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Aussie rowers ecstatic with pairs silver
Tim Sheridan
22:00 AEST Wed Aug 1 2012

Tim Sheridan is a reporter with Wide World of Sports and an integral member of the National Nine News team.
Tim Sheridan

Kate Hornsey and Sarah Tait were ecstatic after winning silver in the women's pair at Eton Dorney.

They knew Great Britain and New Zealand would be the pace setters and they got themselves into a bit of a scrap. They were third at the first two intervals but then at the 1500m mark they dropped back to fourth and into a fight with the US boat. At that point anyone who was watching the race would have seen that they were in trouble. It was guts and patience that got them through.

The experience of Hornsey and Tait shone through and that's the reason Rowing Australia wants to keep people like them in the squad. They have a hell of a lot of World Cup and Olympics experience, along with some Olympics disappointment. You get to that stage in a race and you realise it may be your last. That's when you dig deep and that's how they found what they needed to get silver.

The performance of the British pair Helen Glover and Heather Stanning was stunning. Women's rowing hasn't been at the Olympics for very long – forty odd years or so, but Great Britain had never won a female Olympic rowing medal. That's the significance of this victory. Of course it was also the first gold medal for the British team overall at this Games and what better place to win it than in front of a capacity crowd at the rowing.

Glover and Stanning are the benchmark in the women's pair and they deserved to win. They were hurting at the end but it was a wonderful performance.

The women's quad sculls final was a tough race for the Aussie crew. The Ukraine and German boats had more pace early in the season, while Australia had to regroup after Pippa Savage left the boat. Amy Clay did a wonderful job after being more or less rejected by the women's eight, going from sweeping in the eight to sculling as stroke in the quad. To compete as hard as they did and do as well as they did in the final was great stuff.

What a race the men's eight was. Everyone was saying early pace would be required to win this race but in the end it didn't matter that much. Just three seconds covered the six boats at the finish – that is extraordinary. No one has headed the German eight for years but the British boat was powered on and inspired by the capacity crowd. They got their bow in front, but the Germans only have one speed and that's flat-out all the way. You can get in front of them but how much energy you spend in doing that is another thing.

Australia was not at all disgraced in this race. They made a change yesterday to get some more early pace but it was just an amazing race overall.

The rowing venue at Eton Dorney is a fantastic facility. No one can complain about the conditions as the course has been fair. There have been a few following breezes, a headwind today and a bit of rain here and there but overall it has been incredible.

The crowd is the amazing thing here and I haven't seen an empty seat since the regatta started. This venue is 90-odd minutes west of London but the people just keep pouring in every day. From the first race of the day at 9.30am they are watching and cheering. They just love every minute of it.

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