Oxford's Andrew Triggs Hodge said the real racing was about to start after Great Britain’s men’s four reached Thursday’s rowing semi-finals at Eton Dorney Lake.

Britain’s flagship boat, made up of Triggs Hodge, Oxford Blue Pete Reed plus Henley’s Tom James and Alex Gregory won their heat with a bit to spare in 5mins 50.27secs.

But their time was behind the 5.47.06 set by gold medal rivals Australia in heat one.

“There are two questions when you go on to the water,” said Triggs Hodge.

“A, can you replicate what you have been doing in training and B, is it fast enough.

“I think today we put a nice tick in both boxes. From here, we actually start racing. “In the semi-final we will know what we have got, what we can do. Now we start to race.”

Triggs Hodge added: “We know we are going to have a big race to win gold.

“We’re preparing to fight for every inch, but I feel like we are going to be right in the mix.”

The men’s four changed seat order for the Munich World Cup in June and that plus a few other small alterations seem to be working, according to the Oxford man.

Triggs Hodge said: “It is a different boat. It is subtle, but there is a different mindset.

“Our muscles feel different, our technique is developed more.

“With that in our pockets, it gives us a lot of confidence and it just feels electric.

“The guys have all got their tails up. We are all feeling great and looking forward to kicking on.

“It is a great event to be in and I’m really proud to be in the lead British boat.

“It is the last few days of my life as far as I’m concerned.

“We get through the final and then it all resets.”

SIMON Burnett, who hails from Tetsworth, has announced his retirement following the Great Britain’s men’s 4x100m swimming relay team’s disappointing exit on Sunday.


10.50am: Britain’s women’s eight (coxed by Oxford Academy teacher Caroline O’Connor) go in their repechage.
12.40pm: Lightweight men’s four (Richard and Peter Chambers) continue their quest for gold in the semi-finals.
2pm: Women’s RSX windsurfing  (Oxford-born Bryony Shaw).