Campbell confident ahead of semi final

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Alan Campbell looked confident and happy after strolling to victory in his men’s single sculls quarter-final.

Looking better than he has done all season the Coleraine rower moved ahead of German Marcel Hacker in the early stages and was never seriously challenged again finishing in a time of 6:52.10, which was also the quickest of the four races.

Campbell, pictured above with his parents William and Jennifer, explained, “It was a real confidence booster.

“I feel in very good form but I have to keep a lid on it,

“I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself and get too over excited but when it comes to the final the gloves are off and I’m going to go out there and fight.”

After a poor world cup season in which he never showed anywhere close to his best form Campbell arrived here slightly under the radar but having been beaten by Hacker last time out in Munich he wanted to redress the balance.

“I’m really happy with that, really pleased.

“In my last world cup race in Munich I finished behind Marcel and I felt I was better than that and now I’ve put that to rest and I’m ready to race this semi-final tomorrow.”

He added: “It’s one of those things that all the training has been for this week and its been frustrating whenever we’ve been doing other races because we haven’t wound down for them.

“And therefore we haven’t been able to be at our best for them because this is what its been all for.

“From that point of view it’s been very hard because you always want to put in your best performance every time you race.

“And I now feel like I am performing at my best and that’s why I’m enjoying it.”

As the regatta reaches the final stages all thirteen GB boats are still in contention and Campbell puts that down to the home support.

There wasn’t an empty seat at Eton Dorney yesterday as 26,000 cheered every British boat home.

“The crowd is incredible, the last 750m is just a wall of noise.

“They talk about the empty seats in all of the venues, It’s because everyone is here, they’ve all come to the rowing.

“It’s a fantastic event, we’ve seen world records broken and it’s phenomenal to be part of it.

“The support I’ve had, the emails, the text messages and the phone calls have been second to none and I’m over the moon.

“I have some fantastic supporters win or lose and it really does make the difference.”

“When things get tough the people cheering you really does help.

“All the athletes in the Team GB are loving the support.

In today’s semi-final Campbell wanted to race his great friend and rival Maher Dry dale from New Zealand but will have to wait for the final on Friday.

Instead he’ll race the world silver medalist from last year Andrej Sine from the Czech Republic with Tim Mayans of Belgium likely to challenge.

The top three will make the final.