Opinion: ‘I was there to see Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins row to Olympic gold’

The atmosphere was electric at Dorney Lake as Team GB brought home gold and two bronze medals today. Among the euphoric crowds was our tennis correspondent Dan Wynne.

I was lucky enough to get a ticket for day seven of the Olympic rowing and with British crews contesting four A finals, it was always likely to be a gripping day of action at Eton Dorney.

There was a real buzz about the place beforehand and even Sir Matthew Pinsent looked nervous as he walked past my dad and I outside the grandstand.

After the non-medal finals had warmed up the crowd during the morning, the first British crew to have a crack at a medal were the men's quad sculls who sadly missed out on a podium spot.


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Next up, the men's pair, who had looked strong in qualifying for the final and were genuine medal contenders. The New Zealand pair put in a dominant display with the Brits claiming a bronze to the delight of the crowd.

Then came the main event: Katherine Grainger, with three silver medals to her name, going for that elusive gold with Anna Watkins in the double sculls.

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They didn't disappoint, leading from the start and sending the grandstands into raptures as they powered home for Team GB's sixth gold of the games so far.

It was an atmosphere I'd always wanted to be part of since the days of watching Pinsent and Redgrave's heroics on the water and seeing a British gold medal at the Olympics is certainly a box ticked in terms of a 'I was there' moment.

Finally, Alan Campbell battled his way to a bronze medal in the single sculls before descending into floods of tears throughout his medal ceremony.

If I'm honest he nearly took me with him, such was the emotion felt by the crowd who had roared him through the final 500 metres.

For a first Olympic experience it surely doesn't come any better. I hope Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake deliver something equally memorable when I go to the 4x100m final next weekend.

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