Saturday, August 4, 2012 | | By: Febi

Eton Dorney – London 2012 Olympic Rowing





Had a wonderful day out at the London 2012 Olympic rowing, canoeing and kayaking venue at Eton Dorney near Windsor on the River Thames. The last day (August 4th) of the Olympic Rowing saw some thrilling medal competition with the incongruously named Team GB taking gold for the men's four of Andrew Triggs-Hodge, Pete Reed, Tom James, and Alex Gregory's meant Great Britain have won the event for the fourth Olympics in a row. Sophie Hosking and Katherine Copeland then took gold in the women's double sculls.



Team GB taking gold for the men's four of Andrew Triggs-Hodge,
Pete Reed, Tom James, and Alex Gregory 




Sophie Hosking and Katherine Copeland taking
gold in the women's double sculls.
 






Irish rowing Olympian Sanita Puspure





 Ireland won one of the C Heats for 13th place at the Olympic rowing @ Eton Dorney today. Mother of two, Sanita Puspure finished her debut Olympics on a high note with a convincing win in the “C” final of the women’s single sculls. Puspure’s medal chances were dashed when she narrowly missed out on a place in the A/B semi-finals on Tuesday but the Latvian-born rower bounced back to win her consolation final by almost eight seconds.


Puspure led home the field in a time of 7:59.77 with Micheen Thornycroft in second (8:07.52) and Yariulvis Cobas in third (8:14.59). She finishes in 13th place overall with the A and B finals to come later on Saturday in Eton Dorney. Ireland’s first female rower at the Olympics since Frances Cryan in 1980, Puspure had targeted a top 12 finish in London and got her campaign off to a great start when qualifying in third from her heat.



Her draw for the quarter-finals was unkind and a time of 7:44.19 was only good enough for fourth place, though it would have been enough for a top-three finish and a place in the semis had she been in one of the other three races. She performed very impressively today.


The River Thames at Eton Dorney


From looking at rowing on television you have no idea of the endurance, stamina and persistence needed to be an Olympian rower not to mention the loneliness of the training routine. Each Olympic contest is a numbing 2000 metres long and by the time the athletes get to the end they are often delirious and collapse. Their heart and lungs have expanded; they can no longer inhale sufficient oxygen to feed their lactate hardened muscles. This physical exertion often affects their decision making ability and they can suffer from temporary electrolyte confusion. Truly, competing at Olympic level in this sport is a hard test of physical and mental endurance.


Disabled friendly facilities @ Eton Dorney
















The atmospherics and facilities at Eton Dorney were really good even for those of us on the South Lawn which had a picnic style vibe. I also learnt about an unfamiliar sport. Rowing and sweeping is with one oar each, sculling is with two and in Olympic kayaking and canoeing you are in the same type of boat using one paddle each, in canoeing you are kneeling, in kayaking you are sitting down. End of Masterclass!





The facilities, organisation and atmosphere at Eton Dorney were truly impressive and on a day when GB won two gold’s and a silver in rowing you felt you were sharing in something special. It is in fact a permanent facility.

The band of the Royal Marines entertaining the crowds at Eton Dorney


Set in a 400-acre park within a nature conservation area, Eton Dorney Rowing Centre at Dorney Lake is acclaimed as one of the finest rowing venues in the world. It has been impressively adapted to host the London 2012 events with four park and ride areas, entry through Windsor Racecourse and disabled friendly access and facilities. In week two of the London Olympics it will host canoe and kayak events.

For more on the London 2012 Olympics see;


For the London 2012 Olympic website see;

http://www.london2012.com/


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