Martin Cross |

‘I thank my lucky stars I was involved in that race. It was the perfect kind of rowing race’

Continuing our series celebrating some of the most dramatic Olympic and Paralympic finals since 2000, Martin Cross revisits the 2004 Games in Athens where the winners of the men’s four final was decided by eight-hundredths of a second

Alan Green, my BBC Radio 5 Live co-commentator, held his head in his hands. He had just called the 2004 final of the men’s fours for Britain ahead of Canada. But re-watching both crews surge for the line in search of Olympic gold, Green wasn’t so sure. He thought the Canadians had won. To be fair to Green many spectators were in the same position. That final was a magical contest that had ebbed and flowed down the course. And the drama of that race was equalled by the events leading up to it, notably with the British losing their key ‘three’ man, Alex Partridge, just six weeks before the Games.

I recently spoke to Ed Coode and Jake Wetzel. Both men rowed in the three-seat in that race on Lake Schinias. Ed retired after Athens, while Jake later went on to win gold with the Canadian eight in Beijing. They both relished talking about that historic encounter in 2004 and the events that surrounded it.

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