Two golds for GB Rowing Team at World Championships

Olympic champions Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase proved they were back at their best by taking the first of the two golds won by the Great Britain rowing team today at the World Championships on New Zealand’s Lake Karapiro – the second went to the newly-reformed British women’s quadruple scull.

Purchase and Hunter dominated their lightweight men’s double scull final for the outset to win in 7:13.47. 

“We went out there and did our thing and came back in with a gold medal. That’s fantastic”, said Hunter.

“It was good to open the account for the Olympic boats here and you can’t get better than that. We knew we were good we just had to go out and do it”, added Purchase.

Beth Rodford, Frances Houghton, Annabel Vernon and Debbie Flood made up a first-half deficit to overhual reigning champions, the Ukraine, and win in 7:12.78.

“No-one does more than us, no-one trains on worse water than us.  We just kept powering through. It felt good”, said Vernon of the victory in testing winds.

Disappointment came, though, for Matt Langridge, Alex Gregory, Alex Partridge and Ric Egington Britain’s reigning world champions in the men’s four. They led for the early part of today’s final but were overhauled by a fast French crew and then rowed out of the medals in the charge for the line.

Sophie Hosking and Hester Goodsell also missed out in the lightweight women’s double scull, the men’s  quad came home fifth and the lightweight men’s pair were sixth.

“What fabulous gold medals we won today”, said David Tanner, GB Rowing’s Performance Director. “I felt the lightweight men’s double are back and dominated the field even in those conditions. And what a huge step up for the women’s quad who were so clever in their race, exhibiting their skill and discipline.

“I am so disappointed for the men’s four.  It’s an even field and there was an advantage for the inside lane which just nudged us out of the medals in the race for the line”.

Earlier Marcus Bateman and Matt Wells, in the men’s double scull and Peter Chambers in the lightweight men’s single scull both qualified for finals bringing Britain’s tally of finalists to 18 from 20 boats in a GB squad which has certainly underlined its continuing strength in depth.

Tomorrow’s race programme will see five GB boats contesting finals, including Olympic men’s four gold medallists Andrew Triggs Hodge and Pete Reed in the men’s pair who will take on their huge rivals and world champions Eric Murray and Hamish Bond of New Zealand once more.  Alan Campbell has huge potential to make a mark on the men’s single scull final and British supporters will hope that the lightweight men’s four of Chris Bartley, Paul Mattick, Rob Williams and Richard Chambers continue their resurgent form.

Full racing schedule can be found at: www.worldrowing.com

The team’s press officer, Caroline Searle, can be contacted in  New Zealand (NB  – NOW 13 HOURS AHEAD OF UK) on:

00 64 27 49 77493 or press@matchtight.co.uk

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RACE REPORTS

FINALS

Much anticipation surrounded the battle today between world champions Storm Uru and Peter Taylor of New Zealand and Britain’s Olympic champions Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase.  Whilst the latter performed to  perfection to win in 7:13.47, the home duo were disappointed to take bronze.

Italy held on to to take silver having moved up into that place from the halfway point onwards.  Canada finished fast to challenge New Zealand for bronze, missing out by just three hundredths of a second. with China fifth and Portugal sixth.

“It’s good being back. Racing and winning. Champions win every round and even if it’s rough you go out there and do your best”, said Hunter. “We proved in the semi that we were picking up where we left off in Beijing.  All the work with our coach Darren Whiter and all the  support staff, the weights in the gym and the hard work have paid off. We’ve really stepped on”, said Hunter.

By contrast to Purchase and Hunter, the women’s quad seemed to bide their time in the first half of today’s final.  The Ukraine went out to a half length lead over Britain in the early phases in a bold attempt to wrest the advantage on hang onto the title they won last year in Poznan.  By 500m GB were 1.41 seconds behind.

From 750m onwards, sculling in a controlled and powerful rhythm the GB quartet made up ground. At halfway they were only 0.5 seconds down.  The tipping point came at 600m to go when the GB boat rowed through the Ukraine and at 1500m they were ahead by 1.48 seconds – a margin that proved unassailable giving Beth Rodford her first world championships medal and a huge sense of satisfaction for Annie Vernon, Frances Houghton and Debbie Flood, the trio of Beijing silver medallists in this crew.

“It was really rough out there.  We knew we were one of the most powerful crews so it was just a case of getting out there and getting on with it”, said Vernon who was delighted to win her medal on the day of her dad, Mike’s, birthday.  “We knew we had to get into a rhythm and use our power”. 

“It was very rough and we knew we had to stay calm. I was confident if we got onto our rhythm that our strength from all the gym work would come through”, said Rodford.  “We just needed to keep it under control. It was a great race”.

“I love the sport way more now I’m back.  I’ve had a brilliant worlds, especially having had a difficult year. The opportunity was there and I just had to grab it rather than all the pressure”, said Houghton who is back in a leading crew after taking a post-Beijing year out and then facing hip surgery earlier this year.

“We could have come anywhere between first and  sixth and it was just a question of how well we went out and rowed”, she added.

Debbie Flood said: “We didn’t want to be down after the start as that is one of our strengths but we didn’t panic – we held our composure and our self-belief.  We knew we had a good rhythm from the outset and that would carry us through.  I was just praying in the last 200m that we wouldn’t catch a crab”.

Great Britain got out to a long lead in the first half of the men’s four final today.  As defending world champions Alex Partridge, Alex Gregory, Ric Egington and Matt Langridge looked strong despite the blustery conditions.

The French, though, proved to have the speed in the second half on the inside lane, not only to come up on the shoulders of the British combination but also to push past them into a three-quarter length lead. Despite a strong GB effort to get back on level terms the French continued to lead and won in 6:45.38. Behind them the Greeks came through strongly to take second in 6:47.15 and Great Britain were beaten by a smidgen to bronze by New Zealand.

“We tried our best to make the most of it in the conditions but it was tough”, said Alex Partridge afterwards.

“We had a good start even though it was rough from the first stroke”, added Langridge.  “In the second half we couldn’t make any headway or find any rhythm”.

“It wasn’t really what we were expecting”, said Gregory.  “That wasn’t what we are capable of but the conditions were very difficult”.

Canada and Germany showed early in the final of the lightweight women’s double scull on New Zealand’s Lake Karapiro in choppy conditions at the start.  These two crews were neck and neck at 500m with Great Britain’s Sophie Hosking and Hester Goodsell two seconds down in third place.

Just past the timing point Germany edged ahead of Canada with Britain tucked into  the chasing pack but not making a dent on the leaders. Greece and Australia moved up ahead of Britain as the race moved towards the 1000m, leaving the GB duo in fourth at halfway but still in with a chance of making the podium.

Only four seconds separated the top four boats at 1500m gone but Britain had a tall order to  get back into contention in the final surge to the line.   As Germany and Canada battled at the front it became clear that disappointment awaited Hosking and Goodsell who finished in fifth place in 8:13.90. Canada, Germany and Greece took gold, silver and bronze respectively with Australia in fourth.

In the far lane in today’s final the GB Rowing Team’s men’s quad bashed their way through a final in which they fought bravely to stay on terms with the race leaders, Croatia and Italy.  As the latter nations moved on to win gold and silver, Sam Townsend,  Charles Cousins, Bill Lucas and Stephen Rowbotham pulled back from sixth into fifth at the line with  Australia taking bronze and Germany fourth. The British quartet can take pride from being the first GB men’s crew in this discipline to reach a world championships final since 1982 proving the growing strength of the GB sculling squad.

Chris Boddy and Adam Freeman-Pask had a tough time in today’s final of the lightweight men’s pair, finishing sixth in 5:46.54.  They were under two seconds down on the leaders at 500m but by the finishing stretch they were well back.  France were winners with New Zealand third and Canada third.

SEMI-FINALS

Within  12 seconds of the start of their men’s double scull final today Marcus Bateman and Matt Wells, the world cup overall winners this season, were ahead of the field.  By 500m they had two-thirds a of a length over Germany in second with the Czech Republic the only other contending crew.

In the second 500m Germany began to hit back. Having been a length down they moved back to two-thirds down. Bateman and Wells still looked as if they were sculling well within themselves in bouncy, sunny and breezy conditions.

At 1200m gone bowman Matt Wells risked a glance across at the Germanys who pulled alongside the  British duo.  Estonia, meanwhile, began to feature in the chasing pack with Argentina and Norway.

At the 1500m timing point the Germans had overhauled Wells and Bateman to take a second’s lead. The German lead did not last long. Bateman and Wells responded to take the lead once more.  At the line it was Great  Britain first in 6:49.03, Germany second in 6:51.00 and Norway, with their second half sprint, third.

Matt Wells said: “Because of the conditions it was hard to plan the race. We got off pretty well but we had a bit of a fight in the middle of the race just to stay afloat as there was a strong wind pushing us across. Towards the end we could start rowing again and pushed through the Germans. We’re definitely stepping on as we go through the regatta.”

Marcus Bateman added: “It was good to put last year’s World champions and bronze medalists behind us today in the semi – that has given us confidence going into the final. It’s my first World Championship final in an Olympic class boat and after the disappointment of last year it gives me even more motivation.”

Hungary led out the lightweight men’s single scull semi-final featuring Great Britain’s Peter Chambers.  At the 500m mark, Chambers was fourth but still totally in contention.  Japan and Germany were pushing the Hungarian leader, Peter Galambos, but he still held the pole position at 1000m with Chambers remaining in fourth.

At 1100m gone Chambers made a big push to get back in contention with the German and by the 1500m marker he emerged into third.  Sculling long and strong, he held onto that position and briefly challenged the  Japanese for second before crossing the line in 7:35.72 to reach the final on Sunday in third place.  For a world championships debutante this was a remarkable performance.

These two races concluded Great Britain’s semi-final performances leaving the squad with 18 finalists – 13 Olympic-class,  3 International-class and two Paralympic-class finalists –  from a starting total of 20 boats.

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RESULTS
(Events featuring GB crews only.  For full results visit:  www.worldrowing.com)

FINALS

OPEN

WOMEN

Quadruple Scull

1.  Debbie Flood, Beth Rodford, Frances Houghton, Annabel Vernon
     (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:12.78
2.  Ukraine 7:14.95
3.  Germany 7:15.26
4.  Australia 7:19.81
5.  USA 7:20.82
6.  New Zealand 7:30.76

MEN

Four

1.  France 6;45.38
2.  Greece 6:47.15
3.  New Zealand 6:48.38
4.  Alex Partridge/Ric Egington/Alex Gregory/Matt
     Langridge (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:49.02
5.  USA 6:55.94
6.  Italy 7:01.58

Quadruple Scull

1.  Croatia 6:15.78
2.  Italy 6:17.04
3.  Australia 6:18.93
4.  Germany 6:19.53
5.  Charles Cousins, Sam Townsend, Bill Lucas, Stephen Rowbotham (GREAT
      BRITAIN) 6:26.23
6.  Russia 6:34.90

LIGHTWEIGHT

WOMEN

Double Scull

1.  Lindsay Jennerich, Tracy Cameron (Canada) 8:06.20
2.  Daniela Reimer, Anja Noske (Germany) 8:07.33
3.  Christina Giazitzidou, Alexandra Tsiavou (Greece) 8:09.14
4.  Alice McNamara, Hannah Every-Hall (Australia) 8:11.17
5.  Hester Goodsell, Sophie Hosking (GREAT BRITAIN) 8:13.90
6.  Lucy Strack, Julia Edward (New Zealand) 8:15.69

MEN

Pair

1.  Fabien Tilliet/Jean-Christophe Bette (France) 7:18.92
2.  Graham Oberlin-Brown/James Lassche (New Zealand) 7:21.29
3.  Matt Jensen/Rares Crisan (Canada) 7:23.79
4.  Luca Motta/Giorgio Tuccinardi (Italy) 7:25.82
5.  Daniel Wisgott/Lars Wichert (Germany) 7:30.16
6.  Chris Boddy/Adam Freeman-Pask (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:39.78

Double scull

1.  Zac Purchase/Mark Hunter (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:13.47
2.  Lorenzo Bertini/Elia Luini (Italy) 7:15.88
3.  Storm Uru/Peter Taylor (New Zealand) 7:18.31
4.  Douglas Vandor/Cameron Sylvester (Canada) 7:18.34
5.  Zhang Fangbing/Wang Tiexin (China) 7:25.27
6.  Pedro Fraga/Nuno Mendes (Portugal) 7:33.76 

SEMI-FINALS

OPEN

MEN

Double scull

1.  Matt Wells/Marcus Bateman (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:49.03
2.  Eric Knittel/Stephen Krueger (Germany) 6:51.00
3.  Jakob Nils Hoff/Kjetil Borch (Norway) 6:51.78
4.  Ariel Suarez/Cristian Rosso (Argentina) 6:58.36
5.  Petr Vitasek/David Jirka (Czech Republic) 7:01.54
6.  Allar Raja/Kaspar Taimsoo (Estonia) 7:02.28

LIGHTWEIGHT

MEN

1.  Peter Galambos (Hungary) 7:31.75
2.  Daisaku Takeda (Japan) 7:33.71
3.  Peter Chambers (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:35.72
4.  Jonathan Kock (Germany) 7:42.61
5.  Daniel Urevick-Acklesberg (USA) 7:49.23
6.  Alexander Rath (Austria) 7:59.62

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GB ROWING TEAM CREW-LISTS
2010 World Rowing Championships, Lake Karapiro,
New Zealand, October 31-November 7, 2010
(listed bow to stroke plus cox)

OPEN

WOMEN

Pair

Helen Glover (Reading Uni BC/Penzance/17.06.86)/
Heather Stanning (Army RC/Lossiemouth/26.01.85)

Coach: Miles Forbes Thomas

Eight

Jo Cook (Leander Club/Sunbury-on-Thames/22.03.84)/
Louisa Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)/
Jessica Eddie (Uni of London BC/Durham/07.10.84)/
Victoria Thornley (Minerva Bath RC/Wrexham/30.11.87)/
Natasha Page (Reading Uni BC/Hartpury/30.04.85)/
Lindsey Maguire (Wallingford RC/Edinburgh/15.01.82)/
Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft RC/Warrington/16.09.85)/
Alison Knowles (Thames RC/Bournemouth/27.03.82)/
Caroline O’Connor (Oxford Brookes Uni BC/Ealing/25.04.83) (cox)

Coach: Miles Forbes Thomas

Double scull

Anna Watkins (Leander Club/Leek, Staffs/13.02.83)/
Katherine Grainger (St Andrew BC/Aberdeen/12.11.75)

Coach:  Paul Thompson

Quadruple scull

Debbie Flood (Leander Club/Guiseley/27.02.80)/
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Gloucester/28.12.82)/
Frances Houghton (Tyrian Club, Uni of London/Henley/19.9.80)/
Annabel Vernon (London RC/Wadebridge/01.09.82)

Coach:  Ade Roberts

RESERVES:

Ro Bradbury (Jesus College BC/Banstead/17.12.88)
Katie Solesbury (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82) – racing spare W1x
Melanie Wilson (Molesey BC/London/25.06.84)

OPEN

MEN

Pair

Pete Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth, Glos/27.07.81)/
Andrew Triggs Hodge (Molesey BC/Hebden, N.Yorks/03.03.79)

Coach:  Jurgen Grobler

Four

Alex Partridge (Leander Club/Alton, Hants/25.01.81)/
Richard Egington (Leander Club/Knutsford/26.02.79)/
Alex Gregory (Leander Club/Wormington, Glos/11.03.84)/
Matthew Langridge (Leander Club/Northwich/20.05.83)/

Coach: Mark Banks

Eight

Tom Broadway (Leander Club/Newport Pagnell/21.08.82)/
James Clarke (London RC/London/31.12.84)/
Cameron Nichol (Molesey BC/Glastonbury/26.06.87)/
James Foad (Molesey BC/Southampton/20.03.87)/
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)/
Greg Searle (Molesey BC/Marlow/20.03.72)/
Tom Ransley (York City RC/Cambridge/06.09.85)
Dan Ritchie (Herne Bay RC/Herne Bay/06.01.87)/
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)

Coaches:  Christian Felkel/John West

Single scull

Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers/Coleraine/09.05.83)

Coach: Bill Barry

Double scull

Matthew Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.04.79)
Marcus Bateman (Leander Club/Torquay/16.09.82)/

Coach: Mark Earnshaw

Quadruple scull

Charles Cousins (Reading Uni BC/Cambridge/13.12.88)/
Sam Townsend (Reading Uni BC/Reading/26.11.85)/
Bill Lucas (Reading Uni BC/Kingswear/13.09.87)/
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club/Winscombe, Somerset/11.11.81)

Coach: Mark Earnshaw

RESERVES

Brendan Crean (Agecroft RC/Lewes/07.02.85)
Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell (Uni of London BC/Durham/13.4.88)
Tom Wilkinson (Leander Club/Reading/04.07.85)/

LIGHTWEIGHT

WOMEN

Double scull

Hester Goodsell (Reading Uni BC/London/27.06.84)/
Sophie Hosking (London RC/Wimbledon/25.01.86)

Coach:  Paul Reedy

Quadruple scull

Jane Hall (Leander Club/Surbiton/20.10.73)/
Stephanie Cullen (London RC/Bury, Lancs/27.11.80)/
Laura Greenhalgh (London RC/Cuddeson,Oxon/2.9.85)/
Andrea Dennis (Reading Uni BC/Oxford/03.01.82)

Coach: Tom Gale

LIGHTWEIGHT

MEN

Pair

Adam Freeman-Pask (Imperial College BC/Windsor/19.06.85)
Chris Boddy (Leander Club/Stockton-on-Tees/16.11.87)/

Coach:  Rob Morgan

Four

Richard Chambers (Leander Club/Coleraine/10.06.85)/
Paul Mattick (Leander Club/Frome, Somerset/25.04.78)/
Rob Williams (London RC/Maidenhead/21.01.85)/
Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Chester/02.02.84)

Coach:  Rob Morgan

Single scull

Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes Uni BC/Coleraine/14.03.90)

Coach:  Darren Whiter

Double scull

Zac Purchase (Marlow RC/Tewkesbury/02.05.86)/
Mark Hunter (Leander Club/Romford, Essex/01.07.78)

Coach:  Darren Whiter

ADAPTIVE BOATS

AS Men’s Single scull

Tom Aggar (Royal Docks RC/London/24.05.84)

Coach: Tom Dyson

AS Women’s Single scull

Helene Raynsford (Guildford RC/Farnborough/29.12.79)

Coach:  Tom Dyson

LTA Mixed Coxed four

Kelsie Gibson (Maidstone Invicta RC)
James Roe (Reading Uni BC/Stratford-upon-Avon/28.03.88)/
Ryan Chamberlain (King’s College London BC/Wandsworth, London/03.04.86)
Kate Jones (Aberdeen BC/Eskdale Green, Cumbria/28.02.86)
Rhiannon Jones (cox) (Reading Uni BC/Hereford/16.09.87)

Coach:  Mary McLachlan

MANAGEMENT AND SUPPORT STAFF

Performance:

Team Manager and Performance Director: David Tanner
Chief Coach Men:  Jurgen Grobler
Chief Coach Women & Lightweights: Paul Thompson
Assistant Team Manager/Adaptives:  Louise Kingsley

Medical and Sports Science:

Doctor: Ann Redgrave
Lead Physiotherapist: Mark Edgar
Physiotherapist:  Liz Arnold
Physiotherapist:  Sally Brown
Psychologist:  Chris Shambrook
Physiologist: Mark Homer
Nutritionist: Wendy Martinson

Media/Admin/Logistics:

Assistant Team Manager (admin): Jo Bates
Assistant Team Manager (logistics): Judi Read
Sponsorship liaison Manager:  Francesca Bullock
Resources Manager:  Maurice Hayes
Boatman:  John Tetley
Press Officer: Caroline Searle

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TIMINGS OF FINALS IN KARAPIRO
(Events featuring GB crews only)
                      
Saturday 6 November (local NZ time* 14.03 – 15.48)

Open Men:  Pair and single scull
Open Women:  Pair and single scull
Lightweight:  Men’s four and women’s quadruple scull

Sunday 7 November (local NZ time* 14.03 – 15.33)

Open Men:  Double and eight
Open Women: Double and eight
Lightweight:  Men’s single

*All times are subject to change. NZ is 13 hours ahead of the UK

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