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Sara Hendershot Just Misses Out on Olympic Medal in Rowing Final

The Simsbury native and her partner finish fourth in the Women's Pair competition.

Under cloudy skies at Eton Dorney, Simsbury's Sara Hendershot and her rowing partner just missed out on a medal in the women's pair rowing final, coming in fourth after a strong surge in the second half of the race.

Over 100 people gathered early Wednesday morning at to watch Hendershot compete. Cheers filled the amphitheater throughout the race and the excitement erupted as Hendershot and her rowing partner, Sarah Zelenka, held their own in a close race.

"It's just so exciting. We're so proud of Sara, her family, and the crew team and the program here," First Selectman Mary Glassman said. "Just getting to the Olympics is such a wonderful accomplishment."

Great Britain dominated the race and never lost an early lead. At the very end of the race, the Australian and New Zealand teams fought for silver and bronze with the American team. As they crossed the finish line, it was Australia second, New Zealand third, and the American team fourth.

1 Great Britain 7:27.13 2 Australia 7:29.86 3 New Zealand 7:30.19 4 USA 7:30.39 5 Romania 7:37.67 6 Germany 7:42.06

Although the crowd was disappointed for Hendershot, their pride was not diminished.

"The fact that she got to the Olympics and got to the final is just super incredible," Simsbury crew girls head coach Mark Raymond said. "They were .02 out of a medal, that's pretty good."

"It was awesome, she went for it," Simsbury boys crew head coach Ann Carabillo said.

Hendershot and her rowing parner, Sarah Zelenka took a close second place finish in their heat on Saturday topped only by Great Britain to the surprise of Olympic officials.

The pair competed in Wednesday's final event against British pair Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown of Australia, Kate Hornsey and Sarah Tait of New Zealand, Kerstin Hartmann and Marlene Senig of Germany, and Georgeta Andrunache and Viorica Susanu of Romania.

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