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21 Aug 2004
Athens 2004

Evers-Swindell sisters reach twin peaks in double sculls

Rowers Georgina and Caroline Evers-Swindell were not just sisters, but identical twins who had come to dominate the women’s double scjulls. The 25-year-old Australian siblings had won two world titles and arrived in Athens as world record holders off the back of the back of a three-year winning streak. There were arguably no hotter favourites for gold at the Games.

In the first round, they made what had appeared to be a tricky match-up against British pair Sarah Winkless and Elise Laverick look relatively easy, and cruised their way into the final with four seconds to spare.

They then faced a much stiffer test in the form of German pairing Britta Oppelt and Peggy Waleska. The Australians had opened up a comfortable lead over the first half of the race, but Oppelt and Waleska then began clawing back the deficit during the final 500m. Less experienced and cool-headed competitors might have panicked, but the twins held their nerve and powered across the line almost one second ahead of the German pair.

The pair went on to retain their title in Beijing four years later, after a thrilling race against another German pair, Annekatrin Thiele and Christiane Huth. They announced their retirement soon after, aged just 29, with each of them getting married to fellow rowers the following year.

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