Three Junior medals sees World Champs end on a high
The GB Rowing Team’s Juniors won two silver medals and a bronze to provide a fitting climax to a fantastic week for Britain’s next generation at the 2016 World Rowing Championships in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
On a dramatic last day of racing that saw several crews suffer boat-stopping crabs in the choppy conditions, the British rowers kept it clean to equal the three-medal haul from the 2014 and 2015 Junior World Championships.
The men’s four of Oscar Lindsay, James Plaut, Oswald Stocker and Freddie Davidson matched last year’s silver medal for Britain in Rio, as did the women’s quadruple scull of Annabel Stevens, Lola Anderson, Sheyi Blackett and Lucy Glover.
The men’s eight of Charlie Pearson, Oskar Arzt-Jones, Dom Jackson, Oliver Ayres, Patrick Adams, Benedict Aldous, Seb Benzecry, Felix Drinkall and cox Vlad Saigau then brought the curtain down on an excellent week for British rowing by winning bronze in a cracking final.
Sir David Tanner, British Rowing’s Performance Director and Overall Team Leader in Rotterdam, said: “We have had three very good medals today, matching our juniors’ performances at their World Championships in Rio in 2015.
“It is impressive to see how the standard of junior rowing is rising across the world and I am pleased with the toughness that our juniors showed out on the water today.”
Men’s four medallist Lindsay said: “We’re really happy with the silver. We all raced in Rio last year but didn’t win a medal, so it’s very nice to be going home with one this time.”
Blackett, of the women’s quad, added: “It was probably the worst conditions I have raced in but the best race of my life! The girls were absolutely amazing and I am so proud.”
Men’s eight stroke Drinkall said: “It was a great race and it has been an amazing experience for us all. We have dedicated our summer to this and we have had such a fun time along the way.”
There was almost a fourth medal for Britain, with the women’s four of India Somerside, Bryony Lawrence, Frances Russell and Alex Rankin missing out on bronze by just four-hundredths of a second.
Medallists Ayres and Glover are both on the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sports Excellence (AASE) programme, as are fellow Junior team members George Lawton and Hope Cessford.
Today’s results mean that the 113-strong GB Rowing Team competing at the combined Senior, U23 and Junior World Championships during the past week finished with an impressive total of 13 medals – five gold, five silver and three bronze.
Leaving Rotterdam as Senior World Champions are the women’s four of Fiona Gammond, Donna Etiebet, Holly Nixon and Holly Norton; the men’s coxed pair of Ollie Cook, Callum McBrierty and Henry Fieldman; and the lightweight women’s quadruple scull of Brianna Stubbs, Emily Craig, Imogen Walsh and Ellie Piggott.
Full reports on the Senior and U23 finals, including quotes from the medallists, are available in our news section – click here.
Click on the expander boxes below for full reports, reaction and results from today’s Junior finals.
The strong winds that blew the early-morning storms away provided very testing conditions for the junior rowers but the GB crews rose to the challenge to win three medals.
GB had won silver in both the men’s four and women’s quadruple scull at the 2015 Junior World Championships in Rio and repeated those achievements on a choppy Willem-Alexander Baan rowing course.
The men’s four of Oscar Lindsay, James Plaut, Oswald Stocker and Freddie Davidson have been in fantastic form this week, leading from the front in both their heat and semi-final.
They came up against an outstanding Romanian crew in the final, who produced one of the performances of the week to go below six minutes and take gold in a new championship-best time.
The British four also produced an excellent performance to maintain a clear-water advantage over the rest of the field. Germany ensured the podium positions were the same as 12 months ago by taking bronze but only after the Italians lost a blade in the last 100m.
Lindsay said: “We’re really happy with the silver. We all raced in Rio last year but didn’t win a medal, so it’s very nice to be going home with one this time. We knew Romania were going to be fast and we tried as hard as we could to stick with them but they were just a bit too quick for us.”
Stocker added: “It’s great to step on from last year and get a medal. It was a real test of boat-handling skills in those conditions but we managed to keep it clean and keep our rhythm.”
Plaut said: “There was a point when we knew we couldn’t catch the Romanians but we also knew that no-one else was going to catch us. It was all about keeping our concentration and we did it well.”
Davidson added: “Once the Romanians had broken clear, it was all about winning that silver medal. It was a really good race by us in those conditions and it’s been a pretty awesome week all round.”
While the crew members in the men’s four were all racing at a second successive Junior World Championships, it was a first appearance at that level for the women’s quad of Annabel Stevens, Lola Anderson, Sheyi Blackett and Lucy Glover.
They have quickly looked at home on the world stage, dominating both their heat and semi-final before producing a fantastic effort to take the silver medal behind China in a dramatic final.
Germany got off to a strong start and were half a length up on Britain and China at the 1300m mark when disaster struck, with a massive boat-stopping crab sending the leaders to the back of the field.
It was now a two-horse race for the gold medal, with both China and GB cranking up their stroke rate. It was a tremendous battle but China just had the edge and went on to take gold by half a length.
The British quad were delighted with their efforts, with Blackett saying: “It was probably the worst conditions I have raced in but the best race of my life. The girls were absolutely amazing and I am so proud.
“I didn’t know what was happening out there! The Germans lost a blade in the lane next to us and we knew that was our moment to really go for it. From that point on we didn’t stop pushing.”
Stevens added: “It’s brilliant to get silver, I can hardly believe it! I was sat at bow so I saw a huge splash of water [when the German quad crabbed].”
Glover, in the stroke seat, said: “We just had to keep moving together, stick to our race plan and make sure we executed it.”
A British junior men’s eight had not won a medal at the World Championships since 2012 but Charlie Pearson, Oskar Arzt-Jones, Dom Jackson, Oliver Ayres, Patrick Adams, Benedict Aldous, Seb Benzecry, Felix Drinkall and cox Vlad Saigau had demonstrated they were ready to end that wait with a confident win in Wednesday’s heat to progress directly to today’s final.
It was the 432nd race of the week and it proved to be a fitting finale, with Germany taking the last gold of the Championships by just three-hundredths of a second from the United States after a pulsating contest.
The British eight were fourth at the halfway mark but cranked the rate up to surge past New Zealand into the bronze-medal position, eventually finishing nearly two lengths up on the chasing pack.
Cox Saigau said: “It was a really good race to finish on. We were really up for it, so we weren’t worried when New Zealand were ahead of us at halfway. We have been really driven all week and we knew we would come through.
“The senior eight won Olympic gold and the U23s won World silver this week, so it’s not been a bad summer for the GB men’s eights.”
Drinkall added: “We obviously wanted to win but it was a great race. It has been an amazing experience for us all. We have dedicated our summer to this and we have had such a fun time along the way. We realised this morning that we were winners no matter what the result was.”
Benzecry said: “I’ve won two bronze medals at the Coupe de la Jeunesse and two at the Munich International but this one today is really quite special. The conditions threw everything at us but we kept our heads and put together a really strong performance. I am incredibly proud to have represented Great Britain with these guys.”
Aldous added: “We’re happy with that. Conditions were not fantastic which meant we were never going to have the perfect row but we did as well as we could.”
Ayres said: ” We tried our hardest to take it to them but that’s how it ended up. There were really tough conditions out there but it was a great race.”
Jackson added: “I’ve been really enjoying the past seven weeks and it’s all been worth it for this.”
Pearson said: “I wasn’t completely sure [we had bronze] – you see a bit but you don’t know what’s going on. This is what we’ve been working towards all year and it’s amazing to get something out of it.”
The women’s four of India Somerside, Bryony Lawrence, Frances Russell and Alex Rankin could not have come closer to winning a fourth medal of the day for Britain, being edged off the podium by just four-hundredths of a second after a dramatic final.
With Germany and Italy powering at the front, there was a cracking three-way battle between GB, the United States and China for the bronze medal. Neck and neck at 800m, the Americans were able to pull away slightly but there was still just half-a-length separating the crews with 400m to go.
Somerside, Lawrence, Russell and Rankin dug deep to put in a massive final push, clawing their rivals back with every stroke, but the US – who had finished clear of GB in the semi-finals – did just enough to hold on to third place by the narrowest of margins.
The early-morning storms meant that the four GB crews competing in the B finals had to wait an hour before getting out on the water for their last races of the week.
Matthew Rowe, Alex Green, Seb Newman, Bertie Woodward-Fisher and cox George Cozens were first up in a three-way men’s coxed four B final with South Africa and Ukraine.
The Brits got off to a great start and held a narrow lead at the 500m mark but South Africa upped their rate to edge clear. The Ukranians responded and their battle with South Africa – who just held on for the win – took them away from GB, who finished ninth overall.
Hope Cessford and Lauren Irwin are making their GB debuts this week and were the only crew to match the fast pace of Romania and Lithuania in their women’s pair B final.
The front three were well clear of the field, with Cessford and Irwin producing a good kick in the third 500m to finish just a length down on race winners Romania. Third place for the Brits placed them ninth in the world.
It’s been a busy week for the men’s pair of Alexander Wythe and Adam Teece, who were contesting their fourth race in five days.
Sitting fourth at the halfway mark, they dug deep into their energy reserves to produce a determined sprint finish and were closing on third-placed Mexico but just ran out of water. Victory went to New Zealand.
Winding up their rate, they surged through the field to sit third at 1000m but Belgium and Hungary responded to the challenge. There was a real battle behind leaders Greece for places in the second half of the race, with GB just being edged into fifth and 11th overall.
(Events featuring GB Rowing Team crews only. For full results – www.worldrowing.com)
1. Frederike Mueller/Isabelle Huebener/Janina Arndt/Annabel Oertel (Germany) 6:42.17
2. Laura Meriano/Benedetta Faravelli/Ludovica Braglia/Lara Maule (Italy) 6:43.15
3. Abigail Tarquino/Sarah Ondak/Kelsey McGinley/India Robinson (USA) 6:47.60
4. India Somerside/Bryony Lawrence/Frances Russell/Alex Rankin (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:47.64
5. Quiying Yang/Dan Li/Yuxiu Zhou/Xiangyu Song (China) 6:48.15
6. Kate Haines/Charlotte Spence/Georgia Smith/Ella Simanu (New Zealand) 6:58.78
1. Xueying Guo/Xingye Xu/Xingyun Pan/Shiyu Lu (China) 6:39.45
3. Magadelena Juzikova/Anna Santruckova/Pavlina Flamikova/Veronika Uhlova (Czech Republic) 6:43.15
4. Brylie Gordon/Claudia MacDonald/Veronica Wall/Jessica Turfrey (New Zealand) 6:44.98
5. Ioanna Bitzilaiou/Elisavet Anastasia Bourmpou/Dimitra-Sofia Tsamopoulou/Maria Pergouli (Greece) 6:47.93
6. Luise Asmussen/Paula Vosgerau/Anneke Mau/Maren Voelz (Germany) 7:20.72
1. Stefan-Constantin Berariu/Cosmin Pascari/Mihaita-Vasile Tiganescu/Constantin-Cristi Hirgau (Romania) 5:58.85
2. Oscar Lindsay/James Plaut/Oswald Stocker/Freddie Davidson (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:03.71
3. Niklas Junkes/Leon Muench/Simon Klose/Benjamin Leibelt (Germany) 6:09.30
4. Cooper Ball/Sean Hayes/Evan Dwinell/Ian Low (USA) 6:12.47
5. Vasileios Koukoutis/Athanasios Palaiopanos/Apostolos Giannatzis/Georgios Stamos (Greece) 6:16.72
6. Edoardo Lanzavecchia/Matteo Della Valle/Edoardo Benini/Raffaele Serio (Italy) 7:01.47
1. Germany 5:38.58
2. United States 5:38.61
3. Charlie Pearson/Oskar Arzt-Jones/Dom Jackson/Oliver Ayres/Patrick Adams/Benedict Aldous/Seb Benzecry/Felix Drinkall/Vlad Saigau (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:43.25
4. New Zealand 5:47.13
5. Italy 5:48.00
6. Netherlands 5:59.59
1. Andrea Budeanu/Simona Geanina Radis (Romania) 7:28.42
2. Vytaute Urobonaite/Kamile Kralikaite (Lithuania) 7:29.59
3. Hope Cessford/Lauren Irwin (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:31.27
4. Berre Baltaoglu/Didem Surer (Turkey) 7:43.98
5. Oleksandra Rohozhynska/Zhanna Huzhva (Ukraine) 7:47.56
6. Olesia Zakharova/Ekaterina Glazkova (Russia) DNS
1. Ethan Blight/Thomas Russel (New Zealand) 6:46.61
2. Etienne Juillet/Paul Tixier (France) 6:47.41
3. Francisco Gonzalez/Adolfo Peralta (Mexico) 6:48.46
4. Alexander Wythe/Adam Teece (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:49.66
5. Liam Keane/Isaac Donaldson (Canada) 6:51.98
6. Nikolay Zhelyazkov/Stanimir Haladzhov (Bulgaria) 6:52.53
1. South Africa 6:28.05
2. Ukraine 6:28.65
3. Matthew Rowe/Alex Green/Seb Newman/Bertie Woodward-Fisher/George Cozens (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:32.08
1. Nikolaos Demelis/Dmitrios Sakas/Petros Ballis/Antonios Papakonstantinou (Greece) 6:01.65
2. Liam Beerlandt/Sander De Witte/Bert Herman Verkest/Marlon Colpaert (Belgium) 6:03.67
3. Vladimir Lavrentev/Egor Koval/Aleksandr Kuniakin/Vladimir Iashin (Russia) 6:04.62
4. Daniel Illenyi/Gabor Borsanyi/Barnabas Schopf/Krisztian Kerekes (Hungary) 6:05.55
6. Maximilian Brenner/Jackson Kench/Thomas Barnes/Pasha Bevan (Australia) 6:08.04
GB Rowing Team for World Rowing Junior Championships, Rotterdam, Netherlands
(Listed bow to stroke; club/school)
Hope Cessford (Durham ARC)
Lauren Irwin (Chester-le-Street ARC)
India Somerside (Glasgow Schools RC)
Bryony Lawrence (Gloucester RC)
Frances Russell (Gloucester RC)
Alex Rankin (Glasgow Schools RC)
Coach: Iain Somerside
Annabel Stevens (Reading RC)
Sheyi Blackett (Reading RC)
Lola Anderson (Surbiton High School BC)
Lucy Glover (Warrington RC)
Coach: Ade Roberts (GBRT)
Alexander Wythe (Winchester College BC)
Adam Teece (Abingdon School BC)
Coach: James Loveday (Thames RC)
Oscar Lindsay (Eton College BC)
James Plaut (Westminster School BC)
Oswald Stocker (Westminster School BC)
Freddie Davidson (St Paul’s School BC)
Coaches: Dave Currie (Shiplake College BC) & Robin Dowell (GBRT)
Matthew Rowe (Royal Shrewsbury School BC)
Alex Green (Westminster School BC)
Seb Newman (Shiplake College BC)
Bertie Woodward-Fisher (St Paul’s School BC)
George Cozens (cox) (Eton College BC)
Coach: Mark Woodcock (Pangbourne College BC)
Charlie Pearson (Eton College BC)
Oskar Arzt-Jones (Westminster School BC)
Dom Jackson (Hampton School BC)
Oliver Ayres (Molesey BC)
Patrick Adams (Eton College BC)
Benedict Aldous (Eton College BC)
Seb Benzecry (St Paul’s School BC)
Felix Drinkall (Eton College BC)
Vlad Saigau (cox) (St Paul’s School BC)
Coach: Patrick Duggan (King’s College School BC)
Rory Harris (Pangbourne College BC)
George Lawton (Northwich RC)
Coach: Tom Jost (Claires Court School BC)
James Mawby (Nottingham RC)
Josh Armstrong (Glasgow Schools RC)
Nick Plaut (Westminster School BC)
Coaches: Robin Dowell (GBRT) & Dave Currie (Shiplake College BC)
Management and team support
Performance Director & Overall Team Manager (Seniors, U23 & Juniors): Sir David Tanner
Team Manager – Juniors: John Layng
Lead Coach: Robin Dowell
Doctor: Lucy Free
Physiotherapist: Gaby Halloran
Equipment Manager: Colin Greenaway (Hampton School BC)
For background information about the The GB Rowing Team contact the Press office via email@example.com or 07831 755351
For picture requests please contact: GBRTpressoffice@gbrowingteam.org.uk
GB Rowing Team website, including full rower biogs: www.gbrowingteam.org.uk
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