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Brilliant Glover and Stanning claim gold for GB

ESPN staff
August 1, 2012 « Vertonghen to battle for first-team spot | Chartbeat test »
Helen Glover and Heather Stanning © Getty Images
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Great Britain claimed their first gold of the 2012 London Olympics as Helen Glover and Heather Stanning produced a stunning row to win the women's pair.

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After a string of near misses in the first few days, hopes were high that Britain could deliver on the Eton Dorney lake and Glover and Stanning did not disappoint.

Glover and Stanning went out hard, took control of the race early and resisted a late challenge from Australia to claim gold.

The British were ahead at every split and had clear water heading into the final 500 metres. Such was their effort over the opening three quarters of the race, Glover and Stanning understandably tired.

There was a mixture of anxiety, strain and pain on their faces in the final 200 metres as Australia gave chase but they held on in a time of 7:27.13 to claim a superb gold - which was greeted with roars from the crowd and punches in the air from the British two.

"We've got out ahead throughout the season and we wanted to do that today, and not give anything back," a delighted Stanning said. "Helen was telling me to keep on going. Thanks for all the support from the troops in Afghanistan, I'm so proud to be associated with you."

Melanie Wilson, Beth Rodford, Frances Houghton and Debbie Flood failed to follow the lead of Glover and Stanning as they came home last in the final of the women's quadruple sculls, with gold going to Ukraine ahead of USA and Germany.

The men's eight of put up a stunning fight to claim a bronze. The British eight served it up to Germany, who have dominated this race in recent years, and edged ahead at one stage. But the huge effort took a toll and they faded late on as Germany pulled away, but had enough in the tank to hang on for bronze - with Canada taking silver.

GB advanced to the final of the men's quadruple fours. Stephen Rowbotham, Charles Cousins, Tom Solesbury and Matthew Wells were off the pace early but finished with a rattle to claim third behind Croatia and Australia

George Nash and Will Satch withstood a strong late bid from France to win their semi-final of the men's pair.

Alan Campbell progressed to the final of the single sculls, but for the first time in the competition he has looked vulnerable. The Brit has blown away his rivals early in his races, but on this occasion he did not break all his rivals and Ondrej Synek came through at the 1500m mark to claim the win.

Elsewhere in London, Great Britain's men's hockey team drew 2-2 with South Africa in a game they could have won and lost. Team GB trailed 2-1 before a controversial late leveller, and Ashley Jackson almost won it at the death but saw his effort brilliantly saved.

And in gymnastics, Kristian Thomas and Daniel Purvis achieved Britain's best ever result, finishing seventh and 13th respectively. Japan's Kohei Uchimura won the individual all-round gold medal, with Germany's Marcel Nguyen taking silver and American Danell Leyva bronze.

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