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By James Restall
The second year classicist stroked the boat in his first Olympic final which crossed the finish line third behind winners Germany and silver medalists Canada. Louloudis was rowing on familiar waters having taken up rowing at Eton in 2007.
During the race it looked like the home advantage had paid off as the Team GB boat pulled into the lead around the 1250 metre mark. Despite their magnificent effort and cheered on by thousands of supporters in the stands, the British boat fell away towards the end of race as a late surge from Canada saw our rowers beaten into third.
The Germans, who beat Britain to the automatic qualification spot for the final in the first heat earlier this week, held off their rivals to clinch the gold medal. A British triumph would have added to their three wins at this event in 1908, 1912 and most recently at the Sydney games in 2000.
The GB crew included Greg Searle, the 1992 Olympic champion in the coxed pairs. The 40-year-old returned to international rowing at the 2010 World Championships and was looking to double his Olympic gold tally in London this summer.
He told the BBC after the race: “I don’t think we could have given it anything more. We said before the race we wanted to look at ourselves in the mirror and say that we’d given it everything, and I think we did.”
He praised the “amazing” crowd which lined the Dorney Lake banks, but said his crew “didn’t have anything left” as the race entered the final 500 metres.
The Men’s Eight were unable to emulate the success of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, who secured Team GB’s first gold medal at London 2012 in the women’s pairs rowing earlier that morning.