12 GB Rowing Team medals from 12 starts
All 12 GB Rowing Team crews that started in today’s finals at the World Cup in Belgrade finished their journey on the podium as Britain won four golds, six silver and two bronze medals to add to their international-class gold and silver of last night.
Britain also took the overall world cup trophy by 79 points to Germany’s 47.
“It’s been a very good day”, said GB Rowing Team Performance Director David Tanner. “To win 12 medals from 12 starts is as good if not better than I would have hoped before coming here.
“It was a good field here but we know there are more teams to come in for the next world cups so we will not be sitting back on our laurels from here”, he said.
Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter, the Olympic and World Champions, held off a spirited Greek challenge to take gold. Reigning World Champions Anna Watkins and Katherine Grainger were also winners today with some quality given to their race by a strong German double.
A further gold were added by the men’s four of Alex Gregory, Tom James, Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs Hodge. The quartet showed today that is it is beginning to fire by dominating from the front from the halfway.
““We’ve shown glimpses of real speed in training recently but we haven’t quite recreated it”, said Hodge. “We have our feet on the ground and some of the big nations are still to join the party”.
Their victory came halfway through the finals programme which was opened with Heather Stannign and Helen Glover winning gold in the women’s pair.
Tanner added: “Whilst proud of the whole team I guess I’m particularly excited by the performances of our two new male crews – the men’s pair and double scull who both won silvers – we knew they were talented but you don’t know how they are going to perform in this kind of hot-house.
“There were also some very disappointed silver medalists, like the men’s eight who lost out to World Champions, Germany. But that shows how ambitious they are”.
Further silvers were won by the lightweight women’s double of Sophie Hosking and Kat Copeland, Alan Campbell in the men’s single and the ightweight men’s four of Chris Bartley, Rob Williams and the Chambers brothers Richard and Peter.
The women’s eight and quadruple scull were GB’s bronze medalists.
Earlier this week Hester Goodsell, 2008 Olympian in the lightweight women’s double scull and twice a World Championships medalist, announced her retirement from the sport at international level and will return to work as a music teacher in September.
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Heather Stanning and Helen Glover, World silver medalists last year, began their final strongly today. They moved out to a half-length lead 500m into the race with the USA’s Caroline Lind and Taylor Ritzel giving chase.
By halfway the British duo had moved to a two-thirds lead with the American top-ranked crew of Erin Cafaro and Eleanor Logan taking up the challenge. These three crews had begun to create distance over the rest of the field.
Glover and Stanning, from Penzance and Lossiemouth respectively, were over two seconds ahead at 1500m but then found themselves with a race on their hands as Cafaro and Logan ate back into their lead. The British duo needed to put in a final push to the line to secure victory in 7:00.61.
Glover said: “That was our first final of 2012 and it’s good to get the win. Today we had pressure but controlled pressure from the USA”.
Stanning said: “Now we go back home and go through the phases of training for the next two world cups before we even think about the Olympics”.
Their male equivalents have certainly made a senior world cup debut together to remember. Will Satch and George took silver today and, even then, just narrowly behind Germany and ahead of the hugely experienced Gkountoulas brothers from Greece.
Throughout the race they were in close contention for the main prize. Third at 500m they moved up to second at the 1000m and 1500m and looked like they could challenge for top honours before the Germans seemed to find half an extra gear to hold on in the final 100m burst and win in 6:26.45 to GB’s 6:27.03.
Nash said: “It’s been a massive learning experience here. I think we’ll go home and look at extending our race right to the line. That’s what it’s all about – being composed and keeping the power on. It’s all about being mentally strong. The good thing is that there is nothing massive we need to do”.
Satch said: “We came here as a pretty fresh pair and I think we’ve exceeded ourselves. Now we need to get the experience of two more world cups”.
However, out on the water there was a sense that the British duo knew what they were doing. From the front of the race they could view the opposition clearly and react accordingly.
Germany’s Annekatrin Thiele (Olympic silver medal – double??) and Britta Oppelt were their toughest test and provided a quality sprint in the final 500m to give the British duo the test they wanted.
“We were sitting out front for much of the race and watching people attacking us and responding”, said Watkins.
“We put in a good 15 strokes at the end to get the win but I think the Germans were sprinting from a long way out to get us”.
Grainger said: “I really enjoyed that race. It’s been such a long time since we raced competitively. We wanted a quality race here and the Germans gave us that. But if anyone thinks they have seen our full-on finish they haven’t. We will wait to unleash that in the Olympic final, I expect”.
Next came the men’s double scull of Sam Townsend and Bill Lucas. Back together this year in a reprise of their younger years, the duo knew that Germany and Italy could be the main rivals.
“The Germans were very strong today. It seemed like several crews had the same race plan. The ones that went out strongly at the beginning paid towards the end – all except the Germans”, said Townsend.
“This event is so exciting”, added Lucas. “We can take a real positive from today. In an ideal world we would like to have been in a stronger place earlier in the race but sometimes you can’t do that against such world class crews”.
The GB men’s four called themselves a “work in progress” yesterday after their semi-final. Today they certainly moved up another gear for all to see by taking gold.
Greece took an early lead and were there piling on the pressure at the end. In between, though, the GB quartet had created and maintained and ultimately converted a lead. By halfway they had 1.29 seconds over the field. At 1500m gone they had maintained that with Belarus in the challenging pack alongside Greece. Neither could impact the result from there.
“We’ve shown glimpses of real speed recently but we haven’t quite recreated it”, said Hodge.
“We have our feet on the ground and some of the big nations are still to join the party”.
Gregory said: “A win’s a win and it’s good to get it. We’re doing all we can to go as fast as we can. We are going in the right direction”.
Reed said: “We’ve come from two very different projects and we’re trying to get the best out of both. We’ve had our ups and downs so far but we now seem to have a good foundation”.
James added: “It was important that we showed good basic rhythm today. We can improve but this was a good starting point and it shows we are quick.
“There will be increased expectations on us now but we are ready for that. We are just concentrating on what we can do and not worrying about the opposition”.
Sophie Hosking and Kat Copeland are also a new combination this season with Hosking moving into the bow seat. Today they gave an impressive account of themselves – only losing out to the World Champions from Greece.
The British duo were fifth at the first timing point but rowed through the Chinese and others to be second with 500m to go. The Greeks had enough finishing speed to hold them off in the sprint to the line.
Copeland, World U23 single scull champion said: “It was good to get the experience of racing a double and seeing what tactics are used.
“I think we got exactly what we were wanting out of the race today”.
Hosking added: “It was a really promising start as a new combination. You can tell it’s Olympic year by the intensity crews are putting into the start of their races. But we were ready for that and wanted to get into our rhythm and move on from there”.
Their male counterparts Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter, by contrast, are very much an established combination as Olympic and World Champions. Today they showed that pedigree to win against some quick opposition.
Purchase and Hunter started conservatively but worked themselves into a lead by halfway of just over a second from Panagiotis Magdanis and Eleftherios Konsolas of Greece. Italy also challenged strongly but faded to third at the end.
In the final throes, Purchase and Hunter were clearly not going to relent, holding on to win by less than half a second.
This was an exciting race and Purchase was quick to acknowledge the Greeks for the effort they made.
“We are really happy to have had a good race and there’s lot more to come”, said Purchase. “The standard is very high this year compared to last which is what you would expect. Credit to the Greeks, they pushed us hard”.
With 500m gone of the women’s eight final, the GB Rowing Team crew were about a metre or so down on the Netherlands. As the halfway approached the Dutch women extended their lead a little whilst British cox Caroline O’Connor urged her charges onto greater efforts ahead of the Ukraine and Romania.
Jo Cook, Olivia Carnegie Brown, Olivia Whitlam, Vicky Meyer-Lake, Jess Eddie, Emily Taylor, Katie Greves and Lindsey Maguire might have been forgiven at that point for feeling like the Romanians, who put in a push, were breathing down their necks and coming down the tracks at speed.
The GB combination – minus the injured Louisa Reeve and Polly Swann – battled stroke by stroke but with 500m to go the Romanians had moved a few tenths of a second ahead. At the finish GB still had an overlap on the Romanians but not enough in the tank to challenge seriously for silver.
“We had a few crew changes before we came here. But even though today was a good step up from yesterday’s race for lanes I wouldn’t say that we are pleased our performance”, said O’Connor.
“I’m a bit frustrated to be honest’, said Eddie. “I don’t think we were clever enough in the second half of the race today”.
“It’s kind of bitter-sweet for me”, said Carnegie Brown. “I feel like I want to enjoy my first senior medal but it’s clear that the more experienced members of the crew are not pleased with the performance”.
“We had to commit hard through 750m. I think we just need more time together and we’ve got that now before the next world cup”, said Maguire.
Greves said: “It was OK as a start – we improved from the race for lanes but it is disappointing to finish behind crews we were ahead of at the world championships. We had to make some changes to the crew due to injuries but the new girls did a great job”.
Whitlam added: “It was not the race I wanted to come back to but it’s a starting point. We had the speed at the start but we got rowed through which was disappointing. It’s a new crew and I think we have the engine in the boat but the skills aren’t as sharp as they need to be yet”.
The lightweight men’s four took silver behind Denmark. Peter Chambers, Rob Williams, Richard Chambers and stroke Chris Bartley were challenging at the front with Denmark early in the race and with 200m to go seemed to have the edge on one of their more perennial rivals.
In the end Denmark prevailed by just over a second. The verdict and the race was close enough to please the crew which has Peter Chambers within it this year rather than Paul Mattick who had previously held the seat and who yesterday won the lightweight men’s pair event with Adam Freeman Pask – such is the strength of competition within the GB squad.
“We were leading with about 200m to go and that was really pleasing. Virtually all of our opposition is here barring the Australians and we’re a new combination so it’s good to see where we are in the world. It was also good to see the field fragmenting a little bit. It would have been nice to get a win but I’m happy with where we are”, said Williams.
Richard Chambers added: “We wanted to win and we know we are quick. They train hard and we train hard and it comes down to delivery on the day”.
His younger brother Peter added: “We were pretty good for most of the race. A few more weeks training and we’ll be there in the last part of the race. We went out hard and tried even harder in the 3rd 500 – we did all we could and fair play to the Danes. We will go back and look at the race and see what we can do but this was a good starting point. More time together is the key”.
Ukraine took gold and Germany silver in the women’s quadruple scull final in which the GB Rowing Team’s women’s quadruple scull of Vicky Thornley, Beth Rodford, Frances Houghton and Mel Wilson were third.
The Ukrainians led throughout but the GB boat worked its way back up the field to third from fifth with 500m to go but did not quite have enough to overhaul either the eventual winners or Germany who took silver.
“We had been the quickest in the heats and we expected to be up there with a chance”, said Wilson. “Now the important bit of the summer is to come”.
“I’m really, really proud of all the girls” said Rodford. “Every call I made they responded to. We were down off the start and Ukraine got a length on us early. But then we got into a good, strong rhythm which was what we were aiming for here.
“Eventually we had to go for the finale earlier than we wanted but as a new combination I’m pretty pleased. For me it was also a case of laying to rest a few ghosts from last season”.
Houghton added: “We are a new crew and to come away with a bronze is a good start. We are now all on the same page and we can go away and assess what we did right and what we need to change”.
Vicky Thornley said: “We’ve got a lot to work on. I think we had a better race in the heat – we lost a bit too much at the start today but we came through well. I’m disappointed with bronze but we are only going to improve. We have found speed so we just need to go away and work on all the other elements”.
The Olympic champion Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic prevailed in the men’s single scull final today but not before Alan Campbell of Great Britain had given him a tough test.
Campbell had a whisper of a lead as the crews came into the final 500m alongside the grandstands. Roared on by the travelling British fans Campbell held his ground only to cede in the final 20 strokes as Synek showed his staying power to surge ahead.
“That’s why I love this event. It’s not processional, it’s exciting and entertaining”, said Campbell. “It is a tight event and there is so much happening”.
The scene was set and the music “sinister meets horror” from the even organizers as the crews lined up for the final of the men’s eight to conclude the racing programme.
Britain and Germany were expected to go head to head in this race as World silver and gold medalists respectively. The green of Germany’s bow showed ahead of the yellow of the British boat in the opening 100m.
Britain were not prepared, though, to let them get away. At the first timing point, the GB crew had a margin – but a small one. Scything stroke for stroke down the course the bow-balls surged and dropped, surged and dropped with the power of the crews.
At halfway there was still nothing much to choose between them but GB still had the edge, forcing the Germans to put on more power – unaccustomed as they have become in recent years to being led in any race.
At 1500m the roles were reversed. Britain were four tenths down and you could almost see the confidence surge through their opposition.
Was it all over? With 40 strokes still to come, the Germans picked up their speed and pulled away again. The fast-finishing Dutch came up in a sprint to challenge the British who held on for silver.
The GB crew, whilst disappointed, will take confidence and lessons from this performance.
Ric Egington said: “We did a pretty good job considering we had to make a change to the crew a couple of days ago. It was a big change and we only had a short time to get it together and it showed up the longer the race went on. It’s early days for me in the eight – I haven’t rowed in an eight for a long time and I feel that I’m still finding my feet. But it was an encouraging start”.
Phelan Hill added: “It was a good race and there is more to come from us. It was a nice feeling to be in the race at 1000m instead of our usual default of being down and chasing in the second 1000m so we need to keep that going”.
Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell said: “We had to get in the German’s faces and we were very aggressive in the first 1000m”.
Matt Langridge: “It was great to get out ahead of the Germans in the first half of the race but when we get out in front we need to learn how to stay out there and build on it”.
In the earlier B Finals the second GB lightweight women’s double of Andrea Dennis and Imogen Walsh took second place whilst the men’s quadruple scull took an early lead and held onto win despite a stiff challenge in the final 250m from Switzerland and Poland.
Rachel Gamble Flint rounded off a good debut regatta at senior world cup level by taking fourth place in the women’s single scull B final in 7:45.70.
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(Events featuring GB Rowing Team crews only. For full results: www.worldrowing.com)
1 Helen Glover/Heather Stanning (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:00.61
2 Erin Cafaro/Eleanor Logan (USA 1) 7:01.79
3 Caroline Lind/Taylor Ritzel (USA 2) 7:03.47
4 Claudia Belderbos/Chantal Achterberg (Netherlands 1) 7:10.72
5 Kerstin Hartmann/Marlene Sinnig (Germany) 7:15.14
6 Adelina Cojocariu/Irina Dorneanu (Romania 2) 7:17.72
1 Netherlands 6:06.06
2 Romania 6:08.70
3 Jo Cook/Olivia Carnegie-Brown/Olivia Whitlam/
Victoria Meyer-Laker/Jessica Eddie/Emily Taylor/
Katie Greves/Lindsey Maguire/Caroline O’Connor(cox) 6:11.18
4 Ukraine 6:13.38
1 Anna Watkins/Katherine Grainger (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:50.35
2 Annekatrin Thiele/Britta Oppelt (Germany) 6:51.03
3 Lenka Antosova/Jitka Antosova (Czech Republic) 6:53.90
4 Min Wang/Weiwei Zhu (China 1) 7:01.22
5 Yan Jiang/Li Rong (China 2) 7:04.93
6 Inge Janssen/Elisabeth Hogerwerf (Netherlands) 7:07.13
1 Anton Braun/Felix Drahotta (Germany 1) 6:26.45
2 George Nash/William Satch (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:27.03
3 Nikolaos Gkountoulas/Apostolos Gkountoulas (Greece 1) 6:28.05
4 Nanne Sluis/Meindert Klem (Netherlands 2) 6:36.58
5 Jan Gruber/Jakub Makovicka (Czech Republic 2) 6:39.45
6 Nenad Bedik/Jovan Popovic (Serbia 1) 6:42.65
1 Germany 5:26.78
2 Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell/Alex Partidge/Richard Egington/
Tom Ransley/Greg Searle/Mohamed Sbihi/James Foad/
Matt Langridge/Phelan Hill (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:29.93
3 Netherlands 5:30.21
4 Poland 5:34.10
5 Ukraine 5:36.61
6 France 5:39.54
1 Ondrej Synek (Czech Republic) 6:47.82
2 Alan Campbell (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:51.33
3 Angel Fournier Rodriguez (Cuba) 6:53.62
4 Liang Zhang (China) 6:55.04
5 Aleksandar Aleksandrov (Azerbaijan 1) 6:56.56
6 Mindaugas Griskonis (Lithuania) 7:00.18
1 Eric Knittel/Stephan Krueger (Germany 1) 6:09.78
2 Bill Lucas/Sam Townsend (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:10.90
3 Luka Spik/Iztok Cop (Slovenia) 6:11.11
4 Cedric Berrest/Julien Bahain (France) 6:11.64
5 Hans Gruhne/Mathias Rocher (Germany 2) 6:11.73
6 Alessio Sartori/Romano Battisti (Italy 1) 6:15.16
1 Christina Giazitzidou/Alexandra Tsiavou (Greece) 6:55.04
2 Sophie Hosking/Katherine Copeland (GREAT BRITAIN 1) 6:55.51
3 Dongxiang Xu/Wenyl Huang (China 1) 6:56.01
4 Anne Lolk Thomsen/Juliane Rasmussen (Denmark) 6:57.82
5 Rianne Sigmond/Maaike Head (Netherlands) 6:58.99
6 Kristin Hedstrom/Julie Nichols (USA) 7:00.76
1 Zac Purchase/Mark Hunter (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:19.71
2 Panagiotis Magdanis/Eleftherios Konsolas (Greece) 6:20.12
3 Lorenzo Bertini/Elia Luini (Italy) 6:20.65
4 Mads Rasmussen/Rasmus Quist (Denmark) 6:20.87
5 Zsolt Hirling/Tamas Varga (Hungary 1) 6:23.46
6 Are Strandli/Kristoffer Brun (Norway) 6:24.18
1 Donata Vistartaite (Lithuania) 7:40.35
2 Tale Gjoertz (Norway) 7:43.05
3 Kaisa Pajusalu (Estonia) 7:44.96
4 Rachel Gamble-Flint (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:45.70
5 Ivana Filipovic (Serbia 2) 7:50.39
6 Nataliia Huba (Ukraine) 7:53.33
1 Matthew Wells/Stephen Rowbotham/Charles Cousins/
Marcus Bateman (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:48.40
2 Switzerland 5:49.60
3 Poland 5:49.94
4 Ukraine 5:50.20
5 Czech Republic 5:51.15
6 Slovenia 5:58.19
1 Jing Liu/Feihong Pan (China 2) 7:02.36
2 Imogen Walsh/Andrea Dennis (GREAT BRITAIN 2) 7:04.67
3 Emma Fred/Kristina Knejp Christensson (Sweden) 7:06.61
4 Christina Sperrer/Sara Karlsson (Austria) 7:12.44
5 Olga Arkadova/Natalia Varfolomeeva (Russia) 7:13.26
6 Erzsebet Kabodi/Zsuzsanna Hajdu (Hungary) 7:24.56
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SAMSUNG WORLD ROWING CUP I
Belgrade, Serbia, 4-6 May, 2012
GB ROWING TEAM CREWS LIST
(See home-towns, clubs and dates of birth in list below. Named here in crews bow to stroke unless indicated. (Coach in brackets).
Single scull – Two boats
Rachel Gamble Flint
Single scull – two boats
Bill Lucas/Sam Townsend
Matt Wells/Stephen Rowbotham /Charles Cousins/Marcus Bateman
Double scull – two boats
Paul Mattick/Adam Freeman-Pask
Zac Purchase/Mark Hunter
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HOME TOWN LISTS
Helen Glover Minerva Bath Penzance 17/06/86 Heather Stanning Army RC Lossiemouth 26/01/85 Coach: Robin Williams Eight
Jo Cook Leander Club Sunbury-on-Thames 22/03/84
Olivia Carnegie-Brown Oxford Brookes Univ BC Oxford 28/03/1991
Olivia Whitlam Agecroft RC Warrington 16/09/85
Vicki Meyer-Lake Leander Club Premnay 18/03/1988
Jessica Eddie Univ of London BC Durham 07/10/84
Emily Taylor Leander Club Lincoln 28/06/87
Katie Greves Leander Club Oxford 02/09/82
Lindsey Maguire Wallingford RC Edinburgh 15/01/82
Caroline O’Connor (cox) Oxford Brookes Univ BC Ealing, London 25/04/83 Coach: Nick Strange Single Scull (Boat 1) Rachel Gamble-Flint Leander Club Darlington 13/09/91 Coach: Jane Hall
Natasha Page Gloucester RC Hartpury 30/04/85 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 Beth Rodford Gloucester RC Gloucester 28/12/82 Melanie Wilson Imperial College BC London 25/06/84 Frances Houghton Leander Club Oxford 19/09/80 Victoria Thornley Leander Club Wrexham 30/11/87 Coach: Ade Roberts MEN
Pair George Nash Molesey BC Guildford 02/10/89 Will Satch Leander Club Henley-on-Thames 09/06/89 Coaches: Christian Felkel & Paul Stannard
Four Tom James Molesey BC Wrexham 11/03/84 Alex Gregory Leander Club Wormington 11/03/84 Pete Reed Leander Club Nailsworth, Glos 27/07/81 Andrew Triggs Hodge Molesey BC Hebden, N. Yorks 03/03/79 Coach: Jürgen Grobler Eight
Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell Uni of London BC Durham 13/04/88
Alex Partridge Leander Club Alton, Hants 25/01/81 Richard Egington Leander Club Knutsford 26/02/79 Tom Ransley York City RC Cambridge 06/09/85
Greg Searle Molesey BC Marlow 20/03/72
Mohamed Sbihi Molesey BC Surbiton 27/03/88
James Foad Molesey BC Southampton 20/03/87 Matthew Langridge Leander Club Northwich 20/05/83 Cox – Phelan Hill Leander Bedford 21/07/79 Coaches: John West & Christian Felkel Single Scull Alan Campbell Tideway Scullers School Coleraine 09/05/83
Coach: Bill Barry
Double Scull Bill Lucas London RC Kingswear 13/09/87 Sam Townsend Reading Univ BC Reading 26/11/85 Coach: Mark Earnshaw Quadruple Scull Matthew Wells Leander Club Hexham, Northumberland 19/04/79
Stephen Rowbotham Leander Club Winscombe, Somerset 11/11/81
Charles Cousins Reading Univ BC Willingham, Cambs 13/12/88
Marcus Bateman Leander Club Torquay 16/09/1982 Coach: Mark Banks LIGHTWEIGHTS
Single Scull Kathryn Twyman Wallingford RC Oxford 29/03/87 Coach: Paul Reedy Double Scull (Boat 1) Sophie Hosking London RC Wimbledon 25/01/86 Katherine Copeland Tees RC Ingleby Barwick, Stockton-on-Tees 01/12/90 Coach: Paul Reedy Double Scull (Boat 2) Imogen Walsh London RC Inverness 17/01/84 Andrea Dennis Imperial College BC Oxford 03/01/82 Coach: Paul Reedy MEN
Pair Paul Mattick Leander Club Frome, Somerset 25/04/78 Adam Freeman-Pask Imperial College BC Windsor 19/06/85 Coaches: Rob Morgan & Darren Whiter Four Peter Chambers Oxford Brookes Univ BC Coleraine 14/03/90
Rob Williams London RC Maidenhead 21/01/85
Richard Chambers Leander Club Coleraine 10/06/85 Chris Bartley Leander Club Chester 02/02/84 Coach: Rob Morgan
Mike Mottram Leander Club Stoke Mandeville 08/06/1990
Double Scull Zac Purchase Marlow RC Tewkesbury 02/05/86 Mark Hunter Leander Club Romford, Essex 01/07/78 Coach: Darren Whiter
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THE NEXT WORLD CUPS
The dates and venues for the other two world cups are:
SAMSUNG ROWING WORLD CUP II
Lucerne, Switzerland, 24-26 May
SAMSUNG ROWING WORLD CUP III
Munich, Germany, 15-17, June
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