Fireworks finale for GB Rowing Team at 2014 Worlds
Great Britain delivered a fireworks finale to the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam by taking gold in the men’s eight to add to the bronze won earlier in the day by the lightweight men’s four.
Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell, Mat Tarrant, William Satch, Matt Gotrel, Pete Reed, Paul Bennett, Tom Ransley and Constantine Louloudis, coxed by Phelan Hill, delivered a consummate performance to defend GB’s 2013 title ahead of the Olympic Champions from Germany and Poland in third.
“That’s what I train for every day, I train to win and not to come second. I have been hungry for that”, said 2014 newcomer Tarrant, a former World U23 champion who has been a constant in the boat this season along with twice Olympic men’s four champion Pete Reed and Will Satch from the 2013 winning crew.
They got out to a good start and then put the hard yards in through the middle of the race to set up the win.
“That was a crew effort”, said Reed. “Everyone had their part to play and they all contributed.
“I had to keep my head in the boat, listen to Phelan and we all worked through the middle thousand (metres). I didn’t know that we had won until I heard Noddy’s roar”, said Gotrel of the shout that went up from the so-nicknamed GB bowman Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell as he realised the crew had won. A mass of boat slapping and roaring followed from the whole crew.
The lightweight men’s four of Chris Bartley, Peter and Richard Chambers, and Chris Bartley won bronze in the lightweight four. They went for broke in their attempt to topple the Danes, the reigning world champions, and were rowed out of silver in the final 300m by New Zealand.
“The aim was to go out hard. We set out for gold and we gave it our best shot”, said Peter Chambers after the race.
Sir David Tanner said” “What a climax to a great set of finals and medals from our team. Two more strong medals today from the light men’s four and the men’s eight with the exceptional achievement of defending our eight’s gold from last year”.
The women’s eight by contrast to their male counterparts were disappointed with their sixth place in a race won by the USA with Canada in second and China third.
“The pieces didn’t come together today and when we look back we will need to ask why. We want to be in a place next year where if we don’t have our best row we are still capable of being in the medals”, added Donna Etiebet.
Today’s performances followed the GB Rowing Team’s two golds – in the men’s four and women’s pair – and two silvers from the men’s quad and pair of yesterday.
On Friday the team won a silver in the men’s coxed pair and bronze in the lightweight men’s pair to add to the mixed para-rowing coxed four gold and arms-shoulders single scull silver won on Thursday.
Overall the GB Rowing Team have won ten medals here compared to eight in 2013, four golds, four silvers and two bronzes.
The nation’s top rowers now have a three-week training break. They will return to training in late September and will next be in action in the UK at the British Championships in Nottingham in October.
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The GB men’s eight has been a work in progress this season with some shaping and re-shaping as the Europeans, where GB won a bronze, and the world cups in which GB won silver and bronze, went by.
Germany, the Olympic Champions, started as favourites, the Russians were beaten by the British in the repechage here this week but had earlier this season been a form crew. The French have packed their boat with all their top men this season, Poland had an amazing win in the heats to qualify for the final and the USA also looked strong. So the scene was set for a tough battle in the final race of the whole Championships.
In the early part of today’s race, Germany, Poland and the USA were the first three boats to show in a tightly packed field. By 500m gone, though, the British boat was back up in third and challenging the Poles for second. After a hard-work second 500m the GB boat was marginally ahead – 0.34 seconds up on Germany.
Inevitably Poland responded but the GB boat still had a canvas lead with 500m to go. Every British supporter was out of their seat watching the drama unfold as the crews came past the grandstands. Germany sprinted past Poland but could not find a quick enough top gear to get back at the British boat who won in 5:24.11 to Germany’s 5:24.77. Poland came home over two seconds behind in bronze and the USA were fourth.
“We could not have delivered that performance last week”, said O’Donnell. “I know it sounds strange to say that but we needed that repechage. We needed another race as a crew”.
“It felt absolutely good off the start and we got into a good rhythm and then we had to lay it all down”, said Tom Ransley.
Asked about the sheer physical effort involved in his role at stroke Constantine Louloudis said: “In terms of physical effort it was huge but in terms of leading the guys it was easy. They all wanted the same thing”.
“It tastes much better the second time round”, said cox Hill. “That was awesome. I am so proud of these guys”.
“Wins like that don’t come cheap, there was a big price to pay”, said Paul Bennett of the sheer physicality of the challenge today.
Earlier in the afternoon Mark Aldred, Richard and Peter Chambers and Chris Bartley got a fast start in today’s lightweight men’s four final in which they faced the reigning World Champions Denmark as well as the New Zealanders who won in the last world cup of the season – bar one substitute.
At the 500m mark, Denmark, victors over the British boat in the semi-finals after a gripping contest took over the lead at 500m gone. New Zealand were also threatening.
A ribbon if stretched across the surface of the Bosbaan’s brown waters would have been broken by the bow of any one of the lead three crews as the crews reached half-way. Mere tenths were the margins here.
In the third 500m New Zealand moved ahead of the British quartet but the GB crew responded to come back up into contention with perhaps a few feet separating all three crews.
At that moment the Danes went for the knock-out punch. They suddenly flew to a boat-length lead and raced on to defend their title. The British took bronze in 5:49.58 in a narrow verdict from New Zealand in silver.
“We were all guns blazing with 500m to go. We did a lot through the middle though”, said Aldred.
“We went for the win rather than being safe”, said Richard, the elder of the Chambers siblings.
“We went out to get gold and we gave it our best shot”, said Peter Chambers.
“They have been together for a lot longer than us as a crew. For us it’s been a question of building it up from scratch this year. So there’s a lot more to come”, said Bartley.
The GB Rowing Team women’s eight went to today’s start line having already shown the pace to beat China and Russia in the heats and repechage. In turn, Romania had shown them a clean pair of heels in the repechage and the USA and Canada had the history and pedigree to take the major medals. So would this race end in a battle between the British and Romanian women for bronze?
If yes, it would be a repeat of the Lucerne world cup final in which Romania narrowly – no very narrowly – beat the GB combination of Rosamund Bradbury, Louisa Reeve, Katie Greves, Donna Etiebet, Jess Eddie, Zoe Lee, Polly Swann and Caragh McMurtry with cox Zoe de Toledo.
The answer turned out to be “no”. The British boat never really made an impact from the outset. They were a couple of seconds down at halfway and went on to finish sixth in a race won by the USA with Canada second and China third.
“We are all really disappointed because I don’t think that was representative of our best. If we had gone out and come sixth and delivered our best race at the same time that would have been different”, said cox Zoe de Toledo afterward.
In their B final earlier in the day the GB Rowing Team open men’s double scull of John Collins and Jonny Walton lined up for the start of their B finals just as the breeze picked up and the rain fell. They got out to a decent start just behind the leaders, Norway, the 2013 World Champions.
Just beyond the 750m mark they took the lead but were immediately challenged by New Zealand who came up to half a canvas of the GB boat and Serbia moved in to third. Collins and Walton put in another push and took a length lead over the Kiwis by the 1500m mark and went on to win in 6:10.41. New Zealand were second and Serbia third.
Whilst Mirka Knapkova, the Olympic Champion, sculled into a big first half lead in the B final of the open women’s single scull Vicky Thornley was well positioned in second before being caught briefly by the Dane Fle Udsby Erichsen.
Thornley countered a move from the Dane Fle Udsby Erichsen, held off Genevra Stone of the USA and was closing in on Olympic champion Mirka Knapova before having to settle for second.
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1. USA 5:56.83
2. Canada 5:59.66
3. China 6:00.52
4. Romania 6:02.84
5. Russia 6:06.51
6. Rosamund Bradbury/Louisa Reeve/Katie Greves/Donna Etiebet/Jess Eddie/Zoe Lee/
Polly Swann/Caragh McMurtry/Zoe De Toledo (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:08.57
1. Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell/Matthew Tarrant/Will Satch/Matthew Gotrel/Pete Reed/Paul Bennett/
Tom Ransley/Constantine Louloudis/Phelan Hill (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:24.11
2. Germany 5:24.77
3. Poland 5:26.90
4. USA 5:29.18
5. France 5:31.61
6. Russia 5:34.93
1. Kasper Winther/Jacob Larsen/Jacob Barsoe/Morten Joergensen (Denmark) 5:47.15
2. James Hunter/Alistair Bond/Peter Taylor/Curtis Rapley (New Zealand) 5:48.76
3. Mark Aldred/Peter Chambers/Richard Chambers/Chris Bartley (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:49.58
4. Clement Duret/Guillaume Raineau/Franck Solforosi/Theophile Onfroy (France) 5:49.86
5. Nicolas Silcox/Samuel Beltz/Blair Tunevitsch/Thomastom Gibson (Australia) 5:56.11
6. Joris Pijs/Jort van Gennep/Timothee Heijbrock/Bjorn van den Ende (Netherlands) 5:59.18
1. Mirka Knapkova (Czech Republic) 7:24.08
2. Victoria Thornley (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:25.66
3. Genevra Stone (USA) 7:26.18
4. Lina Saltyte (Lithuania) 7:28.23
5. Fie Udby Erichsen (Denmark) 7:29.82
6. Lisa Scheenaard (Netherlands) 7:31.76
Double scull – Final B
1. John Collins/Jonathan Walton (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:10.41
2. Robert Manson/Karl Manson (New Zealand) 6:13.03
3. Marko Marjanovic/Aleksandar Filipovic (Serbia) 6:13.36
4. Nils Jakob Hoff/Kjetil Borch (Norway) 6:15.31
5. Liang Zhang/Jun Dai (China) 6:16.89
6. Frank Steffensen/Sophus Johannesen (Denmark) 6:18.57
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World Rowing Championships 2014
(listed bow to stroke with cox)
Amsterdam, 24-31 August
Rosamund Bradbury (Leander Club/Banstead/17.12.88)/
Louisa Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)/
Katie Greves (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)/
Donna Etiebet (Sport Imperial BC/London/29.04.86)/
Jessica Eddie (London RC/Durham/07.10.84)/
Zoe Lee (Imperial College BC/Richmond, N. Yorks/15.12.85)/
Polly Swann (Leander Club/Edinburgh/15.06.88)/
Caragh McMurtry (Reading Univ BC/Southampton/22.08.91)/
Zoe de Toledo (cox) (Leander Club/London/17.07.87)
Coach: James Harris
Coach: Nick Strange
Open women spares:
Alex Gregory (Leander Club/Wormington/11.03.84)/
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)/
George Nash (Molesey BC/Guildford/10.02.89)/
Andrew Triggs Hodge (Molesey BC/Hebden, N. Yorks/03.03.79)
Coach: Jurgen Grobler
Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell (Univ of London BC/Durham/13.04.88)/
Matthew Tarrant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Shepperton/11.07.90)/
Will Satch (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/09.06.89)/
Matthew Gotrel (Leander Club/Chipping Campden/01.03.89)/
Pete Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth, Glos/27.07.81)/
Paul Bennett (Univ of London BC/Leeds/16.12.88)/
Tom Ransley (Leander Club/Cambridge/06.09.85)/
Constantine Louloudis (OUBC, London, 15/09/91)/
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Putney & Bedford/21.07.79)
Coaches: Christian Felkel & Jurgen Grobler
Graeme Thomas (Agecroft RC/Preston/08.11.88)/
Sam Townsend (Reading Univ BC/Reading/26.11.85)/
Charles Cousins (Leander Club/Willingham/13.12.88)/
Peter Lambert (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/03.12.86)
Coach: Paul Stannard
Open men’s spares
Ruth Walczak ((Molesey BC/Rochdale/15.09.88)/
Eleanor Piggott (Wallingford RC/Olney/16.05.91)/
Brianna Stubbs (Wallingford RC/Headington/13.07.91)/
Charlotte Taylor (Putney Town RC/Bedford/14.08.85)
Coach: Tom Evens
Coach: Rob Morgan
Mark Aldred (London RC/London/18.04.87)/
Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Coleraine/14.03.90)/
Richard Chambers (Leander Club/Coleraine/10.06.85)/
Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Chester/02.02.84)
Coach: Rob Morgan
Lightweight men’s spare:
Zak Lee Green (Agecroft RC/Cardiff/05.02.91)
Legs-Trunk -Arms Mixed Coxed Four
Grace Clough (Nottingham RC/Sheffield/ 21.06.91)/
Pamela Relph (Leander Club/Aylesbury/14.11.89)/
Dan Brown (Upper Thames RC/Reading/29.11.82)
James Fox (Univ of London/Peterborough/02.05.92)/
Oliver James (cox) (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/05.10.90)
Coach: Tom Dyson
MANAGEMENT AND TEAM SUPPORT
Sir David Tanner, Performance Director / Team Manager
Jürgen Grobler, Chief Coach Men
Paul Thompson, Chief Coach Women & Lightweights
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Medical & Science
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GB ROWING TEAM 2013 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS MEDALS
2013 World Championships Medals, Korea.
Total medals won: 8 (3 golds, 5 bronzes)
Olympic class medals won: 2 golds, 3 bronzes
International class medals won: 2 bronzes
Paralympic class medals won: 1 gold
Lightweight Women’s Single Scull – BRONZE
For further historical medal data: https://www.britishrowing.org/gb-rowing-team/events/world-championships
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