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At last: Olympics rowing pair Glover and Stanning lift gold for GB

Team GB's Helen Glover and Heather Stanning have clinched a gold medal in the women's pair - the host nation's first of London 2012.

The golden couple led from the front in a dominant performance which saw the opposition trail in their wake.

After crossing the line they hugged each other with joy and then saluted the crowd, which included Princes William and Harry and the Princess Royal.

The pair high-fived before lying back in the boat after a deafening roar saw them cross the finish line.

Glover, 26, a former PE teacher from Penzance, Cornwall, has been rowing for only four years after starting through the Sporting Giants scheme, which was set up by UK Sport to identify British sporting talent with a view to London 2012.

Stanning, 27, from Lossiemouth, Moray is a captain in the Royal Artillery and the women were paired together in the Bath training programme only three years ago.

Their dominance this year was born out of the frustration of being beaten into silver by New Zealand at the 2011 world championships by just eight-hundredths of a second.

The pair were home favourites for today's race after setting an Olympic record of six minutes 57.29 seconds as they won their heat.

There are high hopes of more gold later today as Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins aims to cement his position as one of Britain's greatest-ever sportsmen by winning the men's road cycling time trial.

Scottish swimmer Michael Jamieson is also in with a chance of a gold after setting a new British record to reach the men's 200m breaststroke final tonight.

Wiggins, 32, is looking to add to his recent success at the Tour de France, and a podium place in the 44km time-trial around Hampton Court this afternoon would give him a record seventh Olympic medal, one clear of rower Sir Steve Redgrave, who has six.

Fellow Briton Chris Froome is also in contention for a medal, while Emma Pooley, aims for the podium in the women's 29km time trial alongside Lizzie Armitstead, who on Sunday claimed Britain's first medal of the Games with silver in the road race.

There are also medal chances for the men, with the final of the men's eight. A win here would be special moment for Greg Searle.

The 40-year-old came out of retirement in an attempt to become an Olympic champion for a second time, two decades after winning gold in Barcelona.

Belfast Telegraph


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