Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Shepherd's Bush athlete wins bronze in Beijing

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Steve Rowbotham of Shepherd’s Bush has won a bronze medal in the men’s double sculls at the Olympic Games in Beijing.

The 26-year-old won the medal along with fellow rower, Matthew Wells.

In an exciting race, the Estonian crew came in only just ahead of the British pair, beating them by five one hundredths – 6.29.05 to 6.29.10.

Gold went to the Australians, who won in 6.27.77.

“We dreamt about winning the gold medal before the regatta,” said Rowbotham. “We knew it was going to be a very good race.

“It’s very disappointing not to get the gold, and extremely disappointing not to get the silver, but we’d never pass up an Olympic medal.”

It was Britain's first Olympic sculling medal since 1976.

In a sculling boat, each sculler has two sculls, one for each hand, compared to a rowing boat where each oarsman has one blade.

Rowbotham, who is originally from Swindon, started his sporting career as a top level tennis player, playing at county and regional level. He learnt to row at Durham University in 2000 and graduated in 2003.

He narrowly missed being selected for the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004.

17 August 2008