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Alex Gregory reflects on Olympic gold medal success
3:00pm Monday 6th August 2012 in Sport
ALEX Gregory believes Great Britain showed they had the minerals when it mattered as they kept a ferocious Australian challenge at bay to capture his first ever Olympic gold medal at London 2012.
Gregory, along with Tom James, Pete Reed and Andy Triggs Hodge, sparked the London 2012 gold rush on Saturday which, after contributions from Jess Ennis and Mo Farah, ended as Great Britain’s most successful day in Olympic history for 104 years.
But compared to Gregory and co, Ennis and Farah had it easy. Gregory and James were in the men’s four boat that won world gold last year and since then Reed and Triggs Hodge have returned to bolster the squad.
That meant that Gregory was the only member of the quartet that didn’t win gold in Beijing — which brings its own pressures — but add to that the fact that the Aussies have been mounting a considerable charge and beat the Brits at the World Cup in Munich last month, and it’s unsurprising the former Evesham Rower Club member’s first reaction was not one of jubilation.
“Relief. Massive relief,” said 28-year-old Gregory. “It didn’t feel real. Going off the start, I just thought, ‘oh my God, this is happening’. What we did took guts. We knew we had to get up for the big race. It wasn’t just the Australians in the final, we knew the other crews were there or thereabouts.
“We had a lot of strong guidance from coach Jurgen (Grobler) but making it come together was a very special thing. We were thinking about our mid-race pace form the beginning. Making the victory all the more satisfying is the fact that the Australians weren’t shy in putting the pressure on the Brits verbally as well as physically.
“It takes courage form all four and simple idea — we had a simple idea that the first stroke counts,” he added. We were ahead at the 500 (metres) which was unusual. I was so confident we could hold on.”
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