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Page last updated at 11:17 GMT, Thursday, 11 September 2008 12:17 UK

Britons in historic rowing double

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Video - Double gold for Brit rowers

Great Britain have won two gold medals in the inaugural Paralympic rowing event at the Shunyi Rowing Lake.

Helene Raynsford created history as the first rowing champion, winning the single sculls and Tom Aggar claimed gold in the corresponding men's race.

The mixed coxed four capped a great regatta for GB, winning bronze.

Raynsford said: "It's absolutely amazing and I still can't really believe it and I'm proud to be part of the best team in the world."

Raynsford, a former wheelchair basketball player, set a blistering pace from the start and was four and a half seconds clear of her rivals after 250 metres.

And she powered to a comfortable 12-second win in a time of six minutes, 12.93 seconds, ahead of Liudmila Vauchok from Belarus.

"I knew if I could get out of the start as quick as I could and get into the lead I could do it," Raynsford added.

"I said after the world championships last year that I would come back and win gold in Beijing."

Aggar, the reigning world champion, was pushed hard by Oleksandr Petrenko, but always held a slight advantage over the Ukranian and showed his strength in the latter stages to triumph in 5:22.09.

He said: "It has been an amazing journey since I started rowing one-and-a-half years ago.

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Peter Scrivener

"To come to the Paralympics and end up on top is incredible.

"The Olympics team was a huge inspiration, especially after what they did here - hopefully we've done them proud.

The mixed coxed four of Alastair McKean, Vicki Hansford, Naomi Riches, and James Morgan, along with cox Alan Shermen, claimed their impressive bronze in the last of the four finals.

James Roberts and Karen Cromie finished fifth in the mixed doubles sculls event.



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Paralympics on the BBC
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GB Paralympic team for Beijing
24 Jul 08 |  Paralympics


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