Tom won his first Olympic medal in the GB 4-. He writes his own blog, Tom James. He remembers his nerves about the final and writes about the race plan.
It's been a while since I've left a post on my blog. I found trying to write during the week leading up to our final quite hard and didn't particularly want to give too much away either. After our semi on the Wednesday we found ourselves in a very good position to feel that we could win and since that day I had been feeling pretty emotional and nervous about the final. It's a very daunting and horrible time before an Olympic final, it doesn't make me want to do it again.
…anyway, come the final last Saturday, somehow, god only knows how, we actually won and in a way which I still can't believe. It's not even close to being a reality. I just see a nicely coloured piece of metal, with a red silk ribbon, lying on the desk by my bed which says Olympic Champion and for some reason I still can't make the connection that it's referring to me.
Our plan was to at least be in the lead by 1000m, half way. We felt if we were in control at that point then no one would beat us. We also new that there were a lot of under dogs in that race who had already knocked out all the medallists from last years World Championships: Gold, Silver and Bronze had not made the final. So we didn't want to give them a sniff. In fact many of the favourites had gone out in earlier rounds from other events too so we were very conscious about the abilities of the crews we were racing. There was going to be at least one crew who was going to go out hard and try and lead us. It happened to be the Australians. At 1000m they had about 3s on us and not because we hadn't been trying. From anyone watching the race we were certainly on the back foot, but coming past half way we did a lift and started to move slightly. However it wasn't until 500m to go that we had got back to within a couple of seconds but certainly not within easable reach. Finally though coming into the last 250m we found another gear we didn't think we had and somehow we went past them in the last 100m.
So now I'm sitting back in the Olympic Village with my feet up trying to relax and take it all in. I think it'll be another two weeks at least before it registers that we've won but until then I'm just going to enjoy having a lie in for once.