Today’s three finals had Great Britain’s Heather Stanning and Helen Glover make history in the women’s pair. It had Ukraine’s women’s quad take the first ever rowing Olympic gold for their country and it had Germany break their recent Olympic curse in the men’s eight.
In cross tail-wind conditions and under cloudy Eton Dorney skies, times were slow but racing was hot as these crews gave it their all to try and become Olympic Champions.

Women’s Pair (W2-) – Final
What domination! At the end of the race Heather Stanning and Helen Glover of Great Britain would make history with the first ever gold medal for Great Britain in women’s rowing. They also became the first gold medal for Great Britain overall at these Olympic Games. And Stanning and Glover did it in absolute style by ripping the field apart within the first 30 strokes of the race.

This is the first Olympics for both Stanning and Glover who came to rowing after being hand-picked by British rowing’s talent ID programme. Stanning and Glover are the living proof of the effort and support that Great Britain has put into rowing leading up to these Olympic Games. Following Great Britain were the reigning World Champions, Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown of New Zealand. This is Haigh’s third Olympic Games having finished outside of the medals at the last two Games. For Scown, this is her first.

But Haigh and Scown were part of a very tight bunch with all other crews following very closely. By the half-way point with Stanning and Glover forming an open water lead, Haigh and Scown were clearly in second. Then Australia and the United States began to move on the New Zealanders.

The sprint to the line was brutal. Australia’s Kate Hornsey and Sarah Tait, at a 45 stroke rate, were giving it their all. Haigh and Scown were trying to hold on while Stanning and Glover still looked comfortable in the lead. The roar of the crowd indicated the result. Great Britain was in first, Australia had outsprinted New Zealand to take second. United States had missed out on a medal by a whisker and Olympic Champions, Romania were unsuccessful in their comeback, finishing fifth.

Kate Hornsey (AUS) – W2- A-Final – SILVER
"We're deliriously happy, this is phenomenal. Sixth in Beijing (in the women's eight) was devastating so we decided to have a smaller boat with less people to worry about. We didn't even know where we were when we came over the line. There are no words for this."

Sarah Tait (AUS) – W2- – A-Final – SILVER
"It's so exciting. We were fourth halfway so we had to dig deep"

Rebecca Scown (AUS) – W2- A-Final – BRONZE
"It's special to have something to take away from here. We have a fantastic partnership and it was the race we really wanted to put together. We're very good friends (with GBR W2-). We have a good rivalry and we've developed together, so we're happy for them."


In cross-head wind conditions four top crews raced each other to finish seventh to tenth in the world. China finished second at the Beijing Olympic Games but have slumped a bit since and today Yage Zhang and Yulan Gao had to be content to lead the way in the B-final.
Coming into the final sprint South Africa’s Naydene Smith and Lee-Ann Persse, from second, pressed the Chinese hard and closed the leader’s gap. Smith and Persse came together last year and took the rowing world by storm when they medalled at one of the World Rowing Cups. This young crew has a great future ahead of them as they finish their Olympic Games eighth overall.
Results: CHN, RSA, ARG, ITA

Maria Laura Abalo (ARG)
"We have been rivals for the past 10 years so we pretty much know each others strengths and weaknesses. Being rivals didn't help much in the beginning but it is going much better now."

Gabriela Best (ARG) 
"Vacation is next and then when we go back there is more training. We have the South American championships and the national championships coming up so we will be training until the end of the year"

Women’s Quadruple Sculls (W4x) – Final
It has taken five Olympic Games, but the women of Ukraine’s quadruple sculls had finally done it. They will take home the first Olympic gold for their country in rowing. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics Ukraine finished fourth and it seemed to only be a matter of time before a medal would come their way.  

Today it came their way on the waters of Eton-Dorney Lake. Kateryna Tarasenko, Nataliya Dovgodko, Anastasiia Kozhenkova and Yana Dementieva of Ukraine came through to these finals from a dominating performance in the heats and within the first 500m of this race they had the lead. This left the United States, Germany, Australia and Olympic Champions, China to battle it out for silver with Great Britain off the pace.

By the middle of the race the World Champions, Germany and the United States had broken away from the rest of the pack but it looked as if they would have a lot of work to do to close on Ukraine.

Out in front Ukraine, rating 32, powered on. Then Germany did a move that got their nose ahead of the Americans as the final sprint came into view. The United States looked as though they had run out of steam as Australia began to close on them. The United States held on.

At the line Ukraine had made history, Germany (Annekatrin Thiele, Carina Baer, Julia Richter and Britta Oppelt) were Olympic silver medallists and the United States (Natalie Dell, Kara Kohler, Megan Kalmoe and Adrienne Martelli) had held onto the bronze medal.


Natalie Dell (USA) – W4x – BRONZE
"We went out to win and I would have loved to have gotten gold today, but sometimes it's all right to go away wanting more

Annekatrin Thiele (GER) – W4x – SILVER
"Very exhausted. It was a great race. We made the best we could."

Julie Richter (GBR) – W4x – SILVER
"Winning a medal at the Olympics is amazing. The Ukraine crew was very strong this year and it wasn't a surprise that they did it (won) again."Winning a medal at the Olympics is amazing. The Ukraine crew was very strong this year and it wasn't a surprise that they did it (won) again"


You know that you’re at the Olympic Games when a two-boat B-final gets the crowd roaring – and with no British crew in site. Only eight women quads get to race at the Olympic Games so these two boats already went through a rigorous qualification process to get here. New Zealand were very unlucky in the repechage on Monday when a crab by two-seat, Louise Trappitt, saw their chances of racing in the final dashed. Trappitt commented to the New Zealand press, ‘we thought we only had taniwha’s in New Zealand,’ referring to local sea monsters.

Today Poland led New Zealand for the majority of the race but a last minute burst had New Zealand press past Poland and get into the lead with just 200m left to row. New Zealand finish seventh overall.
Results: NZL, POL

Louise Trappit (NZL) – W4x
"We really stayed focused. We generally aren't the fastest off the start, but we stayed calm and relaxed and tried not to get too frazzled."

Fiona Bourke (NZL) – W4x
"It was very emotional today, you have a voice inside you saying it's not where you wanted to be. We will have a few months' break, act like normal people, do normal things and stay up past eight o'clock at night."

Men’s Eight (M8+) – Final

Could anyone beat the unbeaten Germans? Germany finished eighth at the Beijing Olympic Games. Heads rolled and changes were made and the crew went into 2009 with a new perspective – a winning perspective. From that moment on until now they remained unbeaten with two consistent factors – Martin Sauer as coxswain and Ralf Holtmeyer as coach. Holtmeyer has swapped and changed athletes in the boat over the last four years in anticipation for this one race today. He got in right.

Great Britain went out hard at the start getting their nose ahead of Germany. The roar of the crowd indicated approval as the Germans, rowing very much within their boat, began to inch back so that by the first 500m marker they had gained the lead. With that Filip Admaski, Andreas Kuffner, Eric Johannesen, Maximilian Reinelt, Richard Schmidt, Lukas Mueller, Florian Mennigen and Kristof Wilke held on. The Germans seemed very contained and unaware of what was going on around them as Great Britain fought back to try to regain the lead.
With these two crews tussling at the head of the field, the Netherlands and Canada held their own battle. The race remained incredibly tight as Great Britain did another move to take a couple of seats out of Germany’s slender lead.

In the final sprint everyone charged –especially Olympic Champions Canada. The Canadians had come to this final the hard way through the repechage and hadn’t been showing any medal potential, but in the final sprint the Canadians showed where their hearts were. Rating 41, Canada were hauling in the British and the Germans. Great Britain, meanwhile, were completely running out of steam and giving their last bit of breath just to hold on to a medal position.

At the line Germany had done it. They had broken the curse of men’s eight failure at the Olympic Games and had taken gold. Canada had stormed through to silver and Great Britain had just hung on to bronze by the skin of their teeth – less than half a second ahead of the United States and the Netherlands.


Fillip Adamski (GER) – M8+ – A-Final – GOLD
"I can't believe that. Four years we wait and now it's happened, I can't imagine what this means. Very, very tough – the wind – the whole season we have had tailwinds and now the opposite. It was a new situation for us, we have a tactic, a strategy, every time the same and now we had to change that. We had to react to this situation."

Eric Johannesen (GER) – M8+ -A-Final – GOLD
"It's unbelievable. We worked so hard for this race. It was such a tough race. Martin Sauer (the coxswain) told us 'come on guys' and then we went. It's unbelievable".

Mohammed Sbihi (GBR) – M8+ – A-Final – BRONZE
"We're crushed. We gave it our best shot and went for broke. That's why we're in third, not second. It wasn't to be. We were keeping ahead of the field and thought we were moving through and it was in the last 500 (metres) that it started to fall apart because we were trying to get our bow in front. We gave it our all. We didn't feel under pressure. We've been the second-best boat all through the season and bronze isn't a true reflection of where we are. A bronze medal's no consolation. We wanted to be in the final so we'd have an opportunity to win gold."

James Foad (GBR) – M8+ – A-Final – BRONZE
"We came here to win. I never thought I would say that I wouldn't be happy with an Olympic medal, but I'm not. A few years ago I wouldn't have dreamed of this. We row as such a good team and we expect to win, that's what we train to do."

This two boat race saw winners of the final Samsung World Rowing Cup regatta for 2012, Poland, lead from start to finish. Poland came to London with high expectations, but a sub-par performance in the repechage left Poland out of the A-final. Poland finished fifth at the Beijing Olympics and racing at the lead of this B-final must have been bittersweet.

Ukraine posed no threat as Poland now had an open water lead. Poland finish seventh overall.
Results: POL, UKR