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PM David Cameron visits Bann Rowing Club

Prime Minister David Cameron today visited the home club of one of the top British rowers just minutes before Alan Campbell took to the water for the next stage in his bid for Olympics glory.

The premier met officials at the Bann Rowing Club in Coleraine in Northern Ireland where Campbell first honed his skills.

"I wanted to come and see where they all trained," he said.

If Alan Campbell and Britain's lightweight men's four get their way, the Northern Ireland town of Coleraine will be decorated with three golden post boxes after the Olympics.

The Royal Mail has vowed to transform one traditionally red post box to gold in the home town of each British Olympic champion.

Campbell produced yesterday's fastest single sculling performance to qualify for the semi-finals with victory by a length over Germany's Marcel Hacker.

New Zealand's five-time world champion Mahe Drysdale remains the favourite but Campbell's commanding performance against the veteran German underlined his own podium potential.

Shortly afterwards, the Coleraine-born brothers Peter and Richard Chambers helped power the lightweight men's four rowers into Thursday's final and a shot at gold. They also train at the Bann rowing club.

Mr Cameron said: "Our country is a small country that does big things.

"The UK is a country that can deliver, that can get things done, that can put on an incredible show, that can make people feel proud to be British and, above all, can provide an inspiration for future generations."

He met Katie Kirk, 18, a 400m athlete who is a future Olympic hopeful and was nominated by Dame Mary Peters to light the cauldron at the opening ceremony at a civic reception in Coleraine.

Mr Cameron said: "The idea of all those petals (of fire) coming together... it was extremely beautiful and moving, it was also a brilliant feat of engineering."

He said the notion of having young athletes light the cauldron was inspired.

He told Kirk: "It was a beautiful, magical moment for our country and it was great that you were part of it."

Belfast Telegraph


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