Second time lucky for Team GB's rowing men's eight

 

The Great Britain men's eight qualified for the Olympic final with a victory over Canada and Holland in today's repechage.

The new-look Great Britain crew made a fast start and quickly opened a three-quarter-length lead over reigning Olympic champions Canada to take control of the race.

The Canadians, Holland and Australia all put the pressure on in the final stages and succeeded in closing the gap.

But Britain remained calm, rowing within themselves at 36 strokes per minute to seal the win and a place in Wednesday's final.

The British crew only came together six weeks ago when stroke man Constantine Louloudis proved he had recovered from a back injury which kept him out of all three World Cup regattas.

After a confidence-boosting performance in the heat, finishing second behind Germany, Britain will be better again for today's outing having won without having to hit top gear in a final sprint.

The British women's quadruple scull squeezed into their Olympic final after battling back from the brink of elimination to finish third in this morning's repechage.

Beth Rodford, Debbie Flood, Frances Houghton and Melanie Wilson were trailing last in the six-boat field around the half-way mark before producing a strong push in the second 1,000 metres.

Britain moved into the qualification places after the New Zealand crew developed a crab - where a rower's oar blade sticks in the water and acts as a brake - and then overtook reigning Olympic champions China to cross the line third, behind Australia and the United States.

PA

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