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ROWING: Chambers brothers salute the fans
GreatBritain’s lightweight men’s four were taken aback by the sheer volume of support they received during and after winning their silver medal.
The crew comprising brothers Richard and Peter Chambers, who are past and present Oxford Brookes University students, plus Chris Bartley and Rob Williams, earned their medal after a titanic battle.
And reflecting on the whole experience, the four could not praise the home support highly enough.
“Unless you experience it, it is really difficult to explain,” said Richard Chambers.
“The home crowd just cheered for us without stopping.
“We stood and lapped it up. It was phenomenal.
“It is amazing to think that there are 25-30,000 people supporting four midgets in a boat.
“What have we done to deserve that?”
This was Britain’s first Olympic medal in the lightweight four and Richard Chambers hoped it would inspire others to follow in their wake.
He added: “We have worked for this for many years. Three of us have come through the under 23 system together and then Peter joined us.
“To come away with a ‘sweep’ medal for lightweight rowing proves to people in Britain that it can be done – smaller guys can get in a boat and win Olympic medals.”
Peter Chambers added: “Rowing with Richard is great, most of the time, and winning an Olympic silver medal with him – you couldn't ask for more. We are delighted.”
The emotions of the lightweight four were in stark contrast to the women’s eight, who finished fifth for a second successive Olympics.
Coxed by Oxford Academy teacher and Oxford Mail columnist Caroline O’Connor, the boat included Wallingford’s Katie Greves, Wallingford RC’s Lindsey Maguire, plus Leander’s Louisa Reeve, Victoria Thornley and Annabel Vernon.
The 2011 world bronze medallists got off to a slow start and were never in contention in a race won by USA, but they did at least manage to pip Australia on the line, clocking 6.18.86.
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