GB rowers through to final

31 July 2012 / 12:55

Great Britain women's eight qualified for the Olympic final after finishing fourth in the rowing repechage at Eton Dorney.

The race was won in thrilling fashion by Holland, who held off a strong challenge from Romania, with Australia in third.

The British crew, bronze medallists at the world championships last year, finished a length behind in fourth to claim the last available place in Thursday's final.

Alan Campbell moved smoothly into the semi-finals of the single sculls with a length victory over Germany's Marcel Hacker to underline his podium credentials.

Campbell, a bronze medallist at the 2011 World Championships, controlled the race after establishing an early lead over the veteran German.

Competition is fierce in the single scull, with Hacker a recent gold medallist at the Munich World Cup, and so to qualify with a race victory will be a confidence boost for Campbell.

New Zealand's Mahe Drysdale remains the favourite to add Olympic gold to his five world titles and he won the first heat, ahead of Belgium's Tim Maeyens.

Sweden's Lassi Karonen is hitting form at the right time and he won the third quarter-final, while Czech Ondrey Synek won his heat with Norway's reigning Olympic champion Olaf Tufte scraping through in third place.

Sam Townsend followed his fiancee, Natasha Page from the women's eight, into an Olympic final.

Townsend and Bill Lucas finished third in the semi-final of the men's double scull behind the Slovenian crew, who were Olympic champions 12 years ago, and Lithuania. There was a shock in the first heat with reigning Olympic champions Australia and world silver medallists Germany failing to qualify.