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Rowers celebrate reaching final

South African rowing was put on the world map on Tuesday when the men’s lightweight fours produced a high-class performance to reach the final after finishing second behind Olympic champions Denmark ÔÇô and ahead of world champions Australia ÔÇô at the 2012 London Games.

Matthew Brittain, Lawrence Ndlovu, John Smith and James Thompson came through strongly over the last 1,000 metres as the rain pelted down to book their place in the final, where a medal is not out of the question. Great Britain will be considered the strong favourites after winning the faster semi-final, but the rain that arrived after their race will surely have had an adverse affect on the times in the second semi.

While South Africa, in lane three, went through 500m a second behind Denmark, they dropped to fourth ÔÇô only the first three boats would qualify for the final ÔÇô as Australia and China pulled past. However, an increase in tempo saw our lightweight fours cruise past those two and they started to apply the pressure, closing in on the Olympic champions, for whom the line couldn’t come soon enough.

They came home n 6min 04.21sec and  overall, they qualified fifth fastest, with Great Britain setting the standard in 5:59.68.


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