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Gregory on fire in oarsome foursome
9:30am Saturday 4th August 2012 in Sport
ALEX Gregory’s Olympic debut wait proved worthwhile after the British men’s four began their London 2012 campaign with a blistering win.
Having been overlooked for the triumphant crew at Beijing 2008, the former Evesham Rowing Club star is already convinced he feels at home on the five-ringed stage.
Gregory broke tradition for his Olympic race at Dorney Lake — often so exhausted after competing he can’t help but throw up, but this time the 28-year-old was feeling a little green before the event.
But, in rowing terms, he is certainly in the pink after joining Tom James, Andy Triggs Hodge and Pete Reed — three of the gold medalwinning quartet four years ago — in storming to victory in the heats.
“That was my first Olympic race and first time out on the water here and it was just so great to be out there,” said Gregory, who races in the semi-finals today.
“I felt calm, relaxed and at home and the sound was just incredible.
“There was a lot of hard work in the last six weeks that went into that performance.
Everybody said the cheers and shouts would be loud but it does make a really massive difference.
“I am usually sick after the race but I was sick before it this time. It is funny because I did not feel nervous early on in preparation but then we did a warm-up and I was sick after a practice burst.
“I felt better afterwards, though, and the race was great. In the last six weeks we have gone back to basics and worked on things.”
The men’s four is Great Britain’s flagship boat and they have taken gold at the last three Olympics.
But Australia, who last won at Atlanta 1996, are putting up a fight this time and advanced through their heat more than three seconds quicker than Gregory and co. “You could argue the Aussies are favourites at the moment and obviously they are a good prospect for getting a gold medal, that’s realistic,”
“At the same time, when we come to race in the semis we have to get into the final.
Our job is to make sure we are doing the right things.”
- Lloyds TSB, proud supporter of Team GB and proud partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Get closer to the Games at lloydstsb.com/ london2012