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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 December, 2004, 21:34 GMT
Rowing heroes win BBC team award
Britain's Olympic rowing champions have claimed the team award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show.

Matthew Pinsent, James Cracknell, Ed Coode and Steve Williams edged out Canada to win gold in the coxless four.

Pinsent paid credit to former team-mate Alex Partridge, who withdrew with a punctured lung, and coach Jurgen Grobler when he picked up the award.

"We were a team of six and that eight one-hundreths of a second was down to Jurgen," he said.

The quadruple gold medallist also came second in the overall Sports Personality award behind Kelly Holmes.

"It's a great end to my career," said Pinsent, who announced his retirement from the sport last month.

"It's nice to get the team award and be mentioned in the individual category."

I'm just enjoying the feeling of not having a focus
Matthew Pinsent
The quartet held off competition from Arsenal, England's cricket team, the victorious European Ryder Cup team and the 4x100m relay gold medallists in a public vote.

Pinsent, who claimed his fourth Olympic gold medal in Athens, accepted the award from Greece's Euro 2004-winning coach Otto Rehhagel

"I'm a bit surprised by that," he added. "When we saw Otto come out we thought it was going to be Arsenal."

The victory, cheered on by thousands of British supporters from the stands at the rowing lake, was a dream ending for the crew after a difficult season marred by injury.

After years of gruelling training and pressure, Pinsent is determined to make the most of his retirement - at least for the timebeing.

"I'm just enjoying the feeling of not having a focus for the next 18 months or so. Although I will do something in the long term."





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Interview: Britain's Olympic coxless four



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