Rower James Foad wins bronze after first GB gold goes to women's pair

Hampshire rower James Foad (second from left) has won bronze as part of the men’s eight Great Britain team

Great Britain's Helen Glover (left) and Heather Stanning celebrate winning gold in the women's pair final

First published in Sport

HAMPSHIRE rower James Foad has won bronze as part of the men’s eight Great Britain team.

The British crew, which also included Alton's Alex Partridge, were neck and neck with hot favourites Germany after three-quarters of the race, but faded in the last 500m, allowing Canada to pip them to silver.

Foad's teammate Greg Searle said: "I don't think we could have given it any more.

"We said before that we wanted to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and say we had given everything and I think we did that."

It was the second medal of the day for the British rowing team after Helen Glover and Larkhill's Heather Stanning become the first British women rowers ever to win Olympic gold.

Cheering James on from the sidelines were around 20 members of his hometown club cheering him on from the stands.

The people who knew James when he first took up the oars at the Itchen Imperial Rowing Club willed him on as he represented his country in his first Olympic final.

More than 20 members of the club made the trip to the Eton Dorney Lake to watch 25- year-old James and the rest of the team bid for glory.

Dad Chris said: “To see your son represent his country in an Olympic final, well, it is just unbelievable."

Club secretary for the Itchen Imperial Rowing Club, where James began his rowing career, Gary Joyce said: “They put it all on the line for the gold and in the end came away with bronze. I don’t think they could have done any more.”

Just before the men’s race, Glover and Stanning were presented with their gold medals.

Ecstatic flag-waving fans, who have been longing for Team GB to take their place at the top of the podium, saw Glover and Stanning become the first British women rowers ever to win Olympic gold.

Family and friends roared in the stands at a sunny Eton Dorney as the medal-winning day began.

The pair high-fived before lying back in the boat after a deafening roar saw them cross the finish line.

Glover, 26, a former PE teacher from Penzance, Cornwall, has been rowing for only four years after starting through the Sporting Giants scheme, which was set up by UK Sport to identify British sporting talent with a view to London 2012.

Stanning, 27, from Lossiemouth, Moray is a captain in the Royal Artillery at Larkhill and the women were paired together in the Bath training programme only three years ago.

Their dominance this year was born out of the frustration of being beaten into silver by New Zealand at the 2011 world championships by just eight-hundredths of a second.

The pair were home favourites for today's race after setting an Olympic record of six minutes 57.29 seconds as they won their heat.

Stanning and Glover won silver in last year’s World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia, behind New Zealand.

Their breakthrough event had been at the 2010 World Championships in New Zealand, where they also won silver behind the host nation.

Earlier this year they won the overall World Rowing Cup series, after victories in Munich and Lucerne.

Then the pair won the GB senior trials in 7:15:27.

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