Banner from home delights our rowers

19:51, Jul 30 2012
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Region’s support: Marlborough’s Olympic Games rowers, from left, Joseph Sullivan, Louise Trappitt, Fiona Paterson, Robbie Manson and Sean O’Neill hold up the Marlborough Express banner supporting their efforts in London.

The Marlborough Express Olympic support banner has found its way to London, and into the hands of the five Marlborough rowers in the New Zealand Olympic team.

Joseph Sullivan, Louise Trappitt, Fiona Paterson, Robbie Manson and Sean O'Neill took the opportunity, before racing began on Saturday, to check out the four-metre-long banner, covered with messages of support from proud Marlburians.

O'Neill, who raced in the heats of the coxless fours last night, told The Express that the Kiwi team were mightily impressed with the banner. "The whole rowing team got our racing row suits handed out to us by Ivan [Sutherland], and when that was done he got Joe [Sullivan] and Louise [Trappitt] to open out the banner up in front of the whole team. Everyone was blown away by all the messages on both sides and lots of the team spent time reading the messages.

"The athlete village for the rowers and kayakers is a mini version of the main village in London. It holds about 1000 athletes, so it's still pretty busy and there is a good buzz all the time.

"Most of the rowers didn't go in to the opening ceremony as it was too far away, so on Friday night a lot of teams went to dinner dressed in their number ones and there was a band and some other entertainment laid on.

"A woman turned up with an original Olympic torch from the 1948 London Games and, as our team uniform is based on the 1948 uniform, it was a nice connection to the past having our photos taken with that."

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Most interest on the telly tonight will centre on the men's double sculls semifinal, featuring Sullivan, which is scheduled to go at 11.20pm (NZ time). After their thrilling heat victory, Sullivan and partner Nathan Cohen will be keen to again stamp their mark on the field and qualify for Thursday's final.

Also in action tonight will be O'Neill's four who race a repechage at 9pm after finishing fourth in their heat last night.

Manson's quad finished first in their heat and move to a semifinal tomorrow while Paterson and partner Anna Reymer came home second in their heat and progress straight to the final on Friday. Trappitt was involved in the hard luck story of the day, her oar snapping close to the finish line and ruining her quad's chances of qualifying.

LEAVE YOUR MESSAGE OF SUPPORT FOR OUR OLYMPIANS HERE

The Marlborough Express