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Andy Hodge eases into Saturday men's four final
Skipton's Andy Hodge today helped Great Britain's men's four comfortably qualify for Saturday's final at Eton Dorney.
Hodge, Pete Reed, Tom James and Alex Gregory soon went into second place behind arch gold-medal rivals Australia and built up a handy buffer in one of the three qualification places.
However, the British quartet proved a point by upping their stroke rate in the latter stages to overtake the green and gold and win a thrilling first semi-final.
Great Britain were a length down but rowed past the Australians with a massive push in the last 500 metres to complete a confidence-boosting victory.
Britain are looking to extend their golden dynasty in the men's four to 16 years following Olympic triumphs in Sydney, Athens and Beijing.
Australia claimed after winning the Munich World Cup regatta in June that their tactic of leading from the front had "scared the hell" out of Britain.
Today's performance from the British crew will have gone a long way to debunk that claim - and it set up another sensational showdown for gold on Saturday.
Men's Four Semi-final A/B 1: 1 Great Britain 5min 58.26sec (Q), 2 Australia 5:59.23 (Q), 3 Netherlands 6:03.71 (Q), 4 Italy 6:05.00, 5 Belarus 6:05.26, 6 Serbia 6:07.41.
Men's Four Semi-final A/B 2: 1 United States 6min 1.72sec (Q), 2 Greece 6:02.61 (Q), 3 Germany 6:04.61 (Q), 4 New Zealand 6:06.36, 5 Canada 6:08.90, 6 Romania 6:12.74.