The final few days of the London 2012 Olympic Games may be upon a waiting and expectant nation, at Eton Dorney though on bright and warm summer’s morning there was more than expectation in the air, there was the chance of more medal glory for every nation competing on the lakes in the Berkshire countryside.
After the B Finals, which included the surprise package of the Brazilian team who had performed well initially in the heats, the real action began in the Men’s Canoe Double 1000 metres race.
The final consisted of a very strong field, with teams from Germany, Romania, the defending Olympic champions from Belarus and the fancied Azerbaijani pair who had thrilled a few days before hand. It was shaping up to be a fantastic morning of canoeing at Eton Dorney.
The power that goes through these athletes arms is remarkable and from the off all eight finalists powered their way through the calm still waters. Like the equestrian events, this is all about placing trust and being in synch with your partner. One false move and both men could end up in the water. At the half-way mark the teams settled into their natural rhythm and it was with no surprise that Azerbaijan were in front of the German team after performing so well in the heats.
The final 250 metres saw the Germans and the Belarus overtake the team from Azerbaijan and jostle and fight for the much coveted gold. Peter Kretschmer and Kurt Kuschela were just too much for the rest of the field to cope with, their oarsman ship was just too much to cope with and at the finish line the Belarus team had to acknowledge that their Olympic crown had gone to the much better and phenomenally stronger team.
A wonderful win for the team from Germany and one that was well justified.
Ian D. Hall