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- Olympic champion’s Epic win, big-hearted women’s triumph
Our lightweight rowers get ready for the race of their lives
- Updated: August 1, 2012
By Mark Etheridge┬áin London
Team South Africa are enjoying a dream start to their 2012 Olympic Games campaign after two gold medals in the pool. Now, dare we dream of some more metallic reward in another water-based sport?
Our men’s lightweight fours have powered their way through to the rowing final out at Eton Dorney Lake and will slug it out in the final on Thursday.
In Tuesday’s semi-final they ended second behind Olympic champions Denmark and, significantly, ahead of world champions Australia in a race contested in unfavourable rainy conditions.
The fours combo consists of Matthew Brittain, Lawrence Ndlovu, John Smith and James Thompson.
Said Cape Town rower Thompson with some degree of understatement: “We had a better race today.
“We where in the pack until the halfway mark, then moved up our speed and came thought the pack into a qualifying spot, finishing close to the fast starting Danish.”
Asked after the race whether they could squeeze anything extra out of themselves and the boat, he said: “There are always improvements to be made, we have 48 hours to see what else we can put on the table. ”
And while understandable elated about Tuesday’s semi, he says the focus is still there.
“Our heads are definitely not in the clouds, we came hear to put down three hard races, and the biggest performance we can in the final. So far all we have done is given ourselves the opportunity in that final.”