OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Eddie holds head high with fifth
By Tom Reynolds, Sportsbeat, London 2012
JESS Eddie’s London 2012 campaign ended in tears as she and the rest of the Great Britain’s eight came home fifth in yesterday’s final – but she insists she leaves the Olympics with her head held high.
NOT QUITE THERE: Team GB women's eight faced tough competitors but can take pride in making the final
The women’s eight have, in truth, struggled throughout at Eton Dorney, finishing third out of four in their heat and then sneaking through the repechage by claiming the fourth and last available spot.
In the final, their indifferent form continued and while a reasonably strong finish ensured they equalled their Beijing 2008 finish and avoided last place in the race, the Brits were out of it at the halfway stage.
The USA continued their remarkable unbeaten streak which stretches back six years while Canada and the Netherlands completed the podium.
And while 27-year-old Eddie admits the Brits, the 2011 world bronze medallists, arrived at London 2012 convinced they were capable of challenging for the podium, she conceded they got what they deserved on Thursday.
“It was a really tough regatta for us and we didn't come here and bring our best but we are really proud of the way we rowed in the final and that's we all we could do,” said Eddie.
“I am really proud of the girls. Of course we wanted to stand on that podium at our home Games but if we didn't start the regatta on the front foot we would have always been on the back foot.
“I think we really put ourselves in that race and that's the most I can ask of myself and the other girls in the crew.
“We had a really, really hard job two days ago entering this final ranked sixth and we worked so hard in trying to turn ourselves around.
“And as much as you want to tell yourself that you're one of the best rowers in the world – it is easier said than done.
“Having eight in the boat makes it one of the best sports when it does go right, when you have got everyone on the same page. But when it is not right it's a very trick beast to row.”
Even in the aftermath of defeat, Eddie was quick to pay tribute to golden girls Heather Stanning and Helen Glover who became the first Brits to top the podium across the entire Games on Wednesday with victory in the pair.
But she also revealed how desperate she was to follow them onto the Olympic podium.
“We watched what the guys did yesterday. We said last night and this morning that we were so proud of Helen and Heather and the other guys,” added Eddie.
“We train alongside them every day and we know how good we are, and we knew that we were in the medal hunt compared to those crews and we gave it everything we could out there.”
© Sportsbeat 2012