Lightweight Men’s Four Rowers Earn Top Honors for South Africa
The competitive sport of rowing as we know it today came of age in the modern world of sports within the last 200 years and first gained notoriety as a result of the longstanding collegiate rivalry between the Oxford and Cambridge University rowing teams. This rivalry lives on today and the sport continues to grow around the world.
The rowing venue for 2012 Summer Games is one of the world’s most acclaimed facilities, Eton Dorney Center, located just 25 miles west of London. Yesterday, that venue bore witness to one of the more dramatic rowing finishes the Games have seen yet. The leading three crews in the lightweight men’s four competition all finished within three 10ths of a second.
Denmark, the 2008 champions, established an early lead, but South Africa and Great Britain didn’t waste time matching pace. The home crowd of nearly 25,000 people were roaring for the home team who settled into position to clinch another win for the hosts, but James Thompson, Matthew Brittain, John Smith and Sizwe Ndlovu of South Africa had other plans.
In a thrilling sprint finish the South Africans sealed the victory for themselves in a final powerful stroke – finishing the two-kilometer race with a time of six minutes 2.84 seconds.