Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Eton Dorney, Windsor
Date Started: July 29, 2012
Date Finished: August 4, 2012
The Greek duo of Christina Giazitzidou and Alexandra Tsiavou were the reigning World Champions in the women’s lightweight double sculls, as well as the champions from 2009, but their prowess had waned somewhat over the past season, leaving the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics up for grabs. China’s team of Xu Dongxiang, a 2006 World Champion and twice Olympic finalist, and rookie [Wenyi Huang] had shown promise during the most recent World Cup, a tournament that saw New Zealand’s Louise Ayling and Julia Edward take home gold and set a world record time. Canada had won the 2010 World Championship and, although only Lindsay Jennerich remained from that duo, she had still captured silver at the 2011 edition with her new partner Patricia Obee. The Netherlands was the defending Olympic champion, but its lineup had changed since the 2008 Games and the nation had not been a factor at the World Championships since.
In the heats, however, a major surprise for Britain came when its duo, Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking, posted the fastest time by nearly seven seconds. Hosking was a veteran, having won four World Championship medals, including bronze in the lightweight double sculls in 2011, but Copeland was a new partner and a rookie on the senior international scene. The semifinals proved that this was not a fluke, as they once again took the top time by over three seconds. In the final Greece pushed out to an early lead, which they held until the halfway point, but the Britons fought them the entire way and, by the 1500m mark, had placed themselves in a position where they would be nearly uncatchable. Copeland and Hosking won British women’s rowing third gold medal of the 2012 Games – and ever – while the Greeks had to settle for a bronze medal after being edged out by China for silver at the line.