Junior men’s quad surge into history books in Rio
The GB Rowing Team junior men’s quadruple scull produced a storming finish to win a historic gold medal at the World Junior Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
There were gutsy performances from the women’s quad and men’s four, who both won silver medals at the Rio 2016 Olympic venue of the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas.
Sally Downing and Rosalind Wilson finished just off the podium in the women’s double scull final, as did the men’s eight, while the women’s four were sixth.
All of the British crews placed in the top nine in the world and Sir David Tanner, GB Rowing Team Performance Director, was delighted with the rowers’ efforts.
“It has been a good day for our team,” he said. “All six finalists brought credit to themselves.
“There were impressive silver medals for the men’s four and women’s quad, then that quite exceptional performance from the men’s quad to take the field apart completely in the last 600m.
“That is the first gold medal for any GB men’s quad at a Championships and this has been a great junior squad to work with.”
Tanner is now looking forward to seeing the seniors compete on the Lagoa next year at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“The organisers in Rio have also done an exceptional job on what will be the Olympic and Paralympic courses next year, including creating a wonderful atmosphere at this event,” he said. “We can look forward with confidence to two great regattas next August and September.
“Finally, thank you to all the parents, families and friends who came all the way to Brazil to cheer on our boats – their presence says a lot as well.”
Gavin Horsburgh, Joshua Armstrong, Sam Meijer and Chris Lawrie had impressed in both the heats and semi-finals of the men’s quad in Rio but found themselves towards the back of the field in the opening stages of Saturday’s final.
They were in fifth place and a length down on the front three at the 1k mark but that was the cue for a massive surge by the British boat.
They began slicing through the field and, after overtaking New Zealand to move into third place with 500m to go, maintained their remarkable power and pace to reel in both Ukraine and long-time leaders Germany to take gold in 6:05.36.
Meijer and Lawrie, who were part of the quad that won silver at last year’s World Junior Championships, praised coach Robin Dowell after their win.
“Although we were a bit down on the field after 500m we were not worried,” said Meijer. “Our coach had told us to chisel away with each stroke and just dig in, and that brought us up to the rest of the field by halfway.”
When asked about the other crews going out strong, he added: “We expected that could happen and we thought they might wear themselves out so we stuck to our game plan.”
Lawrie, when asked what it was like in the last 400m when they were going so fast through the field, said: “Our coach, Robin, said we had to do three ‘tens’ in the last 30 strokes. We stepped it up twice and then the last ten was for gold – that is what made us champions.”
The women’s quad also progressed from winning bronze in 2014 to take silver behind a strong German crew who led throughout.
Susannah Duncan, Kyra Edwards, Molly Harding and Anna Thornton established themselves in second place and, despite coming under some pressure from the US, were able to move away in the closing stages to secure an impressive silver in 6:50.31.
It was a second successive World Junior medal for Duncan and Thornton, who were also in the quad 12 months ago in Hamburg, Germany.
A mature performance saw the British crew get off to a strong start and lead by half a length at the 500m mark before the Romanians upped their stroke rate to move ahead.
They maintained that advantage for the rest of the race but there was a tough battle for the other medal places, with GB being pushed by Germany and fast-finishing Greece.
Sally Downing and Rosalind Wilson finished just outside the medals in the women’s double scull final.
The German crew of Annemieke Schanze and Frieda Haemmerling got off to a strong start and maintained that pace throughout to take gold.
Romania’s Elena Logofatu and Nicoleta Pascanu, who were bidding for a third successive World Junior gold medal, sat in second place but found themselves coming under pressure from Downing and Wilson at the halfway mark.
The rookie British double were rowing well, as they have all week, but the Italians made a big push during the third quarter to edge into third place. They went on to take bronze behind Romania, with Downing and Wilson half a length back in fourth.
The men’s eight made a good challenge for a podium place in the final race of the day and were second at the halfway stage after a strong start.
As the Netherlands made a decisive break, there was little to choose between the next four crews during an exciting charge for the line.
Alex Lindsay, Nick Plaut, James Plaut, Gregor Duncan, Oscar Bird, Rufus Biggs, David Ambler, Freddie Davidson and cox Hugo Marsh eventually crossed in fifth place, just two seconds behind silver-medallists Germany.
The women’s four final was effectively three races in one, with the United States just getting the better of Germany in the battle for gold. They had a clear-water advantage over New Zealand, who managed to hold off China for bronze.
Alex Rankin, Georgie Grant, Nuala Gannon and Megan Slabbert in the British four found themselves contesting fifth place with the Italians and there was nothing to choose between the crews for 1,700m.
Italy just managed to edge ahead in the closing stages, with Britain coming home sixth in the world in 7:26.30.
Three British crews contested the B finals, with the men’s coxed four of Guy Screaton, Christopher Zahn, Oswald Stocker, Alex Balgarnie and cox Vlad Saigau leading their two-boat race with Ukraine throughout to win in 6:35.33.
That put them seventh overall, while the men’s pair of Oscar Lindsay and Lucas Rodd were eighth after finishing runners-up to France in their B final.
The front two positions were established early in the race, with the British crew pulling away from Chile in the second quarter and then seeing off a renewed challenge from the South Americans in the closing stages.
A tight men’s double scull B final saw Estonia, France and the British crew of Scott Ozsanlav-Harris and Matt Swiss pursue a New Zealand crew who went out hard in the first 1,500m.
The Kiwis tired in the closing stages and were overtaken by Estonia but had just enough left to hold off the fast-finishing Brits, who crossed the line in third to place ninth in the world overall.
(Events featuring GB Rowing Team crews only. For full results – www.worldrowing.com)
1. Katy Gillingham/Marlee Blue/Dana Moffat/Kaitlyn Kynast (United States) 7:09.04
2. Paula Vosgerau/Bea Bliemel/Charlotte Zeiz/Leah Labudde (Germany) 7:10.19
3. Ella Greenslade/Lucy Hutchinson/Finau Mosa Ati-Fosita/Anehera Nin (New Zealand) 7:20.46
4. Li Liu/Mengke Ji/Yiyu Yang/Migwei Zhao (China) 7:20.58
5. Giovanna Schettino/Nicoletta Bartalesi/Sarah Gaverni/Sarah Caverni (Italy) 7:25.11
6. Alexandra Rankin/Georgina Grant/Fionnuala Gannon/Megan Slabbert (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:26.30
1. Annemieke Schanze/Frieda Haemmerling (Germany) 7:32.58
2. Elena Logofatu/Nicoleta Pascanu (Romania) 7:38.65
3. Valentina Iseppi/Allegra Francalacci (Italy) 7:40.00
4. Sally Downing/Rosalind Wilson (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:41.70
5. Bridget Badenoch/Georgia Wheeler (Australia) 7:42.83
6. Vivien Preil/Zoltana Gadanyi (Hungary) 7:47.71
1. Lena Reuss/Katharina Boerms/Franziska Kampmann/Laura Kampmann (Germany) 6:46.87
2. Susannah Duncan/Kyra Edwards/Molly Harding/Anna Thornton (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:50.31
3. Meghan Gutknecht/Emily Delleman/Elizabeth Sharis/Emily Kallfelz (USA) 6:52.58
4. Loanne Guivarch/Anne-Sophie Marzin/Margaux Bailleul/Claire Bove (France) 6:59.71
5. Katharina Strahl/Andrea Fuerholz/Eloise von der Schulenburg/Debora Hofer (Switzerland) 7:02.03
6. Yara Ensminger/Kendell Massier/Pari Baker/Stephanie Grauer (Canada) 7:05.45
1. Alexandru Matinca/Cosmin Pascari/Mihai Ianos/Ciprian Tudosa (Romania) 6:17.20
2. Thomas Digby/Charles Elwes/Luke Towers/Jonathan Naylor (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:19.39
3. Lukas Geller/Christopher Reinhardt/Johannes Rentz/Lukas Foebinger (Germany) 6:19.65
4. Antonis Spyridon/Konstantinos Vardakas/Ioannis Kalandaridis/Nikolaos Vlachos (Greece) 6:19.84
5. Brock Bozzani/Benj Cohen/Liam Corrigan/Daniel Hogan (USA) 6:24.92
6. Manuel Alvarez/Antonio Munoz/Yago Gavilan Espinos/Rodrigo Conde Romero (Spain) 6:28.84
1. Netherlands 5:51.74
2. United States 5:53.89
3. Germany 5:54.28
4. Italy 5:54.65
5. Alex Lindsay/Nicholas Plaut/James Plaut/Gregor Duncan/Oscar Bird/Rufus Biggs/David Ambler/Frederick Davidson/Hugo Marsh (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:55.78
6. Russia 6:11.59
1. Gavin Horsburgh/Joshua Armstrong/Samuel Meijer/Chris Lawrie (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:05.36
2. Anton Finger/Marc Weber/Enrst-Albrecht Boy/Jacob Raillon (Germany) 6:07.31
3. Yehven Aleksandrov/Vladyslav Hysar/Pavlo Yurchenko/Denis Kryvulia (Ukraine) 6:08.73
4. Braeden Camp/Matthew Mesman/Leonard Jenkins/Benjamin Kirsop (New Zealand) 6:10.70
5. Bogumil Lyczak/Marcin Krysinski/Dawid Pieniak/Rafal Staszak (Poland) 6:10.78
6. Danilo Amalfitano/Gergo Cziraki/Riccardo Jansen/Gabriel Soares (Italy) 6:19.80
1. Esteban Catoul/Louis Maupin (France) 6:55.15
2. Oscar Lindsay/Lucas Rodd (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:57.18
3. Christopher Kalleg Andrate/Marcelo Medina Bonilla (Chile) 6:59.81
4. Lucas Manning/Oliver Bub (USA) 7:01.69
5. Antonio Schettino/Enrico Flego (Italy) 7:03.24
6. Wenyu Chang/Yao Wei (China) 7:17.35
1. Guy Screaton/Christopher Zahn/Oswald Stocker/Alexander Balgarnie/Vlad Saigau (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:35.33
2. Pavlo Doshchenko/Kostiantyn Dmytriv/Oleh Nohol/Vladyslav Somov/Vitaliy Kolbiagin (cox) (Ukraine) 6:41.76
1. Johann Poolak/Marko Laius (Estonia) 6:38.02
2. Hayden Robertson/Jack Lopas (New Zealand) 6:38.68
3. Scott Ozsanlav-Harris/Matthew Swiss (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:41.49
4. Charles Mulot/Gert-Jan Van Doorn (Netherlands) 6:42.90
5. Alfredo Abraham/Ignacio Abraham (Chile) 6:44.44
6. Stanislas Desgrippes/Hugo Quemener (France) 6:44.80
GB Rowing Team for World Junior Championships
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 5-9
Alex Rankin (Glasgow Academy)
Georgie Grant (Bewl Bridge RC)
Nuala Gannon (St Georges College BC)
Megan Slabbert (Molesey BC)
Coach: Helen Taylor (Molesey BC)
Sally Downing (York City RC)
Rosalind Wilson (Marlow RC)
Coach: Bret King (Marlow RC)
Oscar Lindsay (Eton College BC)
Lucas Rodd (Tideway Scullers School)
Coach: Patrick Duggan (Kings College School RC)
Tom Digby (Abingdon School BC)
Charlie Elwes (Radley College BC)
Luke Towers (Pangbourne College BC)
Jonny Naylor (Canford School BC)
Coaches: Richard Boulton (GB Rowing Team), John Gearing (Radley College BC)
Guy Screaton (Abingdon School BC)
Chris Zahn (Hampton School BC)
Oswald Stocker (Westminster School BC)
Alex Balgarnie (Westminster School BC)
Vlad Saigau (cox) (St Paul’s School BC)
Coach: Neil Double (Hampton School BC)
Alex Lindsay (Eton College BC)
Nick Plaut (Westminster School BC)
James Plaut (Westminster School BC)
Gregor Duncan (Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association)
Oscar Bird (Thames RC)
Rufus Biggs (Sir William Borlase’s BC)
David Ambler (St Paul’s School BC)
Freddie Davidson (St Paul’s School BC)
Hugo Marsh (cox) (St Edward’s School BC)
Coach: Mark Woodcock (Pangbourne College BC)
Scott Ozsanlav-Harris (Grange School RC)
Matt Swiss (Dart Totnes ARC)
Coach: Matt Jump (Grange School RC)
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