Our rowers had mixed fortunes out on the man-made venue of Eton Dorney Lake on Saturday, writes Mark Etheridge.
The mens’ lightweight fours ended second behind Switzerland in their heat and progress the short route to the A/B semi-finals along with Denmark in their heat and Britain, Australia and Germany in the second heat.
The combo of James Thompson, Matthew Britain, John Smith and Lawrence Ndlovu clocked 5min 54.62sec behind Switzerland’s 5:53.56.
Said coach Roger Barrow afterwards: “The boys are a fiery crew… they hate losing but as coaches, Jacko [Paul Jackson] and myself are happy with where they are physiologically.
“The main thing is that they’re now past the first phase in their first Olympics and can go forward now.
“They had a strong first half and also conditions got a lot quicker in the second and third heats so you can’t read too much into the times. They’ll now race again on Tuesday.”
Britain and France won the second and third heats in times of 5:49.29 and 5:50.79 respectively.
Thompson, who brings the big watts to the boat said: “The race went well, not quite as to plan ÔÇô we had a great first 500m but the Swiss had a good middle 1000m. We’ve┬á got two days now to freshen up and we will see who has the legs on Tuesday in the semi-final.”
The women’s pairs of Naydene Smith and Lee-Ann Persse didn’t fare that well ending fourth of five boats in heat two and going through to the repechage.
Their time for the 2000m haul was 7:14.31sec as Australia won the heat in 7:01.60.
“The girls were also OK for their first outing and they’ll row repechage on Monday and they can still make the A final if they end up in the first two of the repechage,” said Barrow.