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Rower Purchase marries long-term love
OLYMPIC rower Zac Purchase struck gold yesterday as he married his long-term girlfriend Fliss Hill at St Paul's Cathedral.
The rower, who clinched second place in the lightweight men's double sculls with teammate Mark Hunter, and Miss Hill tied the knot at a ceremony in the Chapel of the Order of the British Empire.
The couple, both 26, met at King's School, Worcester, and were joined by around 150 guests, including friends, family and Olympic rowing colleagues including Hunter.
In a patriotic touch the congregation sang I Vow To Thee My Country, Be Thou My Vision, and And Did Those Feet In Ancient Time , better known as the anthem Jerusalem.
Speaking after the ceremony, Canon Mark Oakley, who presided over the wedding, said it had been a "happy occasion", adding today was the day Purchase "got his gold".
He said: "It was a very beautiful wedding. It was full of family and friends and some rowing colleagues.
"I thought today, actually, Zac Purchase won his gold medal.
"He looked a very happy man, and so did she. She looked very radiant.
"We all know he was a little disappointed getting silver, nobody else was, but I think he was.
"I just thought today he got his gold.
"It was a very happy occasion.
"There was no talk of any disappointment in the air today, everyone was obviously hugely proud of him and her."
Among the guests at the ceremony were fellow rowers Chris Bartley and Richard Chambers, who won silver in the lightweight men's four.
In the run-up to the event Bartley, who had earlier celebrated the Olympic success of members of the Leander Rowing club, in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, tweeted "Great to do a row past with @Leander_Club in Henley. So many people on the bank, amazing! Off to watch @ZacPurchase tie the knot now."
Chambers, who also travelled to Henley ahead of the wedding, wrote on his Twitter account "Great to be back down @Leander_Club. It's going to be a busy day with @ZacPurchase wedding as well" before posting a photo of Mark Hunter en route to St Paul's."