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Kat Copeland from Ingleby Barwick, near Stockton, prepares for lightweight double sculls
BUOYANT: Kat Copeland and Sophie Hosking (wearing cap) after winning their heat in the lightweight double sculls. Picture: Chris Booth
THE North-East will be aiming for its first gold medal today when Kat Copeland takes to the water in the lightweight double sculls.
Copeland, who along with her race partner Sophie Hosking qualified fastest for the final at Eton Dorney, is in with a good chance of finishing on the podium when the race gets under way at 10am.
The 21-year-old, from Ingleby Barwick, near Stockton, is a member of Tees Amateur Rowing Club and members will be turning out in force this morning to hopefully cheer her home to a golden glory.
Having stamped their authority on the Olympic competition with a superb display in Sunday’s opening round, the pair were even more impressive as they cruised to victory in Thursday’s semi-final.
Last night, Steve Barker, vice chairman of Tees Amateur Rowing Club, said members would be gathering at the Davenport Hotel, Middleton-One-Row, near Darlington, in anticipation.
He said: “It will be an extremely big day for the club. Kat is the very first Olympian to come out of the club and she could be the first woman from the North- East to win a gold.
“We are all really proud of her. It will be really emotional, especially for some of the women who have rowed with her, but we are delighted with the way she has rowed.
“When you first see her you wonder how she is able to row so well because she is so petite, but when you see her on the water you just think ‘wow’.”
Dozens of members and supporters will descend on the hotel to urge on the Olympic hopeful.
Hotel manager Jamie Oates said: “We are expecting 30 people in the hotel to watch the race, the club regularly hosts events here, but this will be something special.
“We already have the champagne bottles ready in anticipation. It’s going to be a really busy day for all of our staff with a wedding taking place on the afternoon, but we are really looking forward to it.”
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