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OLYMPIC ROWING: Wiltshire Wonders
ONE Wiltshire rower secured London 2012 gold yesterday and another took a giant step towards a medal in the Olympic regatta at Eton Dorney.
Larkhill Army Captain Heather Stanning stormed to top spot in the women’s pair alongside Helen Glover, not only Great Britain’s first gold of the Games but also the first-ever Olympic gold won by the British women’s team.
Earlier, Swindon-born Steve Rowbotham played his part as the GB men’s quadruple scull reached their first-ever Olympic final, which will be contested against the might of the Germans and the Croatians on Friday morning.
But the day undeniably belonged to Stanning, who said afterwards: “It’s hard to put into words what it means.
“At the moment it's a very surreal feeling and I don't imagine that will change for a few days.
“Coming across that line was a complete mix of emotions. I wanted to collapse because I had nothing left to give, but I also wanted to jump up and down and shout and scream.”
Rowbotham, who grew up in Cirencester until the age of 14, saw his GB boat cross the line in third and therefore qualify for Friday’s showdown.
They were just edged out for second by Australia, who are likely to provide Great Britain’s main opposition for a medal outside of Germany and Croatia.
And Rowbotham admitted the quad would need to improve if he is to equal - or improve upon - the bronze he won in Beijing four years ago in the men’s double scull.
“The margins are very fine, we now need to tweak our race plan and tweak our technique,” he said.
“We know the whole country is behind us but that doesn't add any pressure, you couldn't put more pressure on us than we do ourselves.”
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