Rowing: Coode to the fore in Redgrave's power play
Tuesday 31 August 1999
The 37-year-old has not been beaten in a World Championship or Olympic race since 1990 and has more gold medals than there are events in the Olympic rowing programme. At the World Championships in St Catharine's, Ontario, last week, others talked about the pressure of being a winner. However, Redgrave, with absolute modesty, talked of how easy it had been, once Britain's coxless four - Redgrave, James Cracknell, Ed Coode and Matthew Pinsent - got the start and the rhythm right in the final, to control the race and hold a lead large enough to snuff out any challenge in the last quarter.
Britain is the only nation to qualify via its performance at the championships for all the men's sweep oar events - the pair, the four and the eight. The 14 athletes to make those crews for the Olympics are, theoretically, all up for re-selection and any combination could emerge. But in practice the coxless four will stay the same, with only the three seat in contention.
Tim Foster held it from the moment the four was formed in 1997 and held it without challenge in 1998, only to lose his place after an operation to have a crushed disc removed from his spine in December. Coode, from the eight the year before, was tried and, after a few hiccups, succeeded.
The four operate at such a high output of raw power that, in the early days, Coode was left behind, unable to keep up when the screw was turned at the end of a hard race. But he has since shown the strength of character and intelligence to grow into the role and in Saturday's final he looked like he had been there all his life.
It was a masterful performance only matched on Sunday by, who else, but Tim Foster in the No 7 seat of the British eight, which got its nose in front of the all-powerful Americans and looked like winning Britain's first gold in the class since 1912. But the crew was unable to hang on in the final sprint and took a well-deserved silver. Yet its presence at the front was secured by the experience and guile of Foster, who has overcome his surgery and some unlikely selections to win a medal at all but two of the championships that he has contested.
The coxless pair of Simon Dennis and Steve Williams had looked the better bet for a medal but finished fifth. The two oarsmen have earned their Olympic ticket but it may be that either could form a faster pair with a different partner.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Manchester City: With Arsene Wenger missing a number of key players, who could start the Community Shield clash?
Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
Manchester United: Five things we've learned so far about Louis van Gaal, including his ability to accommodate Juan Mata, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney
Liverpool transfer news: Reds 'in talks' to sign Benfica winger Nicolas Gaitan as summer spending threatens to exceed £100m
Manchester United transfer news: Angel Di Maria set to choose between Old Trafford and PSG in next few days
- 1 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
- 4 Exclusive: Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...
£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...