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North-East rower produces superb display to make Olympic semi-final
NORTH-EAST rower Kat Copeland produced a masterful display to win her heat in the lightweight double sculls and qualify for the semi-finals of the Olympic rowing competition this morning.
Copeland, who is from Ingelby Barwick and a member of Tees ARC, was partnered by Sophie Hosking, who is a former student at Durham University.
The pair won the opening heat at Eton Dorney and are the fastest qualifiers for Thursday's semi-final.
They finished two lengths clear of Denmark and New Zealand, who had filled the top two positions at the most recent World Cup in Munich, and were at least seven seconds faster than Greece and China, who won the other two heats.
"It was amazing to experience that," said Copeland, who is a reigning World Under-23 champion. "The noise of the crowd was fantastic and we were pleased with the way we rowed. We know it is going to harder as we go on though."
Durham's Jess Eddie was also in action in the women's eight, but the British crew could only finish third behind the United States and Australia.
They will now compete in Tuesday's repechage in an attempt to secure a place in the final.
"It wasn't what we wanted, but we know what we have to do to put it right," said a frank Eddie. "No one is happy with the way we performed, but if there's one race not to execute particularly successfully, I guess it's the first one."
Away from the rowing lake, Richmond swimmer Joanne Jackson was unable to make the final of the women's 400m freestyle.
Jackson, who won a bronze medal in Beijing, finished seventh in a heat that was won by fellow Brit Rebecca Adlington, who scraped into the final in eighth position.
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