Both Great Britain and Australia have built a legacy in the men’s four. Great Britain are the defending Olympic Champions and Australia has enjoyed a golden period in the men’s four at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games.
These crews race at 11:30am (GMT) Saturday 4 August. Andrew Triggs Hodge, Pete Reed, Alex Gregory and Tom James of Great Britain and Josh Dunkley Smith, Drew Ginn, James Chapman and William Lockwood of Australia will be doing everything in their power to win at Eton-Dorney.

Ginn came in to the regatta issuing a warning to the British rowers. The Australians aim to engage the British in a ‘drag race,’ racing as hard as they can from start to finish.

“The British will have to have the race of their lives to win,” says Ginn.

Chapman echoed Ginn’s race tactics, remarking: “It’s always good to get out in front and get stuck in to our work."

The British responded.

Gregory remarked: “That’s what they try and do all the time isn’t it? They think that racing fast is scary, but that’s what everyone is going to do, everyone is rowing as fast as they can. What they do doesn’t make any difference to us, nothing they do will change what we do.”

Tom James too emphasised how relaxed their crew are despite the building pressure and home-water support.

“You can’t take any crews for granted. There are going to be crews who are going to have amazing races. You don’t know what they are going to do. We’ve not seen the Americans fully yet. We’re just relaxed, we know what we’ve been doing.”

Earlier in the regatta Australia won their heat and set an Olympic Best Time of 5:47.06. Great Britain also won their heat, albeit in a slower time. Notably, the British split to the 1000m marker was 1.5 seconds faster than the split Australia set. In the semifinals, the two crews were drawn against each other and the crowd waited for a mouth-watering tactical showdown. Australia led until the final quarter of the race and then the British upped the rate and applied some power to beat them into second spot. But were the Australians playing games? How much was left in the tank?

The weight of expectation rests heavily on the shoulders of both crews. So far this season, the British men’s four beat the Australians in Lucerne at the second Samsung World Rowing Cup, before the Australians found some speed and form in Munich to beat the British in both the semifinal and the final. The score is one-one. The London 2012 Olympic Rowing Regatta final will settle this rivalry and Olympic gold is the prize.