World gold and three silvers for GB Rowing Team para rowers
Grace Clough, Dan Brown, Pamela Relph, James Foxand cox Oliver James kept their World Championships crown in France today in a thrilling contest which saw the USA push them all the way to the line.
America got off to a lightning start and, at the finish, only just over two tenths separated the crews. Canada won the battle for bronze but were eight seconds off the winning time. The four’s gold meant that GB has been unbeaten in this event since 2011.
“Truth be told, I didn’t think we’d got it until 15 seconds after the line and GBR came up on the screen”, said Relph.
“That was the toughest race of my life”, said Clough. “Credit to them, that was a great race”.
Fox added: “We knew they would be quick off the start but expected our race pace to bring us back. But that didn’t happen so it was down to just grit and determination that got us there”.
Brown said: “It was really really good to win. Nice to get the gold. We knew coming into it that it was going to be close. Now we’ve got a lot of hard training to do over the winter”.
Cox James dded: “This time was a different experience for us. I felt them breathing down our necks. Credit to them. We can use the close race for next year. We have to push on now for next year”.
Gold for the four had been preceded by a trio of GB slivers in a hugely successful World Championships for the para-rowing squad.
Rachel Morris far exceeded her own expectations here in France to win one of the sport’s more remarkable medals.. The double leg amputee, who underwent shoulder surgery just 18 weeks ago, took silver in the arms-shoulders single scull at the World Championships.
Before today’s final Morris, from Farnham, had said: “The aim here was to qualify the boat for Rio – to finish in the top eight. I haven’t let myself think about the final”.
Now she can go away with memories of the medal she took by coming back on the fast-starting Norwegian Birgit Skarstein to secure second spot behind Israel’s Moran Samuel. Gold went to the Israeli in 5:25.92 and silver to Morris in 5:27.02 with Norway’s bronze in 5;31.94.
An elated Morris, a former hand-cycling Paralympic champion until transferring to rowing just over two years ago, said afterwards: “It’s massive. To be able to come from another sport and to be able to win a medal a year out from Rio is huge. It’s really cool”
In the men’s arms-shoulders single scull Tom Aggar used his trademark strong second half to get back into medal contention in today’s final. At halfway he was fourth in a race being led convincingly by Australia’s Erik Horrie who went on to win in 4:55.55.
The next 500m proved crucial as Londoner Aggar used his strength and technique to get up to peak speed and overhaul Igor Bondar of Ukraine to take silver on the line in 4:51.09. Horrie’s gold came in 4:45.50 and Bondar’s bronze in 4:51.70.
Aggar said: “I am really pleased with the silver and I’m now looking forward to next year. Great to see Rachel and the others do so well, too”.
Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley got off to a flying start in their mixed double scull (TAMix2x) final in a tight field where Brazil, France, Australia and the GB Rowing Team all had medals within their reach. As the race moved to halfway the Australians were leading and Rowles and Whieteley, from Bromsgrove and Northallerton respectively, went with them.
For such a rookie double there was the somewhat bizarre sense that they might – just a few short months after combining in the boat – surprise everyone and take the gold only for Australia to find another gear when it counted to take the verdict in 4:03.51 to GB’s 4:04.03. France won the bronze.
“So far so good”, said Whiteley afterwards. “ We have only been rowing together for two or three months and I’m looking forward to next year”.
Rowles added: “The dream outcome was for us to make the A final but for us to do this [win a medal], no words can explain it. We just kept pushing and pushing for that line and the outcome was immense”.
Whiteley had persisted with his lonely training schedule for two years hoping that a suitably classified female would emerge. Teenager Rowles came to the fore after a chance meeting between her and GB Rowing Team staff when both were at Stoke Mandeville hospital recently. She had previously raced for England at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year in the wheelchair track events.
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Single scull – Final
1. Moran Samuel (Israel) 5:25.92
2. Rachel Morris (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:27.02
3. Birgit Skarstein (Norway) 5:31.94
4. Claudia Santos (Brazil) 5:32.00
5. Liudmila Vauchok (Belarus) 5:38.39
6. Eleanora De Paolis (Italy) 5:50.92.
Single scull – Final
1. Erik Horrie (Australia) 4:45.55
2. Tom Aggar (GREAT BRITAIN) 4:51.09
3. Igor Bondar (Ukraine) 4:56.78
4. Alexey Chuvashev (Russia) 4:56.78
5. Blake Haxton (USA) 4.59.51
6. Alexander Van Holk (Netherlands) 5:06.20
Double Scull – Final
1. Gavin Bellis/Kathryn Ross (Australia) 4:03.51
2. Laurence Whiteley/Lauren Rowles (GREAT BRITAIN) 4:04.03
3. Perle Bouge/Stephanie Tardieu (France) 4:17.01
4. Dmytro Ivanov/Iryna Kyrychenko (Ukraine) 4:07.28
5. Esther Van der Loos/Corne De Koning (Netherlands) 4:08.42
6. Michel Gomes Pessanha/Josiane Lima (Brazil) 4:12.10
Coxed four- Final
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(bow to stroke plus cox, name, club, hometown)
Rebecca Chin (Agecroft RC/Deganwy/11.12.91)/
Karen Bennett (Leander Club/Edinburgh/05.02.89)
Lucinda Gooderham (Leander Club/Garboldisham/09.06.84)
Holly Norton (Leander Club/Johannesburg, SA/01.01.93)
Coach: Jane Hall
Katie Greves (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)
Louise Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)
Jessica Eddie (London RC/Durham/07.10.84)
Donna Etiebet (Sport Imperial/London/29.04.86)
Victoria Meyer-Laker (Leander Club/Premnay/18.03.88)
Olivia Carnegie-Brown (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Oxford/28.03.91)
Rosamund Bradbury (Leander Club/Banstead/17.12.88)
Zoe Lee (Imperial College BC/Richmond/15.12.85)
Zoe de Toledo (Cox) (Leander Club/London/17.07.87)
Coach: James Harris
Frances Houghton (Univ of London Tyrian Club/Oxford/19.9.80)
Jessica Leyden (Leander Club/Todmorden/22.02.95)
KrisTina Stiller (Tees RC/Yarm/23.06.87)
Melanie Wilson (Imperial College BC/London/25.06.84)
Coach: Nick Strange
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Gloucester/28.12.82)
Scott Durant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Lancaster/12.02.88)
Alan Sinclair (Leander Club/Munlochy/16.10.85)
Tom Ransley (Leander Club/Ashford/06.09.85)
Stewart Innes (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/25.05.91)
Coach: Christian Felkel
Matt Gotrel (Leander Club/Chipping Campden/01.03.89)
Constantine Louloudis (OUBC/London/15.09.91)
Pete Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth/27.07.81)
Paul Bennett (Univ of London BC/Leeds/16.12.88)
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)
Alex Gregory (Leander Club/Wormington/11.03.84)
George Nash (Molesey BC/Guildford/02.10.89)
Will Satch (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/09.06.89)
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)
Coach: Jurgen Grobler
Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers School/Coleraine/09.05.83)
Coach: John West
Graeme Thomas (Agecroft RC/Preston/08.11.88)
Sam Townsend (Reading Univ BC/Reading/26.11.85)
Charles Cousins (Leander Club/Willingham, Cambs, 13.12.88)
Peter Lambert (Leander Club/Maidenhead/03.12.86)
Coach: Paul Stannard
Angus Groom (Leander Club/Glasgow/16.06.92)
Brianna Stubbs (Wallingford RC/Poole/13.07.91)
Ruth Walzcak (Molesey BC/Rochdale/15.09.88)
Emily Craig (Univ of London BC/Mark Cross/30.11.92)
Eleanor Piggott (Wallingford RC/Bedford/16.05.91)
Coach: Ben Reed
Jono Clegg (Leander Club/Maidenhead/14.07.89)
Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Coleraine/14.03.90)
Mark Aldred (London RC/Birmingham/18.04.87)
Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Chester/02.02.84)
Coach: Darren Whiter
Jamie Kirkwood (Leander Club/Cresswell/30.08.89)
Coach: Rob Morgan
Jamie Copus (Oxford Brookes Univ/BC/Watlington/30.01.93)
Steve Parsonage (Norwich RC/Norwich/16.01.96)
Sam Mottram (Leander Club/Stoke Mandeville/14.11.94)
Zak Lee Green (Agecroft RC/Cardiff/05.02.91)
Coach: Hamish Burrell
Coxed four (LTA 4+)
Grace Clough (Nottingham RC/Sheffield/21.06.91)
Daniel Brown (Upper Thames BC/Reading/29.11.82)
Pamela Relph (Leander Club/Aylesbury/14.11.89)
James Fox (Univ of London/Peterborough/02.05.92)
Oliver James (cox) (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/05.01.90)
Coach: Tom Dyson
Trunk/-arms double scull (TA2x)
Arms/-shoulders single scull (ASM 1x)
Arms/-shoulders single scull (ASW 1x)
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(all times CET, the UK is one hour behind, key to boat classes is at foot of this section. NB – all times provisional, rowing is an outdoor sport. Please follow www.worldrowing.com for up-to-date schedules).
Friday 4 September
09.41 – 10.16
B Finals of the: M2+, LM2-, LM1x, LW1x, LM4x, LW4x
10.23 – 11.40
Semi-finals of the: W2x, M2x, LM4-, M1x, W1x, M8+
11.50 – 13.36
A FINALS of the: W4-, M2+, LM2-, LM1x, LW1x, LM4x, LW4x
Saturday 5 September
12.00 – 13.00
B Finals of the: W2-, M2-, LM2x, LW2x, M4-, W4x, M4x
13.15 – 14.45
A FINALS of the: W2-, M2-, LM2x, LW2x, M4-, W4x, M4x
Sunday 6 September
12.00 – 13:00
B Finals of the: W2x, M2x, LM4-, W8+, M1x, W1x, M8+
13.15 – 14.45
A FINALS of the: W2x, M2x, LM4-, W8+, M1x, W1x, M8+
M1x, M2x, M4x – men’s single, double and quadruple sculls
M2-, M4-, M8+ – men’s pair, four and eight
W1x, W2x, W4x – women’s single, double and quadruple sculls
W2-, W4-, W8+ – women’s pair, four and eight
LM1x, LM2x, LM4x – lightweight men’s single, double and quadruple sculls
LM2-, LM4-, LM8+ – lightweight men’s pair, four and eight
LW1x, LW2x, LW4x – lightweight women’s single, double and quadruple sculls
ASW1x, ASM1x – arms-shoulders women’s and men’s single scull (para-rowing)
TAMix2x – Trunk-arms mixed double scull (para-rowing)
LTAMix4+ – Legs-trunks-arms mixed coxed four