Redgrave: 'Defeat has taken the pressure off'

A defiant Steve Redgrave predicted last night that defeat at last weekend's final international event before Sydney could "spur us on, not drag us down" as he and his crew aim for the victory which would provide his fifth Olympic rowing gold.

A defiant Steve Redgrave predicted last night that defeat at last weekend's final international event before Sydney could "spur us on, not drag us down" as he and his crew aim for the victory which would provide his fifth Olympic rowing gold.

After a week's reflection following the World Cup event at Lucerne, Redgrave said: "You can't say it's not a major problem because obviously it is. Afterwards we were all, naturally, very pissed off. Now we've got to remain positive and use this in a constructive way, rather than being downbeat. It will mean that the crews which beat us will go to Sydney with a slightly different attitude, and that could play into our hands."

An eclipse of a crew with Steve Redgrave in its midst used to be about as rare as the sun by the moon. But after two defeats of the British coxless four last weekend - one in the semi-final, the second in Sunday's final - another Olympic gold for Redgrave is no longer the foregone conclusion it was once considered.

In the Lucerne final, Redgrave's crew (Matthew Pinsent, Tim Foster and James Cracknell) could only manage fourth, behind the winners Italy, who beat them by six seconds. For once, media criticism has been directed at Redgrave himself. He retorted: "That doesn't spur me on, and doesn't hold me back. It doesn't worry me at all. I know what shape I'm in, and what we're capable of doing. It wasn't a one-person disaster. It was a combination of things. I'm just glad it happened then, and not in two months' time."

Last week, the four spent time away from formal training. Redgrave has played golf and taken his children to the seaside. When the crew return tomorrow there will undoubtedly be some serious discussions between the coach Jürgen Gröbler and his crew. "Beforehand at Lucerne, I was thinking that the best result could be us losing," Redgrave said. "That it would really gee us up and ensure there was no complacency. But I didn't anticipate it being like that. By halfway, I was thinking, 'Bloody hell, what's going on here?' We were so far down then that we weren't really competing. There was nothing, no fight."

He added: "Mentally, I don't regard it as a disaster. It's actually taken quite a lot of pressure off us. The crews of the other boats will be thinking, well they are beatable. So, it's up to us when we come out to race next time, at Sydney, to give them a slap and say, 'You're not going to win this'."

News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales & Customer Service Executive - Call Centre Jobs

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003