2012 World Rowing Male Crew of the Year
James Thompson, Matthew Brittain, John Smith, Sizwe Lawrence Ndlovu
As the first African rowing team to win Olympic gold in rowing, Matthew Brittain, John Smith, Sizwe Lawrence Ndlovu and James Thompson brought rowing into South Africa's public consciousness. The lightweight men's four had an outstanding Olympic final, taking on the mighty Danish crew as well as the Australian World Champion crew and the highly regarded British.
In the closely fought final, South Africa won at the line by out-sprinting their competition. All members of the crew were first-time Olympians but, with the help of their coach Paul Jackson, they managed to hold their perspective and keep cool heads in front of 25,000 screaming spectators at the beautiful Eton Dorney Olympic rowing course.
Stroke and most experienced crew member, Ndlovu became the first black African rower to win Olympic gold.
* Article supplied by Wimpie J du Plessis, President Rowing South Africa.