Polly Swann: ‘Anything possible’ in gold medal hunt in Rio

Polly Swann and the women's eight on the way to victory in their heat on Monday. Picture: Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images]
Polly Swann and the women's eight on the way to victory in their heat on Monday. Picture: Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images]
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Polly Swann believes “anything is possible” for the women’s eight after they stormed into the Olympic final.

The crew paced their race to perfection on Monday, coming from behind to see off the challenge of New Zealand and Canada.

Alongside cox Zoe de Toledo, Frances Houghton, Katie Greves, Melanie Wilson, Jessica Eddie, Olivia Carnegie-Brown, Karen Bennett and Zoe Lee, Swann will now be going for gold in the final on Saturday.

The Lancaster-born 2013 world women’s pair champion said: “I think we’re all really pleased.

“We maybe didn’t get the fastest start compared to other crews.

“They worked pretty hard to jump out at us at the start, but coming through that middle kilometre, we know we’re strong in the finish.

“We could just feel the other boats around us were working too hard and we knew we were coming through.

“At 750m to go I thought we had it wrapped up.

“We have specific processes that we work towards. Take away the banners, take away the Olympics and everything else, we’re a group of nine girls trying to get the fastest from A-to-B.

“That’s how we managed it and we didn’t let the atmosphere of what’s going on around us affect us.

“We stayed relaxed in our rhythm and I think that’s why we can get the best out of ourselves in the last kilometre.”

Swann, based in Edinburgh, is at her first Olympics after missing London 2012 agonisingly through injury.

She said: “I obviously missed London with a back injury, so this has been six years in the making.

“I think maybe I feel it a bit more than the other girls and I can appreciate the fact that I am here.

“I’m savouring every moment because it was so brutal four years ago.

“I really struggled with that loss but it means that this is so much greater.

“The crew that we have is so strong, the girls are sassy, incredible girls and anything is possible for us.”

The USA, unbeaten in major championships since 2006, look to be their main rivals for gold.