's coxless four
Hats off to Canada. They have produced some fantastic crews recently and are world champions, but we are still Olympic champions.

There is a World Championship every year but there is nothing like an Olympic Games. Everyone is a bit more focused and puts a bit more into it.

You don't notice the pain when a race is as close as that. You are just thinking about nice long strokes and keeping the power on.

But then it really hits you when you cross the line. The mental stress of the build-up goes and the relief kicks in.

Suddenly you just feel absolutely exhausted and I was wiped out for days aftewards.

Steve Redgrave was talking to BBC Sport's Olympic Grandstand after the race.





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