Rio Olympics 2016: Alan Campbell wins opening Games heat

Great Britain's Alan Campbell on his way to victory in his single sculls heat in Rio
Great Britain's Alan Campbell on his way to victory in his single sculls heat in Rio

Coleraine rower Alan Campbell started his Olympic Games bid with a an easy single sculls heat victory in Rio.

The London 2012 bronze medallist led throughout to win in 7:08.31 minutes.

Campbell, who has become the first Northern Ireland athlete to compete in four Olympic Games, goes through to the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Fellow Coleraine man Peter Chambers is through to the lightweight fours semi-finals after his crew finished second in their heat on Saturday.

Double Olympic rowing gold medalist and BBC analyst James Cracknell said: "The British fans were all on their feet to cheer Alan and he has not disappointed.

"When I spoke to him the other day, he was here for one medal - gold.

"He knows he can perform on the big stage after winning Olympic bronze in 2012 but he has to build some confidence after a couple of indifferent years."

Clare Abbott lies in a tie for 13th for Ireland following the dressage stage as she made her Olympic debut in the three-day eventing.

Hillsborough-based Abbott, who celebrated her 30th birthday last week, scored 47.00 on Europrince and 10 behind leader William Fox-Pitt of Great Britain.

There was disappointment for Ulster quartet Iain Lewers, David Ames, Ian Sloan and Mark Gleghorne as the Great Britain hockey team lost their first pool game 4-1 to Belgium.

Top Stories