Thursday 2 August 2012

Silver for Team NI (plus two from Team GB) #London2012

My grandfather used to row on the Bann for Coleraine Inst. but two other old boys of the same school, Richard and Peter Chambers, today were racing at Eton Dorney for Olympic gold.

In what was the closest race of the Olympic regatta so far the Northern Irish pair along with Rob Williams and Chris Bartley were in a four way tussle with the Danes, Aussies and South Africans.

The Danes had taken the lead early while the other three crews were left somewhat in their wake. But at half way the other three were starting to make inroads into the Danish lead. Australia were second at the 1000m mark.

However as the crew neared the stands and the final 500m both GB&NI and South Africa started to get close to the Danes. Both the other crews continued to make inroads. With 100m to go all three were more or less neck and neck, each pull or reach changing the lead it seemed.

In the end as you can see above the the top four were separated by about half a length while the three medals by a matter of feet. The GB crew had just finished a stroke before the line so were at top speed while the Danes were just starting one it was a difference that earned a slightly higher medal.

While GB may be disappointed about not taking gold, the rainbow nation won their first Olympic gold in rowing with a mixed race crew.

Sadly it also means I won't be trying to contact family in the Coleraine area to send me an envelope with the new gold medal stamp from Coleraine tomorrow.

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