CHIPPING Campden rower Matt Gotrel’s first experience of the Olympic Games proved a winning one today (Monday).
The Leamington-born 27-year-old was part of the Team GB men’s eight which won their heat earlier today in Rio de Janeiro.
The men, regarded as medal contenders, dominated their race from the start to secure their place in the final with a time of five mins 34.23 secs.
The performance of the eight – Paul Bennett, Scott Durant, Gotrel, Matt Langridge, Will Satch, Tom Ransley, Pete Reed, Andrew Hodge and cox Phelan Hill – will give them high hopes of winning gold.
The final takes place on Saturday.
Their win certainly impressed BBC pundit and double Olympic rowing gold medallist James Cracknell.
“Their win was the textbook way to row a heat – lead from the start, dominate through the middle and just watch as the other teams battle it out,” said Cracknell.
Gotrel, a former international sailor, helped the GB men’s eight to become world champions last year.