02/Sep/2014 - Last News Update: 21:57

Alan Campbell wins bronze in single sculls Olympic final

Category: Northern Ireland

Published: 3rd Aug 2012 14:04:05

Northern Ireland's Alan Campbell has won bronze in the Olympic final of the men's single sculls race.

He is the third rower from Coleraine in County Londonderry to win a medal over the past 24 hours, with the Chambers brothers taking silver on Thursday.

After the race, an exhausted Campbell said that having three medal winners from one town was "pretty exceptional".

It is the first time a team from Great Britain and Northern Ireland has won a medal in the single sculls since 1928.

Campbell appeared completely spent in his post-race interview race and was helped to the medal ceremony by Sir Steve Redgrave.

The 29-year-old broke down in tears as he was presented with his medal, overwhelmed with emotion.

Speaking to BBC Sport, he said he had trained for a decade for this moment and was "really pleased" and "very proud".

"It's another medal for our wee part of the country - the Chambers brothers yesterday with the silver, myself with the bronze and I'm proud to be from there and proud to represent all parts of the British Isles.

"To have three medals from the one town is pretty exceptional and I'm very happy about that," he said.

His parents, William and Jenny Campbell, were in Eton Dorney for the final and said they were "delighted".

His father said: "He was up against the big guns today and now he is one of the big guns - he's fantastic."

Mrs Campbell told BBC Sport that she had "screamed the whole way" to support her son during the race.

"I just willed him on. I knew we could and I told the crowd that we could do this," she said.

The Coleraine man took up the sport while he was still at secondary school and has now been involved in rowing for 16 years.

His mother added: "I did think he had it in him and he felt he had it in him and we had to go with that. He'd felt confident that he was a medal winner today and we're just so delighted.

"It was a gutsy, gutsy performance because Alan Campbell is not the tallest in that field of single scullers. He's dwarfed by all the other guys and so he really has to work hard to get there and I think he worked hard to get there today," she said.

New Zealand's Mahe Drysdale took the gold medal in the final ahead of Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic.

"Two guys were quicker than me today and I did everything I could," Campbell said.

Just hours before the final, the competitors' race positions were reallocated and the Coleraine man was moved to a more disadvantageous lane.

Race conditions in lane 3 are believed to be more difficult than his original lane 5 position, as it is affected by to cross winds over the the last 500m.

The lanes were redrawn to reflect the competitors' semi final performances.

On Thursday, Coleraine brothers, Richard and Peter Chambers, narrowly missed out on Olympic gold in the lightweight men's four final, having had to contend with difficult wind conditions in their lane.

Campbell had been widely tipped for a medal ahead of Friday's final, having finished second in his semi final on Wednesday.

In 2003, he gave up a university degree course and Army training to dedicate himself to his rowing career.

He competed his first Olympics in Athens in 2004 and made it through to the final four years later.

He came fifth in Beijing, an impressive performance considering that he had suffered a knee infection prior to the Games which meant he almost didn't make the team.

Since the last Olympics, he has picked up a silver and two bronze medals in three successive World Championships.

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Alan Campbell wins bronze in single sculls Olympic final [Online] (Updated 3rd Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1444350/Alan-Campbell-wins-bronze-in-single-sculls-Olympic-final [Accessed 2nd Sep 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Scottish independence: Referendum race 'may have got tighter'

    For the past three or four months or so, the referendum race has looked as though it was stalled.
  • Ebola response lethally inadequate, says MSF

    A global military intervention is needed to curb the largest ever Ebola outbreak, according to the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres.
  • Apple confirms accounts compromised but denies security breach

    Apple has confirmed that some celebrities' iCloud accounts were broken into, but says it has found no evidence that this was caused by a breach of its security systems.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Apple confirms accounts compromised but denies security breach

    Apple has confirmed that some celebrities' iCloud accounts were broken into, but says it has found no evidence that this was caused by a breach of its security systems.
  • No prosecution over Druids' Ardoyne Fleadh comments

    There will be no prosecutions over complaints about the performance of a folk band at the Ardoyne Fleadh last month.