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Olympic rowing: 1. Great Britain 2. Canada 3. Netherlands 4. Australia 5. Poland 6. Ukraine

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Constantine Louloudis and Mohamed Sbihi showed their class as Great Britain eased into the final of the men’s eight at Eton Dorney.

Louloudis hadn’t raced with the crew all season prior to the Games due to injury but the Eton College alumni did not disappoint in the stroke seat.

Great Britain got off to a blistering start, quickly settling to a lovely rhythm and establishing an early lead.

Louloudis, Kingston-born Sbihi and the rest of the crew looked confident as they passed the halfway point two thirds of a length ahead of Olympic champions Canada.

As the race entered its final 500 meters, Canada, Netherlands and Australia all accelerated in a last-ditch attempt to make up the ground on the leaders.

But the British crew held firm, with the crowd roaring them home as they crossed the line in first.

They will take their place in Wednesday’s final as serious contenders for the gold medal.

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