Advantages Lots of medals and intelligent people to enjoy
Disadvantages Its over
Rowing is a very posh affair and like a sports day at a liberal independent school there are rosettes for everyone. Even if you finish last in the heats you can get another go through the reportage`. The venue for the Olympic Rowing was as equally posh, Eton-Dorney lakes on the Berkshire/Bucks border, the 25,000 seat event on the grounds of Eton public school. Due to public footpaths crossing the land you can sneak into the venue and watch the racing from the middle bit where the coaches on bikes go by for free, as did I. We went on Wednesday and had a great day out to witness one gold and one bronze and bombed across to East London to watch Bradley Wiggings win the second gold of the games, all for nothing!
New Zealand's Eric Murray and Hamish Bond got the racing underway by smashing the men's pair world record on day one in the heats by a massive six seconds in their opening Olympic heat, coming home in six minutes and eight seconds. This record was held by James Cracknell and Mathew Pinsent, the NZ pair unbeaten since Beijing.For the first time there was no doubt the British girls were better than the boys in the home team. Great Britain's Helen Glover and Heather Stanning set a new Olympic record with a dominant victory in the first heat of their women's pair. The British girls have won all three of their World Cup races this year. No women has ever women Olympic gold in rowing going into London.
Cornish girl Glover is very sporty and was the first young athlete to win any sort of world championship medal from the ‘Sporting Giants’ scheme, set up to identify potential Olympic champions the day after we were awarded the Games. She only started rowing in 2008 and was world silver medalists by 2010; talent spotted by Steven Redgrave no less. As a junior she was a fringe England hockey squad player and cross-country performer. Stanning is a captain in the Air Force and headed to Afghanistan in the autumn, Olympic champion or not.The rather masculine Catherine Grainger was the only Olympic medal holder in women’s rowing going into the games, getting three straight silvers in three straight games, hoping to gold here. Grainger and Anna Watkins broke the Olympic record in the women's double sculls with a time of 6:44.33 to win the first heat and so straight through to the final. They looked fantastic and nailed on for the gold, already looking like the women will win the bulk of the Olympic medals in London. Redgrave revealed that he had spoken to David Beckham and they will get a peck on the cheek if they win gold in the final.
Djibo Issaka of Nigeria raised a smile or two in the single sculls as he trailed in 1 minute 39 seconds behind the winner of his heat, the only black face in the regatta by the looks.
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