Tees

Kat Copeland felt 'no pressure' to win rowing gold

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionShe was speaking during her return to her training centre on Teesside

Rower Kat Copeland has revealed she felt "no pressure" to win Olympic gold, on her return to her training centre on Teesside.

The 21-year-old triumphed in the women's double sculls, alongside rowing partner Sophie Hosking, on 4 August.

The Ingleby Barwick athlete was greeted by a large crowd of cheering fans at Stockton's Tees Rowing Club.

Copeland wore her gold medal - Team GB's fourth rowing gold of the 2012 Games - during the homecoming.

She said she was "amazed and flattered" by her welcome.

Speaking about her win, she said: "My mind was blank when we crossed the line.

"This was because we did not feel much pressure as we were not the favourites and were not expected to win.

"I'm so flattered and amazed by the welcome I've received.

"My medal is very heavy so I've been sleeping with it beside my bed."

Since the win Copeland also revealed she had been introduced to royalty, including Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge.

She said: "Harry was lovely, so normal, and Kate didn't seem real because she was so pretty."

The chairman of Tees Rowing club and Stockton's mayor were among those who congratulated Copeland at the reception on Wednesday.

"The whole middle section of the race just seems to have been blanked from my mind", the rower added.

"Then at the last 250 metres all I thought was 'just don't mess it up'.

"I just kept shouting to Sophie 'keep it calm'. I just wanted to get it finished."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites