A gold and four silvers for GB at the World Championships
Great Britain’s rowers won a gold and four silvers at the World Championships in Poznan, Poland, today.[img_assist|nid=3404|title=The GB men’s four salute their gold|desc=Picture: Peter Spurrier|link=none|align=right|width=476|height=299]
Matthew Langridge, Alex Gregory, Ric Egington and Alex Partridge were peerless in taking men’s four gold. They were backed by silvers in the men’s pair – from Peter Reed and Andrew Triggs Hodge – the women’s double – from Anna Bebington and Annabel Vernon – and both the men’s and women’s single sculls – from Alan Campbell and Katherine Grainger respectively. Only the GB women’s pair finished out of the medals in sixth place in a closely-contested final.
The normally understated GB Performance Director David Tanner was clearly delighted. "I think we’ve done even better than expected", he said. "Our guys all really scaled up today. Katherine Grainger was brave and brilliant and Alan Campbell so nearly won in a serious step up for him. And, for me, the men’s four were not just the GB boat of the day but the boat of the Championships today".
"Getting silver in the eight last year at the Olympic Games left a bitter taste in my mouth so to win today is amazing", said the men’s four strokeman Matt Langridge.
Campbell came within a whisker of taking the scalp of his good friend and world champion Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand. Both men beat the previous world’s best time but Drysdale took the verdict by just under a second.
"I’m disappointed but it was a great race. I did the world’s second best time of all time and still came second. I’m happy, though, this is my first World Championships medal. It’s now onwards and upwards", said Campbell.
Katherine Grainger‘s performance drew gasps of astonishment from the knowledgeable amongst the crowd. Most felt, in her debut season, that a medal might elude her. Leading with 500m to go Grainger was only overhauled by the hugely experienced reigning world champion Ekaterina Karsten-Khodotovitch of Belarus.[img_assist|nid=3405|title=Katherine Grainger celebrates silver|desc=Picture: Peter Spurrier|link=none|align=left|width=351|height=489]
"I’m a perfectionist so I’m thinking that maybe I should have won but you’ve got to love racing like that", said Grainger.
Reed and Hodge in the men’s pair came closer to the eventual winners Eric Murray and Hamish Bond of New Zealand than they have done so far this season. "Hand on heart I felt we could beat them", said Reed. "We had real belief but they are an exceptional crew".
Bebington and Vernon’s effort in the second half of their women’s double scull final was not enough to bring gold in an intense battle to the line but showed the potential they have as a crew. "We started the sprint early but in the last ten strokes they found something extra and congratulations to them".
PREVIEW – SUNDAY
In tomorrow’s finals session the GB Rowing Team has qualified seven boats – five in the Olympic classes and two in the international classes.
Hester Goodsell and Sophie Hosking, world cup winners this season who were beaten by Germany in the semi-finals here, are a confident crew who have a genuine chance of a medal in the lightweight women’s double scull. Paul Mattick and Rob Williams, in the lightweight men’s double scull, were third in their semi-final but have been improving all season.
Both GB eights will also be in action. The men’s eight qualified direct from their heat, having beaten the Australian eight to the second qualifying place by just hundredths of a second. It was a great performance for the crew which has been developed this season as a mix of predominantly newcomer rowers.
The GB women’s eight reached the final by way of the repechage as did the women’s quadruple scull who will find Germany and the Ukraine potentially hard to handle. "Everyone’s going really quickly, including us", said Beth Rodford. "It should be a great race".
GB has further medal potential in the lightweight women’s quadruple scull whilst Ross Hunter and Oli Mahony are the starters for GB in the lightweight men’s pair.
Racing starts at 8.45am and finishes at 12.15 UK time. It will be live on BBC TV Interactive (red button) from 09.30 – 12.15 and shown in a highlights package on BBC2 from 15.00 – 16.15.
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Great Britain continued a proud tradition of men’s four racing in Poznan today by taking world championship gold with a crew stroked by Matt Langridge and featuring Ric Egington, Alex Gregory and Alex Partridge.
The British line-up in this boat has changed completely since the Olympic Games victory of a year ago. Australia, though, fielded the same quartet that took silver in behind GB in Beijing. For the opening 500m it looked as if the Antipodean combination might turn the tables.
By 1000m it was clear that the GB boat had a different idea. They surged into the lead and then extended the gap further and the Australians had no answer in the closing sprint. Victory to GB in 5:47.28 by a margin of of almost two seconds. Slovenia were third.
"The race went just the way we talked about it", said Alex Gregory. "To win is such a great feeling".
Alex Partridge added: "That was fantastic. This is a new crew this season and it’s great to win".
Egington said: "I caught a little crab with 300m to go which frightened me a bit but we managed to get over that".
New Zealand, perennial vanquishers of GB Rowing’s Andrew Triggs Hodge and Peter Reed this season, started with alacrity in the opening 500m of the men’s pair final today. Greece were tracking them with the British duo third.
By 800m, though, the British men had increased their own speed and were winning back ground, nudging ahead of Greece. They were still over three seconds down, though, on the New Zealanders.
With a strong push the Reed and Hodge had regained contact by 1500m, closing half the gap in the third 500m of the race. Seemingly super-human Eric Murray and Hamish Bond of New Zealand put in another spurt and pulled away. Undeterred Reed and Hodge attacked again. It was not enough. Gold to New Zealand and silver to GB with Greece third. The New Zealand pair were within a second of the world best time.
Reed said: "We had real belief that we could beat the Kiwis. Andy and I gave it everything. But they are an exceptionally good crew".
Hodge said: "The race was a really tough battle. In the third 500m we really started flying. We’ve been working really hard over the last few weeks and we’re really looking forward to working hard in the next 12 months".
All seasoned observers knew, on this season’s form, that the men’s single scull final might boil down to an on-water fist-fight between Britain’s Alan Campbell and world champion Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand.[img_assist|nid=3406|title=Campbell took silver in a race featuring a world best time|desc=Picture: Peter Spurrier|link=none|align=right|width=362|height=438]
Campbell led early but the black-vested shape of Drysdale loomed close behind. Czech Ondrej Synek followed in third. That’s the way they stayed until 1000m. Then Drysdale struck with a series of pushes that put him in the lead with 500m to go. Campbell has a big sprint finish and Drysdale seemed to know he needed to put distance between them to counter the potential threat. As the boats reached the final 20 strokes of the race Drysdale was holding on but Campbell was closing fast. In the end, victory went to New Zealand by less than a second.
"I’ve worked so hard and now I’ll have to go away and work even harder", said Campbell afterwards. Few would doubt that he will.
Katherine Grainger has been at the pinnacle of rowing for many, many seasons. She decided this year to try a single scull rather than a crew option. Over the world cup season she learned a lot about herself and the event. In today’s final she put those lessons to work. In an astonishing performance she led the field which included the event’s big stars with Grainger as the novice.
"The conditions were fast so I thought I better get out quickly", said Grainger afterwards. The tactics almost paid off with gold. But even silver was enough to have the whole GB team on its feet to celebrate a remarkable performance. In the final 250m the reigning world champion and twice previous Olympic champion, found enough to beat Grainger and take gold in 7:11.78 to Grainger’s 7:13.57. Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic, was third.[img_assist|nid=3407|title=Silver for Bebington and Vernon|desc=Picture: Peter Spurrier|link=none|align=left|width=305|height=155]
Annabel Vernon and Anna Bebington for GB and Magdalena Fularczyk and Julia Michalska of Poland were always tipped to battle for honours today in the women’s double scull final.
The Poles got out quickly whilst GB trailed marginally back in the pack. As per the plan, the British duo came through strongly in the second half to move into third and then second. Inexorably they powered up through the gears and gave it their all. In the end they ran out of room taking silver in 6:48.82 to Poland’s 6:47.18.
"We couldn’t have given any more", said Vernon afterwards. "It’s been an amazing season. We did all we could and it was a fantastic race".
Bebington said: "We started sprinting early but they found an extra bit in the last ten strokes and moved away so you have to say "well done" to them".
Olivia Whitlam and Louisa Reeve generated a good first 500m in their women’s pair final on a Lake Malta that offered fast tail-wind conditions. They held second briefly and third at 500m before dropping back to fourth in an extremely tight field. In the third 500m the Americans began to emerge alongside Romania who were leading.
In a dramatic final phase of racing the USA, Romania and New Zealand broke away to challenge each other for the medals with the USA winning the dramatic final charge to take gold in 7:06.28. Romania were second and NZ third. The GB duo finished sixth in 7:10.47.
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(Races featuring GB crews only. For full results
log onto www.worldrowing.com)
1. Zsuzsanna Francia/Erin Cafaro (USA) 7:06.28
2. Camelia Lupascu/Nicoleta Albu (Romania) 7:06.64
3. Emma-Jane Feathery/Rebbeca Scown (New Zealand) 7:06.94
4. Kerstin Hartmann/Marlene Sinnig (Germany) 7:08.28
5. Kim Crow/Sarah Cook (Australia) 7:09.25
6. Olivia Whitlam/Louisa Reeve (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:10.47
1. Ekaterina Karsten (Belarus) 7:11.78
2. Katherine Grainger (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:13.57
3. Mirka Knapkova (Czech Republic) 7:16.22
4. Emma Twigg (New Zealand) 7:16.73
5. Zhang Xiuyun (China) 7:20.82
6. Julia Levina (Russia) 7:30.00
1. Magdalena Fularczyk/Julia Michalska (Poland) 6:47.18
2. Anna Bebington/Annabel Vernon (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:48.82
3. Rumanya Neykova/Miglena Markova (Bulgaria) 6:50.16
4. Sally Kehoe/Phillipa Savage (Australia) 6:53.48
5. Jitka & Lenka Antosova (Czech Republic) 6:53.48
6. Megan Kalmoe/Ellen Tomek (USA) 6:54.16
[img_assist|nid=3408|title=Andy Hodge (left) and Pete Reed chat with John Inverdale|desc=Picture: Peter Spurrier|link=none|align=left|width=323|height=225]
1. Eric Murray/Hamish Bond (New Zealand) 6:15.93
2. Peter Reed/Andrew Triggs Hodge (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:17.45
3. Nikolaos & Apostolos Gkountoulas (Greece) 6:23.01
4. Germain Chardin/Dorian Mortelette (France) 6:24.69
5. David Banks/Charles Cole (USA) 6:33.16
6. Shaun Keeling/Ramon di Clemente (South Africa) 6:38.06
1. Mahe Drysdale (New Zealand) 6:33.35
2. Alan Campbell (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:34.30
3. Ondrej Synek (Czech Republic) 6:38.53
4. Tim Maeyens (Belgium) 6:44.59
5. Mathias Rocher (Germany) 6:48.09
6. Olaf Tufte (Norway) 7:02.82
1. Switzerland 6;11.68
2. Poland 6:13.10
3. Ukraine 6:14.04
4. Belgium 6:14.62
5. Cuba 6:21.93
6. Sam Townsend/Stephen Rowbotham (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:28.76
1. Netherlands 6:57.02
2. Adam Freeman-Pask (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:04.25
3. South Africa 7:04.94
4. Italy 7:05.39
5. China 7:08.95
6. Iraq 7:16.57
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Events featuring GB crews
Times given are Polish time (one hour ahead of the UK).
+= With cox
(nb – subject to change. For up-to-date information
please see www.worldrowing.com).
SUNDAY 30 AUGUST
Finals: 09.30 – 13.10
LM2-, LW4X, LW2X, LM2X, W4X, W8+, M8+
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2009 World Rowing Championships, Poznan, Poland.
AUGUST , 2009
(Listed as bow to stroke plus cox unless otherwise indicated)
FULL BIOGS AVAILABLE AT: www.gbrowing.org.uk
Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft/Warrington/16.09.85)/Louisa Reeve (Leander
Coach: Miles Forbes-Thomas
Jo Cook (Leander Club/Nottingham/22.03.84)/
Melanie Wilson (Molesey BC/London/25.6.84)/
Michelle Vezie (Molesey BC/London/30.11.87)/
Lindsey Maguire (Wallingford RC/Edinburgh/15.01.82)/
Jess Eddie (Uni of London BC/Durham/07.10.84)/
Tina Stiller (Nottingham RC/Yarm/23.06.87)/
Alison Knowles (Thames RC/Bournemouth/27.03.82)/
Natasha Page (Reading Uni BC/Hartpury/30.04.85)/
Caroline O’Connor (Oxford Brookes Uni BC/Ealing/25.04.83) (cox)
Coach: Miles Forbes-Thomas
Katherine Grainger (St Andrew BC/Aberdeen/12.11.75)
Coach: Paul Thompson
Anna Bebington (Leander Club/Leek, Staffs/13.02.83)/Annabel Vernon
Coach: Paul Thompson
Rosamund Bradbury (Westminster School BC/Banstead/17.12.88)/
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Burton-on-Trent/ 28.12.82)/
Sarah Cowburn (Durham Uni BC/Redditch/01.02.89)/
Katie Greves (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)/
Coach: Ade Roberts
Coach: Jurgen Grobler
Alex Partridge (Leander Club/Alton, Hants/25.01.81)/Richard
Egington (Leander Club/Knutsford/26.02.79)/Alex Gregory (Reading
Uni BC/Wormington/11.03.84)/Matt Langridge(Leander Club/Northwich/20.05.83)
Coach: Mark Banks
Tom Broadway (Leander Club/Newport Pagnell/21.08.82)/
Tom Burton (Leander Club/Barton-le-Clay, Beds/24.05.80)/
James Orme (Leander Club/Colchester/01.04.84)/
Tom Solesbury (Isis BC/Petts Wood, Kent/23.09.80)/
Tom Wilkinson (Leander Club/Reading/04.07.85)/
Dan Ritchie (Reading Uni BC/Herne Bay/06.01.87)/
Tom Ransley (Cambridge University BC/ Ashford, Kent/06.09.85)/
James Clarke (London RC/London/31.12.84)/
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)
Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers/Coleraine/09.05.83)
Coach: Bill Barry
Matt Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.04.79)/
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club/Winscombe, Somerset/11.11.81)
Coach: Mark Earnshaw
Quadruple Scull – WITHDRAWN ON WEDS 26 AUGUST DUE TO INJURY
Coach: Mark Earnshaw
Hester Goodsell (Reading Uni BC/Cambridge/27.06.84)/
Sophie Hosking (London RC/Wimbledon/25.01.86
Coach: Paul Reedy
Stephanie Cullen (London RC/Putney, London/27.11.80)Laura Greenhalgh (London RC/Oxford/02.09.85)//Andrea Dennis (London RC/Oxford/03.01.82)/Jane Hall (Leander Club/Caversham/20.10.73)
Coach: Don McLachlan
Elaine Johnstone (Tideway Scullers)
Ross Hunter (Leander Club/Romford, Essex/13.07.81)/
Oliver Mahony (London RC/London/21.10.83)
Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Chester/02.02.84)/
Chris Boddy (Tees RC/Stockton-on-Tees/16.11.87)/
Stephen Feeney (London RC/Coleraine/12.05.85)/
Bob Hewitt (Tees RC/Scarborough/27.04.87)/
Coach: Robin Williams
Adam Freeman-Pask (Imperial College BC/Windsor/19.06.85)
Rob Williams (London RC/Maidenhead/21.01.85)/Paul Mattick
(Leander Club/Frome, Somerset/25.04.78)
Coach: Darren Whiter
ADAPTIVE (Paralympic classes)
Men’s Arms-only Single Scull
Coach: Tom Dyson
Trunk and Arms Double Scull
James Roberts (City of Swansea RC/Prestatyn/11.05.86)/
Samantha Scowen (Dorney BC/Wokingham/29.10.87)
Coach: Tom Dyson
Mixed Adaptive Coxed Four
Vicki Hansford (Uni of Surrey BC/Farnborough/31.10.79)/
James Roe (Stratford-upon-Avon BC//Stratford-upon-Avon/
28.03.88)/Dave Smith (Reading Uni BC/Aviemore/21.04.78) /Naomi
Riches (Leander/Harrow, London 15.06.83)/Rhiannon Jones
(Reading Uni BC/Hereford/16.09.87) (cox)
Coach: Stuart Whitelaw
Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell (Uni of London/Durham/13.04.88)
Peter Marsland (Cambridge Uni BC/Hampton, Mx/06.03.85)
Reserve: Jacqui Round (Nottingham RC/St Neots/01.07.87)
Management and Support Staff:
Performance Support Team:
David Tanner, Performance Director and Team Manager
Jurgen Grobler, Chief Coach (Men)
Paul Thompson, Chief Coach (Women & Lightweights)
Medical and Science Support:
Dr Ann Redgrave, Doctor
Mark Edgar, Physiotherapist
Karen Burn, Physiotherapist
Lilly Devine, Physiotherapist
Dr Chris Shambrook, Psychologist
Mark Homer, Physiologist
Wendy Martinson, Nutritionist
Adaptive Team Staff:
Logistics and Office Support:
Rachel Simon, Assistant Team Manager
Maurice Hayes, Resources Manager
Judi Read, Logistics Coordinator
Fran Bullock, Sponsorship Liaison
John Tetley, Boatman
John Brockway, Driver
Caroline Searle, Press Officer