Czech Ondrej Synek Takes Second As Hometown Man Alan Campbell Secures Bronze in Men’s Single Sculls Rowing
New Zealand’s Mahe Drysdale and Czech Ondrej Synek went out early in the Men’s Single Skulls competition and made it a two-man race until the end. Synek had the lead for most of the beginning of the race, only to be outkicked by Drysdale after 1000m. This left hometown favorite Alan Campbell in third position, to the excitement of the British crowd at Eton Dorney.
Drysdale’s time of six minutes 57.82 seconds was 1.55 and 5.46 seconds clear of Synek and Campbell respectively. Campbell was not in contention up to the 1500m mark, but a late surge, pushed him past Sweden’s Lassi Karonen to put him in the top three. The 29 year-old Northern Irishman’s third place finish was Great Britain’s first top three in the event since 1928. Because some stormy conditions and heavy crosswinds, the starting lanes were moved before the race. Cambpell was put in one of the more difficult starting positions, making his home crowd pleasing finish all the more impressive.
“The crowd really lifted me. I could see Lassi. He was going harder than I thought but knowing the shouts were for me, meant I had to go now or never.”
Campbell answered the shouts and provided another tally on the host country’s top-three-position count. He was moved to tears by the applause and roar of the home crowd during his award presentation, and rightfully so. He pleased not only a proud nation of Northern Ireland, but also a delighted host nation of Great Britain with his third place finish.