Tanner confident GB will shine

27 July 2012 / 08:17

Great Britain's rowers are ready to make these Olympic Games their most successful since London 1908, according to performance director David Tanner.

The action begins at Eton Dorney on Saturday morning with Britain's unprecedented 48-strong team aiming to retain their crown as the leading Olympic rowing nation.

To achieve that, Tanner believes Britain's minimum requirement is to match the six medals - two gold, two silver and two bronze - they won at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

That was enough to put Britain top of the medal table but the ambition and the expectation within GB Rowing is for more in London, including a first ever Olympic gold medal for a British women's crew.

"I feel that we are in very, very good shape. This is the best team we have brought to a Games - a team within a team - and I am confident that we will deliver on the water," Tanner said. "We have all arrived healthy and we are ready to go.

"The training camps (since the Munich World Cup regatta) have gone very, very well. We went away to do a lot of work and that was done successfully.

"Dorney has been transformed. The thought of having 26,000 people coming here for racing at 9.30 in the morning is thrilling. We have to do our job on the water."

For the first time ever, it is Britain's women who are carrying the rowing flag into the Olympics.

The regatta opens with heats for the women's pair, with Helen Glover and Heather Stanning favourites to win gold after dominating the World Cup series.

World double scull champions Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins come into the Olympics on the back of a 21-race unbeaten streak and they are also hot favourites for gold.