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Richard Egington going for gold in Olympic final today
RICHARD Egington will be going for gold at 12.30pm today.
His eight years of Olympic preparations will boil down to what he and his seven crewmates deliver in a five-and-a-half minute race on Lake Dorney, with the hopes of a nation behind them.
Germany, the reigning world champions and unbeaten since the Beijing Olympics finished, go into the showdown as favourites but knowing the ever improving GB boat is hot on their heels.
Egington, a former pupil of Lymm High School who started his career with Warrington Rowing Club, and his crew were second fastest to Germany in qualifying and were buoyed by pushing them to the wire in Saturday's heat one before winning the repechage on Monday.
The 33-year-old's first Olympic cycle concluded with a silver medal in the men's eight in Beijing and he was inspired back on to the water because of the elusive gold.
Egington, whose family home is in High Legh, spent 2009 to 2011 in the men's four boat and is a current world champion of that discipline.
Chief coach Jurgen Groebler made brave tactical changes after the British Championships earlier this year, which included switching the Leander ace back to the eight.
Mixed performances in the pre-Olympic World Cup series were indicative of the new-look eight learning to work together as well as stroke Constantine Louloudis being absent through injury.
They got to within half a length of the Germans in their first ever race as a full-strength eight in Saturday's heat.
It was a signal of intent from the British and it will be fascinating to see if the Germans can respond to the shot across their bow when the oars hit the water.
TeamGB know that Germany make a habit of blowing away the opposition over the first 500m of a 2,000m course and a good start will be key to success.
But also the competition should not be ignored from current Olympic champions Canada, heat two winners USA, Australia, and Netherlands, who are all capable on their day of pushing TeamGB out of the medals.