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Eddie admits British crew have to improve
JESS Eddie admits the British women's eight will have to step things up considerably if they are to claim an Olympic medal this week.
Durham-born Eddie was part of the British crew that finished third in their heat of the eight yesterday, a result that means they will now have to compete in a repechage on Tuesday morning.
With only the winners of yesterday's heat progressing directly to the final, the presence of reigning world and Olympic champions United States meant GB were always going to face a tough task in their opening race of the regatta.
Sure enough, the US boat won with plenty in hand, but it was the sight of a relatively unheralded Australian crew relegating Britain into third position that really set the alarm bells ringing.
“It's a bit frustrating because we can row a lot better than that,” said Eddie. “You can pull and push as much as you want in a rowing race, but if you're technically not putting your blades in the water very well, you're never going to be the fastest on the water.
“People might think rowing is a really physical sport, and it is, but you have to have technique on top of that and technically we didn't row very well.
“I would be a lot more gutted if we'd come here and done everything we could and that was how fast we were. We've got some stuff to address, but it's probably good to get a race like that out of the way.”
This is Eddie's second Olympics as she also competed in Beijing, but the 27-year-old has been bowled over by the experience of a home Games.
“It's all really impressive,” she said. “Even though we're used to rowing here, it feels like a totally different place. It feels like the Olympic Games. The crowds have been absolutely amazing.
“Even when we're warming up, they're shouting at us and cheering us on. It definitely makes a difference – it's just a shame we couldn't put a good race together to show them.”
Hexham's Matt Wells took to the water on Saturday, and was part of a men's quadruple sculls team that finished second in their heat to qualify for Wednesday's semi-final.
The British crew, which comprises Wells, Charles Cousins, Stephen Rowbotham and Tom Solesbury, could not match the pace of heat winners Germany.
However, they successfully repelled a late surge from Ukraine to avoid the repechage and make the semi-finals. The British quartet was the sixth fastest across all heats, a result that suggests they are progressing nicely after being grouped together at a relatively late stage of the Olympic cycle.