MARLOW'S Greg Searle missed out on an historic Olympic gold medal at Dorney Lake this morning, finishing third in the men's eights.

Favourites Germany won the race, with Canada coming up in the final 500m to take silver.

For Searle, the race was his chance to make history.

In Barcelona in 1992 he won gold with his brother Johnny.

He retired from rowing after the Sydney Games but was lured back into a boat by the prospect of winning a second gold almost 20 years to the day since his first.

However, Germany have had the edge on the GB boat for the past two seasons and to have any chance of upsetting the odds the home crew needed to make a fast start.

This they did, clinging onto the Germans for the first 1,000m before edging ahead with 500m remaining.

However, that effort sapped their strength in the closing stages and instead of going up a gear towards the end like they normally do, GB were helpless as Germany pulled away and Canada reeled them in.

Searle said: "My dream didn't come completely true.

"It's been fantastic the whole time, the years leading up to the Olympics. I had an amazing rush of adrenaline when we were in the lead and we couldn't have given it any more."

Five-time Olympic gold winner Sir Steve Redgrave, also from Marlow, said: "They did everything we wanted them to do, but the Germans were hugely impressive. They were under immense pressure but were able to pull themselves away.

"They [GB] could have taken the silver. They put everything on the line for a gold medal and made us think they were going to do it at one stage.

"Yes, it's a bronze and they'll be disappointed with that, but they wanted a gold and they didn't really care after that if it was silver, bronze, fourth, fifth or sixth.

"They wanted gold and they gave it their best shot. I can't say how proud I am of them. It was a brilliant effort."