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Penzance Rower Wins Gold

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5:30am 2nd August 2012
(Updated 5:30am 2nd August 2012)

Penzance rower Helen Glover has won Britain's first gold medal at the Olympics.  

She and partner Heather Stanning stormed to victory in the final of the women's pairs.olympics

The pair had set a new Olympic record in their first heat and have now become the first female British champions in the history of the sport.

Helen has thanked all her supporters across the UK and here in Cornwall: "I woke up this morning and thought this could be the best day of my life and it is.

"I'm still a little bit dazed by it to be honest. It's all just been such a whirlwind but I'm so proud of what we've done; I'm so happy.

"Four years ago when I watched it on the TV I was in Nottingham, I'd been rowing for a couple of months and I was still falling out of the boat and watching these incredible Olympians race down the track and knowing that I'd given myself four years to get there and try and make it to the top and there's so many people to thank for that, I've got a great support network."

Team GB Rowing Performance Director David Tanner says Helen has come a long way: "Helen famously watched the Beijing races having perhaps paddled a stroke or two, and said 'my goodness, is that really the sport I've signed myself up for', because she was a runner before."

Supporters from Helen's hometown gathered to watch her triumph at Penzance Hockey Club.

Fellow hockey player Kelly Thomas had tears rolling down her cheeks when she watched her primary school friend cross the line: "Helen is a real hard-working, real lovely girl. She's an all-rounder. Whatever sport she's done she's been really dedicated. What else can I say about her? She's lovely."

Kate Finch was Helen's P.E. teacher for five years at Humphrey Davy School: "Very dedicated, very hard-working, very teachable, very determined to always try and put into practice whatever you encouraged her to do.

"The Olympic flame came to Cornwall in a Davy lamp and a Humphrey Davy girl's just won the first gold medal. We're just so proud of her."

David Cameron has tweeted that he is "delighted", while St Ives' MP tweeted that "the whole of west Cornwall is mighty proud of Penzance golden girl Helen."

5:30am 2nd August 2012

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