JAMES Foad and his rowing colleagues will be putting “their lives on the line” as he bids to become Hampshire’s first London Olympic 2012 medallist today.
The Southampton -born Itchen Imperial rower competes for GB in the men’s eights final at Eton Dorney Lake.
And countless 4am starts as part of his training programme will all be worth it if Foad and co can spring what would be a major Games shock.
To do so, though, GB must beat the all-conquering Germans.
The red-hot favourites have always stood in Foad’s path to gold medals since he made his international debut in the eights two years ago.
Foad’s first major medal was a 2010 World Championship silver, behind Germany.
The following year Foad again won silver, again behind the Germans.
This season, the British squad have maintained their status among the very best.
In the World Cup series, they have won silver medals in Belgrade and Lucerne – again losing to Germany both times.
Their big chance came in Munich, where the host nation didn’t compete, but Foad and co finished third behind Poland and Australia.
Foad told the Daily Echo: “In my head and heart, I know we’re all capable of winning.
“It’s about coming together in that final race and putting our lives on the line and stick to what we say we’re going to do.
“If we all do that, then we’ll be fine.
“I’m expecting to win medals, and that’s the pressure I’m putting on myself.
“Other people can put whatever pressure on me they want but I can only affect what I do.”
Foad is not the only Hampshire man in a men’s eight crew also containing 1992 Barcelona Olympics gold medallist Greg Searle.
Alton’s Alex Partridge is also gunning for gold.