Rowing for gold! Jess Eddie and Karen Bennett help women’s eight breeze through to Rio 2016 final

South west London rowers Jess Eddie and Karen Bennett helped the Great Britain women’s eight to a domineering victory in heat two to automatically progress to Saturday’s final.

After the entire rowing programme was cancelled yesterday due to strong winds, the race was one of the first in a hectic schedule of 30 races on Monday.

Eddie, a member of the London Rowing Club, and Bennett, who attended St Mary’s University, were seated in the fifth and second positions respectively, and were also members of the crew who helped Great Britain to the 2016 European Championship title.

The GB boat started tentatively, slipping behind both New Zealand and Canada at the 500m mark.

In what was a tight race through much of the contest, New Zealand had pulled out a half-length lead at the midway stage.

It was in the third quarter that Great Britain made the decisive move, pulling almost a full length clear of the other two crews as they slipped into a powerful rhythm.

GB eventually finished in six minutes nine seconds, winning the heat in impressive fashion to join the USA in Saturday’s final.

The losing crews will get another chance to advance in Wednesday’s repechage.

Bennett and Eddie, along with the rest of the GB crew, will be pleased with their emphatic victory, and look in fine shape to challenge for the medals.

They now stand just one race from a historic Olympic gold, which would be Britain’s first in the event.

Image courtesy of the BBC, with thanks

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