MATTHEW Langridge is set for an Olympic medal.
The oarsman and his crewmates in the British rowing eight will contest the Sunday morning final (8.30 BST), taking on world champions Canada for the gold medal.
They won their heat on Monday – a race delayed 24 hours because of rain in Beijing – in comfort and in a faster time than Canada won theirs.
But the British crew are refusing to get carried away by their prospects.
Northwich Rowing Club product Langridge, 24, said: "I am quite pleased. We had the race under control and we are quietly confident and relaxed."
Dad Steve was lakeside and added: "Matthew never gives much away, but there is a good feeling in the crew. They know they rowed well. They were excellent and I think Matthew was pleased with his own performance.
"They were worried about the American boat who, for them, were an unknown quantity."
Langridge Jnr rowed at two as Britain clocked 5mins 25.89 and were a length up on the US, who won the event in Athens.
How significant were the times will be seen on Sunday, for favourites Canada were nearly two seconds slower.
They may have been under less pressure but it still points to a Canada-GB showdown for the gold – unless the Americans find a sudden surge of form in today’s repecharge. They remain a danger, while other countries do not seem in the same class.
At 500m Britain were half a second down on the US and China, but from about 650m Langridge and co flew into a lead and dominated the race.
While Canada may have under-performed, Britain too seemed to have more in reserve.
Assuming a first three place, former world junior sculling champion Langridge would be the first Mid Cheshire athlete to win an Olympic medal since hurdler Shirley Strong, who won a silver at Los Angeles in 1984.