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Archive - Wednesday, 1 August 2012
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OLYMPICS: Bronze medal for Northwich rower Langridge
NORTHWICH rower Matthew Langridge missed out on his dream of an Olympic gold medal as Great Britain’s men’s eight finished third in a thrilling final.
Matthew Langridge on the water in Team GB colours during Saturday's heats. Picture: Jessica Mann.
His crew led at halfway on Dorney Lake, only for favourites Germany to pull clear with defending champions Canada close behind them at the finish.
It marks the second time Langridge has won a medal at the Olympic Games after he returned from Beijing with a silver medal four years ago.
“We did everything we could for gold,” he said afterwards.
“It would be the same race again if we repeated it, we’d risk it all to win. We can be rightly proud of that.”
Langridge and company repeated the blistering start they had practised during Monday’s repechage victory to stay in contention with Germany over the first 500m.
They even edged ahead in the next 500m.
The Germans responded though, and despite a huge crowd lake side roaring on the hosts, they stayed out in front until the finish line.
Team GB, exhausted, fell away in the final 250m when they were pipped by a resurgent Canada – a crew they had beaten twice at the regatta since its start.
“The guys did everything that we wanted them to do.,” Sir Steve Redgrave told the BBC.
“They took the lead after 1,000m but the Germans were brilliant.
“It’s a bronze medal and they – and we – are disappointed with that but they put everything on the line for the gold medal.”
Former Hartford High School pupil Langridge was cheered on by sizeable supporting contingent from his home town, including mentor and former coach Paul Rafferty.
“It’s great for me to know that those people who have supported me for so long will be there to watch on what is the most important race of my life,” he told the Guardian on Monday.
“Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have, so I’ll forever appreciate the part they have played.”
His crew were only at full strength from Saturday’s first round after stroke Constantine Louloudis missed each of the World Cup regattas while he recovered from injury.
They ran Germany close then, rowing faster again in the repechage, only to fall short against in-form opposition in the final.