Rowing silver to Tait and Hornsey
1 August 2012
ROWING: The Australian women’s pair of Sarah Tait and Kate Hornesy have claimed a stunning silver medal behind the Great British pair in the first rowing final of the Games at Eton Dorney.
With an amazing last 500m, the Aussies came from fourth to sneak through and claim a spot on the second step of the medal dais with a time of 7.29.86, 2.73secs. behind the British and 0.33secs in front of bronze medallists New Zealand.
“It is so exciting,” said Tait. “It’s such a happier moment not having to row away from the podium under the bridge and warm down after the final.”
Having hit the 500m mark in fourth, then the midway point in third behind the British and world champion Kiwis, the Aussies continued to hold their form as the race reached it’s crescendo.
“We said going into the race that no matter where we were at the 1500m mark we would have a good wind and we knew we could make up almost a couple of positions in the race there,” said Tait.
“Coming through the 1500 in fourth we really fought hard to get that bronze and in the last couple of strokes it must have been we popped out in silver which is unbelievable for us.”
The Great British pair of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning won the host nation’s first ever women’s rowing gold to the delight of a boisterous home crowd. The gold medal was also the first gold for British at their home Games.
Australia’s women’s quadruple sculls just missed out on adding to the silver medal of the women’s pair after they finished in fourth behind a dominant Ukrainian crew (6.35.93).
The crew of Dana Falletic, Kerry Hore, Pauline Frasca and Amy Clay finished 5.26secs behind the gold medallists in a time of 6.41.67 with the Germans claiming silver and the USA taking the bronze.
The crew were fourth at the 500m mark and remained in that position throughout the race to go agonisingly close to winning Australia’s second rowing medal on the opening day of finals at Eton Dorney.
“We did everything we could,” said Hore.
“I wasn’t really sure where we were (at the 500m mark) but I always thought that we were in there with a medal (chance).”
“It’s been a great regatta to be a part of. The last two Olympic Games rowing wasn’t such a big sport where as here we’ve had full crowds and an exciting atmosphere and people couldn’t have done more to help us, so it has been really good.”
In the final of the men’s eight, the Australian crew have finished 6th after the favourite German crew held off challenges from all angles with 500m to go to claim victory.
The crew of Matthew Ryan, Francis Hegarty, Cameron McKenzie-McHarg, Bryn Coudraye, Thomas Swann, Joshua Booth, Samuel Loch, Nicholas Purnell and Tobias Lister could not match it with the Germans who remain undefeated in the event since 2009.
The Aussies finished in a time of 5.51.87 behind the Germans (5.48.75) with Canada in second (5.49.98) and Great Britain (5.51.18) who pulled led the field 750 metres to go but couldn't hold on.
Event wrap of semi-final action below.
Men’s quad scull semi final
The Men’s quadruple sculls crew have started what could be golden day at Eton Dorney in solid fashion as they qualified for the final on Day 6 with a second placing in their semi.
The crew of Daniel Noonan, Karsten Fosterling, James McRae, Chris Morgan, got off to a reasonable start and were third at the 500m as the Russian crew went out strong to hold a 2.1 second lead over Australia with Croatia in second.
With the top three crews holding their positions through the midway point of the race, the favoured Croatian crew moved passed the Russians in the third 500m before Australia finished well to claim second in a time of 6.05.45, 2.06secs behind the Croatians (6.03.39), with Great Britain in third (6.05.71).
The time was made to look more impressive as the German crew who won the second semi could only post a time of 6.05.85 to ensure the Aussies qualified second fastest for the final.
“We were really looking to step up our game from the heat and obviously this was a do or die chance for us so we took it, had a good row and got the result for it,” said bowman Chris Morgan.
"It is good to have the minor rounds out of the way and focus on the big one and step our game up for the race of the four year cycle.”
The men’s pair made it two crews and two progressions through to finals as James Marburg and Brodie Buckland finished in third in their semi.
The pair claimed the last spot in the final behind Great Britain (6.56.46) and France (6.58.67) with a time of 7.02.12.
With the heavily favoured New Zealand crew having taken the first semi, in 6.48.11, the Aussies still had a tough race themselves and were third coming through the 1000m mark, 1.7secs. behind the British and 1.0secs. behind the French with a time of 3.27.07.
Marburg and Buckland remained composed though knowing where they needed to finish as they held off the fourth placed Polish crew by 2.46secs. to ensure their place in the final on Day 7 and Australia’s strong representation in finals continued.
Matthew Bartolo at Eton Dorney