Olympics 2012

SA rowers confident of chances

2012-08-01 12:38
James Thompson, Matthew Brittain, John Smith and Sizwe Ndlovu. (Darren Whiteside, AFP)
London - South Africa’s men’s lightweight coxless four have placed themselves in contention for an Olympic gold medal by qualifying for Thursday’s A final.

The team of Matthew Brittain, Sizwe Ndlovu, John Smith and James Thompson finished second out of six boats - behind Denmark and ahead of Australia - in a time of 6:04:21 in the second semi-final on Tuesday.

The quartet’s coach, Roger Barrow, said the team backed themselves to achieve a podium finish when they line-up in the final at Eton Dorney, but preferred to operate below the radar beforehand.

“We are quite confident but we don’t really like people talking us up," Barrow said.

"That is why we are really quiet in going about our business.

“We believe we can be in the front, or definitely in the first three.”

The recent winners of silver at this year’s World Cup Regatta in Switzerland will hope to, at the very least, emulate coxless pair Ramon di Clemente and Donovan Cech’s 2004 Athens Olympics bronze medal performance.

Good race

The team were in fine form on Tuesday and Barrow said they were peaking at exactly the time they had planned.

“We’ve had a really good build-up but being at the Olympics for the first time is always going to be nerve-wracking.

"So it depends on how we deal with all the pressure.

“I think the group we’ve got have dealt with it really well so far, progressing through the rounds in just the way we wanted them to.”

Team member Brittain said they had suffered a hard time with nerves but pulled through to give themselves a good chance of winning silverware.

“I think we were very nervous coming into this race and it's a relief to get one under the belt,” Brittain said.

“I'm glad we're not in the B final, you can't win anything in the B.

“We don't chase the result, we chase the good race and we hope the good race will lead to the good result."

Ndlovu said the team had put trust in each other and established a rhythm, allowing them to feed off each other.

“What works for me is rhythm - rhythm is everything,” Ndlovu said.

“It’s going to be tough, obviously, but we're up for it."

Read more on:    olympics 2012


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Breaking News

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.