Peter Lambert of the Old Edwardian Boat Club made history yesterday when he became the first South African to win the Diamond Scull race at the Henley Royal Regatta.
He beat Graeme Thomas of Great Britain in the final.
On Saturday, Lambert, who was seeded second, became the first South African to reach the final of the prestigious event.
“It was actually Thomas who powered out at the start taking a small lead on Peter,” said Lambert’s coach, Dustyn Butler.
“But after the quarter mile mark, Peter settled into a powerful rhythm with a longer stroke, overtaking Thomas and he never looked back.
“He won comfortably by over three boat lengths and South Africans can be proud because the Henley Royal Regatta is considered to be the most famous regatta in the world,” said Butler.
The President of the South African rowing selection and training committee, Paolo Cavalieri, himself a Barcelona Olympic rower, said Lambert’s achievement was a good sign for the Olympic Games later this month.
“Rowing is one of the five sports likely to do us proud in London with a medal. Our Lightweight Four won a silver medal at the World Cup Regatta in Switzerland a month ago and they were rowing against teams they will be facing in London. So we’re confident South Africans will have a medal to celebrate from our rowers,” said Cavalieri.