Second gold for Great Britain at Worlds
Britain won its second gold of the World Rowing Championships in Gifu, Japan, today when the women’s quadruple scull edged out Germany to win in 6:09.59.
Germany, usually dominant in this boat class, had even added their female equivalent of Sir Matthew Pinsent – Kathrin Boron with eight world titles and four Olympic golds to her name – to the boat in an attempt to secure victory.
It was ironic then that it was Boron’s mis-stroke just a few hundred metres from the line which showed how much pressure the British were applying.
Katherine Grainger, meanwhile, also made history b becoming the only British woman ever to have held two world titles. She won the women’s pair with Cath Bishop in 2003.
The British men’s and women’s eights also stepped up their game here to finish fourth and fifth respectively today in the finals.
Britain’s other medal of the day came from the lightweight women’s quadruple scull who took a bronze. This was an extremely positive result from a crew which has been formed in the past seven weeks.
"The women’s quad’s victory today was a great step forward for our women’s team, building on our three medals in Athens last year", said David Tanner, GB Team Manager today.
"The thrilling final for our women’s quad allowed them to show their real class today and the style in which they rowed through the talented German boat can give us all pride in what they have done. For three of the crew it’s their first world champs title and a huge step forward for GB women’s rowing", he added.
"Our other boats today did GB proud. With every single boat gaining at least a top eight placing and a fine bronze medal being won in the women’s lightweight quad.
"This is a squad with talent for the future and a special congratulations to Hester Goodsell like Zac Purchase adding a world senior medal to her world U23 gold last month.
"Our two eights were out of the medals today but showed great form. Our women are our future eight of them at their first worlds and never before has a GB women’s eight finished so close to the gold. Our men in fourth place showed what they have promised but not previously achieved this season and put themselves in touching distance of the medal rostrum. All in all a good day for GB Rowing".
Today’s medals came after the men’s four gold, lightweight men’s single silver and adaptive (disability) four gold of yesterday, bringing GB Rowing’s total for the event to three golds, a silver and a bronze.
"The GB Rowing team have demonstrated great professionalism and commitment by remaining focussed and producing medal performances. We are all extremely proud to support a British sport that continues to go from strength to strength on their journey to Beijing", Dianne Thompson, Chief Executive, Camelot.
Britain will host the next World Championships at Eton in August 2006, using the London 2012 Olympic course. Organising Committee Chairman, Mike Baldwin, received the World Rowing Federation flag during today’s Closing Ceremony.
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Britain, already overall world cup champions this year, opened their women’s quadruple scull final this morning knowing that Russia and Germany would be the main threats.
At the 500m mark the British quartet of Katherine Grainger, Sarah Winckless, Fran Houghton and Rebecca Romero had managed to squeeze a fraction of a second lead. By the 1000m mark they had been pulled back, by Germany who were racing at a slightly slower stroke rate. Ukraine and Russia were third and fourth.
Drama then struck late in the second half of the race when the great Kathrin Boron, four times Olympic gold medallist, caught a crab to stall slightly the German onslaught – such was the pressure this normally dominating nation felt.
The British quartet pounced on the advantage and just when it appeared that the Germans would lengthen out their lead slightly again, the British combination responded superbly with a surge to the line to take the title 0.34 ahead of the Germans who have for so long dominated this event.
Scotland’s Katherine Grainger therefore became the only British woman ever to have held two world titles in Olympic events. She was world pair champion in 2003 with Cath Bishop and is also twice an Olympic silver medallist.
"I don’t think about those kind of things when I’m racing but it’s still nice to know and to have that record", said the talented athlete later.
Sarah Winckless added: "Coming into the event we knew we had lost to the Russians in Lucerne and that the Germans had strengthened their boat with Boron who wanted this to be her thirteenth world or Olympic title but we wanted the win as much as her. I have drawn huge inspiration here from how we have worked as a team. The way we come together in a race makes us achieve more than the sum of the individual parts".
Winckless also paid tribute to the women’s squad as a whole: "We’ve got a really exciting women’s squad now in Britain. I know the eight were disappointed today but they are a truly exciting group of women and should be watched. Annie Vernon was also ninth in her first senior regatta and the women’s double will bounce back".
By contrast with the experienced British women’s quadruple scull boat, the GB women’s eight is just starting out as a group at senior level. This is a crew which has huge potential and one who had already done well to reach the starting line of the final.
For the first 1000m of today’s final they held their own in fourth place, tracking the leaders.
By 1500m they had sustained the effort and were still within three seconds of the leaders. In an astonishing fight to the line the Australians took the title, beating the Olympic champions from Romania to win. The Dutch were third.
Britain was still challenging but had slipped back marginally from fourth to fifth. Only three seconds separated the top five crews in this final.
The British men’s eight rose to the occasion today. This is a crew which had beaten the 2003 world champions, Canada, to book their seat in the final but one which, if they were honest, knew that a medal might be beyond their asking. Not that this stopped them giving it their all and coming very close.
At 1000m they were lying in fifth. By 1500m they had hauled themselves up into fourth and there they stayed, clinging onto their position by dint of sheer, raw effort and a few fractions of a second.
The race was won by Olympic champions, the USA, with Italy in silver and Germany in bronze. Britain, just two seconds off bronze, kept Poland at bay to take fourth in a dramatic finish with the official timers taking a delay before posting the official result.
Army Captain Tanya Brady said that the British lightweight women’s quadruple scull final went to plan today. The crew attacked the middle 1000m of the race and played to their strengths.
Canada were early leaders but the British were tenacious in holding second place throughout the first half. Denmark, though, has a huge tradition for producing good lightweight crews and their lightweight quad were no exception today. Gradually they overhauled the British and set about chasing the Canadians only failing to do so by 0.82 to take second ahead of Britain in third.
"We always knew a medal was achievable for this crew", said Lorna Norris afterwards. "But we’re very happy still to be taking one home with us".
B FINAL REPORTS
British crews won three of the five B finals in which they featured today.
The young British men’s quadruple scull needed a good result in the B Final here today to restore some pride and give impetus to their winter training programme.
They set about their business in style and, by halfway had created a length’s lead between them and the other crews. In the final 500m they never looked seriously troubled and won in 5:43.95 to pick up seventh place overall.
Mark Hunter and James Lindsay-Fynn were leaders in the lightweight men’s double scull when their B Final race reached the three-quarter point. In this tough Olympic discipline they held on to win in 6:16.02 despite a screaming crowd roaring on their Japanese opposition in the final few strokes. The margin of victory was just 0.17 seconds. This was their best scull of the championships, giving them seventh place overall.
Greece had the lightweight women’s scull B Final in their grasp from start to finish today. Behind them Helen Casey and Jennifer Goldsack produced a consistent race and had enough in the tank at the end to hold off the fast-finishing Italians to take second place and finish eighth overall here.
All six crews were virtually abreast for the first half of the lightweight men’s four B Final today. At 1500m the Russians had emerged as leaders with the USA second and Britain in third. But it was still anyone’s race. Then South Africa appeared from the pack to take a late lead which they held to the line.
The British quartet of Mike Hennessy, Nick English, Simon Jones and Dave Currie surged through the final 100m to seize second here today and eighth place overall. The USA were third.
Daniel Harte and Paul Mattick produced a good start to their B final this morning. By 500m they were in the lead. At 1000m they had created more than a second’s gap on the chasing Dutch and held this to the three-quarter point with the French now in second. The battle to the line was tense with the French closing with every stroke before the British sealed victory by 0.15 seconds to take seventh place overall at the regatta.
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RESULTS DAY SIX
(Races involving British crews only)
1. Australia 5:58.10
2. Romania 5:59.50
3. Netherlands 5:59.61
4. USA 5:59.88
5. Beth Rodford/Natasha Page/Anna Bebington/
Carla Ashford/Natasha Howard/Jessica Eddie/
Katie Greves/Alison Knowles/Caroline O’Connor (cox)
6. Germany 6:04.37
1. USA 5:22.75
2. Italy 5:24.01
3. Germany 5:25.66
4. Simon Fieldhouse/Tom Stallard/Jonno Devlin/Richard
Egington/Josh West/Henry Bailhache-Webb/Tom
Parker/Kieran West/Acer Nethercott (cox)
(GREAT BRITAIN) 5:27.57
5. Poland 5:27.61
6. Russia 5:30.83
1. Canada 6:19.87
2. Denmark 6:20.69
3. Tanya Brady/Lorna Norris/Hester Goodsell/Naomi
Hoogesteger (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:22.49
4. France 6:26.71
5. Netherlands 6:27.90
6. Japan 6:31.53
1. Maria Sakellaridou/Alexandra Tsiavou (Greece) 7:01.50
2. Helen Casey/Jennifer Goldsack (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:03.29
3. Erika Mai/Laura Milani (Italy) 7:03.30
4. Elena Lyakisheva/Ksenia Potapova (Russia) 7:06.96
5. Lourdes Guillen Cruz/Maria Almuedo Castillo (Spain) 7:10.01
6. Kyoko Aoyama/Maho Fukuda (Japan) 7:16.56
1. Paul Mattick/Daniel Harte (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:32.46
2. Vincent Faucheux (France) 6:32.61
3. Wolter Blankert (Netherlands) 6:35,58
4. Ilia Ashchin/Andreij Shevel (Russia) 6:39.06
5. George Roberts/Ross Brown (Australia) 6:40.52
6. Siaghal Mac Colgain/Richard Coakley (Australia) 6:43.73
1. South Africa 5:57.15
2. Nick English/Dave Currie/Mike Hennessy/Simon Jones
(GREAT BRITAIN) 5:57.54
3. USA 5:58.38
4. Spain 5:58.38
5. Japan 5:59.47
6. Russia 6:01.83
1. Mark Hunter/James Lindsay-Fynn (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:16.02
2. Takahiro Suda/Daisaku Takeda (Japan) 6:16.19
3. Maros Sloboda/Lubos Podstupka (Slovakia) 6:18.14
4. Mike Altman/Bjorn Larsen (USA) 6:19.21
5. Jan Vetesnik/Ondrej Vetesnik (Czech Republic) 6:20.44
6. Cameron Wurf/Sam Beltz (Australia) 6:22.02
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