Olympics rowing: GB incredible - Sir Steve Redgrave on medal haul

By Lawrence BarrettoBBC Sport at Eton Dorney

Five-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave believes British rowing's record nine-medal haul at London 2012 may never be beaten.

Britain qualified for finals with all 13 boats at Eton Dorney, winning four golds, two silvers and three bronzes.

"I said last year that this was going to be the best Olympics regatta ever and the team delivered," Redgrave told BBC Sport.

"It's just an incredible performance. Can we go better? I can't see it."

British rowing's medal tally at this Olympics is one more than its previous record set at the 1908 London Games.

Team GB have made impressive progress in rowing at the Olympics over the last 16 years, winning two medals at Atlanta in 1996 and then seeing that total increase Games by Games.

Redgrave said: "When I got involved in rowing and David Tanner [the current performance director] was coaching, if we got to one Olympic final and challenged for a minor medal, that was considered to be an achievement.

"Since then, it's just got better and better."

Heather Stanning and Helen Glover started things off when they won in the women's pair to become the first British female rowers to claim Olympic gold.

Katherine Grainger, a three-time Olympic silver medallist, ended her wait for gold when she triumphed with Anna Watkins in the women's double sculls.

The men's four - Pete Reed, Andrew Triggs Hodge, Tom James, Alex Gregory - and the women's lightweight double of Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking - who only formed a partnership this year - made it four golds.

There were silvers for the men's lightweight double - Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter and lightweight four - Peter and Richard Chambers, Rob Williams and Chris Bartley.

And there were bronzes for the men's eight - Constantine Louloudis, Alex Partridge, James Foad, Tom Ransley, Ric Egington, Mo Sbihi, Greg Searle, Matt Langridge and cox Phelan Hill - the men's pair, George Nash and Williams Satch, and Alan Campbell in the men's single scull.

Only the women's eight and quadruple scull, and the men's double and quadruple scull did not collect a medal for Great Britain.

Much of the success is down to Tanner, men's head coach Jurgen Grobler and women's head coach Paul Thompson, who more than two decades ago put a long-term plan for success into place - and the rewards are coming to fruition.

"The key ingredient is experience and all three [Tanner, Grobler and Thompson] have been there and done it," said Redgrave. "The rumour is that all three will continue, which is great news for the sport.

"The reason why we are the strongest rowing nation in the world is because our support network is better than anyone else. We have great athletes - and that's taking nothing away from them - but the support team leaves no stone unturned."

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