Smith, light for a sculler at around 80 kilos and short at a shade over six foot, slew some giants as he won his repêchage. The eight possibly ended some Canadian careers by producing a stomping, storming finish to qualify for Sunday's final by a quarter of a second in only their second-ever 2,000-metre race.
Five other British crews contributed to a full house on "second chance" day. This has not happened in a decade. There are now 11 British boats in semi-finals and five in the finals.
The lightweight women's quadruple scullers - Tanya Brady, Lorna Norris, Hester Goodsell and Naomi Hoogesteger - set a new world's best time, and double scullers Elise Laverick and Debbie Flood romped into their final. The women's eight surprisingly reached theirs as the women's light-weight doubles, Helen Casey and Jenny Goldsack, had a first and the men's doubles, Mark Hunter and James Lindsay-Flynn, a second.
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