Putney’s Phelan Hill leads as men’s eight blow rivals out of the water to secure spot in Rio 2016 final

The experience of Molesey Boat Club’s Andy Triggs-Hodge helped earn the men’s eight an easy victory in the first heat today, giving them straight passage to the final.

The British men’s eight won with a time of 5:34.23, looking relaxed and powerful throughout the race.

After a strong start, the British eight led their closest rivals the Netherlands by a quarter of a length at the 500m mark.

By the half-way point they were a full length clear, a distance they maintained to the finish despite the Dutch boat’s renowned speed over the last 1,000m.

Leander Boat Club’s Phelan Hill, who lives in Putney, coxed the men’s eight to a bronze in London 2012 and is looking for more success with the eight in Rio.

With the leadership of two-time Olympic Champion in the men’s coxless four Triggs-Hodge, the GB team will feel confident going into the final.

“It was a good heat, the rowing was good, we did what we needed to do today,” said Triggs-Hodge

“Today we saw a glimmer of what we’re capable of.”

Reigning Olympic and European champions Germany won their heat with ease, but finished with a time of 5:38:22, nearly a full four seconds slower than the British.

Netherlands, Italy and New Zealand will meet USA and Poland in the repechage.

Image courtesy of the BBC, with thanks

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