London 2012: GOLD FOR BRITAIN! History-makers Hosking and Copeland cruise to glory
12:50 04 August 2012
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Olympic rowing: 1. Great Britain 2. China 3. Greece 4. Denmark 5. Australia 6. Germany
Wimbledon’s Sophie Hosking and teammate Kat Copeland produced an outstanding display to win the women’s lightweight double sculls and secure Team GB’s fourth rowing gold medal of London 2012.
Former Kingston Grammar School student Hosking and partner Copeland have only been rowing as a double for a year, but they looked like seasoned veterans as they destroyed the rest of the field in stunning style.
The British duo, who recorded the fastest qualifying time in the heats, will go down in the record books as the first lightweight women’s crew in British history to win Olympic gold.
Remarkably, Londoner Hosking was only moved to the stroke seat six weeks ago.
She and Copeland lined up in lane six against reigning world champions Greece, plus China, Denmark, Germany and Australia.
The buoyant Eton Dorney crowd hardly had time to take a breath as the lightweight double got underway just moments after the men’s quad had secured GB’s third rowing gold of the Games.
But the British duo’s focus was unwavering, as they jumped out of the starting gate and quickly settled into a steady rhythm.
After reaching the 500metre mark in third place, the British double began their assault on the front two.
They overtook second place China with ease and by the time they reached the halfway point they had taken a length off the Greek double’s lead.
With AFC Wimbledon fan Hosking stepping up the pace in the second half of the race, the British duo soon left the Greek crew in their wake as they powered towards the finish.
The victory was never in doubt from that point, as the Brits opened up a huge gap on the rest of the field, with Greece slipping behind China into third.
Before these Games no British woman had won an Olympic title, but in glorious style Hosking and Copeland became the third British women’s boat to with gold at London 2012.