On the opening day of the Olympics
British rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning confirmed their status as gold medal favourites as they stormed into the final of the women’s Pair in a new Olympic best.
They both won the opening heat setting their Olympic best time of 6:57.29, beating the previous best by over four seconds.
Glover and Stanning controlled the race from the start, leading the field by a half a length at the 500 metre time-check before pulling smoothly clear to beat the USA crew by a length.
The defending Olympic champions Romania came a surprise third and will have to negotiate the heats to reach Wednesday’s final.
Glover and Stanning reacted to being pipped into silver place at the 2011 World Championships by dominating the women’s Pair this year, winning gold at all three of this summer’s World Cup boat race
If they can continue this success into Wednesday’s final become Britain’s first-ever female Olympic Rowing champions.
This shows that Helen Glover and Heather Stanning is on top form and it showed to the other competitors in the field, that they were not a team to be reckoned with, also with heat two winners Australia coming home in a time four seconds slower than the British crew.
Last year, New Zealand, who beat Glover and Stanning by eight hundredths of a second to win the World Championships, trailed home unconvincingly behind the Australians.
“It was definitely a heats race for us,” Stanning said. “It was a solid performance. We felt quite controlled in our boat.
“We have a final to come and that is where we will pull out all the stops.”
Great Britain’s men’s Eight finished second in their heat behind three-time world champions Germany and will have to go through a repechage on Monday to reach Wednesday’s final.
The heat will give Britain an extra race together. They should enter Wednesday’s final with podium potential and, following this performance, gold medal aspirations.