Gold for women’s quad as GB win three medals at World Rowing U23 Championships

The women’s quadruple scull wins gold at the World Rowing U23 Championships, while the men’s four and coxed four take silver medals in Plovdiv


The women's quadruple scull wins gold at the 2017 World Rowing U23 Championships in Plovdiv (Naomi Baker)

Great Britain won three medals on day four of the World Rowing U23 Championships, including a fantastic gold medal for the women’s quad, who had to deal with a late replacement in the boat and still rowed to victory.

They suffered a setback earlier in the day when Kyra Edwards was withdrawn for medical reasons, replaced by Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne – the bow from the women’s eight. But the change in personnel didn’t hold the boat back, with Anna Thornton, Saskia Budgett, Lucy Glover and Hodgkins-Byrne leading from the start to win by a length.

The men’s four of Rob Hurn, Tom Digby, Charlie Elwes and Sholto Carnegie wrapped up the day with another excellent silver medal. Australia proved too strong, pushing out to an unassailable lead, but GB held off Austria by a length to seal the third medal of the Championships.

And the men’s coxed four (George Stewart, Oliver Wilkes, Joshua Kent, Patrick Sullivan & Charlie Clarke) took the first medal of the day, finishing second behind Italy in an exciting final. The Brits sat third at the 1,500m mark, having seen Italy put in a move to take the lead in the third quarter, but GB edged through USA to take silver by half a length.

The lightweight men’s pair finished just outside the medals in fourth place. Dominic Jackson and Chris Tebb were up with the pace in the first 500m, sitting second, but slipped back in the middle thousand metres to fall out of the podium places.

Also just off the podium were the lightweight men’s quad, finishing fourth in a race won by Switzerland. Jonny Jackson, James Temple, Ollie Varley and Hugo Coussens crossed the line just over a length down on Ireland, who took bronze.

The lightweight women’s quad finished fifth in their final – a race that was dominated by Italy, who won by six seconds from the Netherlands. GB sat sixth through the first three quarters of the race before moving past Australia for fifth place.

And in the first final of the session, the women’s four took sixth place in a race dominated by the Netherlands, who beat Romania by nearly two lengths.

In the morning session, GB qualified three more boats for medal finals on Sunday, with the men’s pair, men’s double scull and men’s quad scull all progressing.

The double scull took an excellent win in their semi-final, with Seb Devereux and Sam Meijer taking the lead before the halfway mark and holding it to the end. With Lithuania and France separated by just three tenths of a second in the second semi-final, Sunday’s medals race promises to be an exciting battle.

Andy Joel, Harry Glenister, Rowan Law and Harry Leask took second place in the men’s quad heat in the third fastest time of the day to set up another fascinating final, while the men’s pair took third place and fourth fastest overall to move through.

Josh Armstrong in the men’s single scull and the lightweight men’s double will both compete in B finals on Sunday, having finished fourth and fifth respectively in their semi-finals.

Great Britain has five more medal finals to contest on Sunday – the men’s double scull, men’s pair, men’s quadruple scull, women’s eight and men’s eight. Armstrong and the lightweight men’s double will also race their B finals.


Saskia Budgett (BW4x): “It’s a wonderful feeling – we had a great start and just held our rhythm from there – it just felt so relaxed and we were able to move away from the others after the kilometre mark.”

Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne (BW4x): “It’s just incredible, I woke up this morning expecting to go for a paddle in the eight and I just can’t quite believe I’ve won a gold medal in the quad. I love sculling and it’s fantastic racing with these girls.”

Charlie Elwes (BM4-): “We’re proud of our silver after a week where we’ve not really had an ideal build up, with some of us off colour. The power wasn’t quite there as usual today when we moved into our pace after the first quarter.”

Shotlo Carnegie (BM4-): “That was really tough, not quite our best. When the Australians moved out before halfway we dug in. We are really proud of how we won the silver in a top class field by really pushing in the second half and putting the rest of the boats behind us.”

George Stewart (BM4+): “This was really big for us. Although we’re in our last U23 year none of us have been to a Championship before so we’ve made the most of it, it’s fantastic to have a silver medal.”



Women’s four (BW4-)
1. Netherlands 6:31.69
2. Romania 6:34.18
3. Germany 6:39.70

6. Great Britain (Lauren Irwin, Oonagh Cousins, Chloe Brew, Meg Saunders) 6:51.19

Men’s coxed four (BM4+)
1. Italy 6:04.72
2. Great Britain (George Stewart, Oliver Wilkes, Joshua Kent, Patrick Sullivan, Charlie Clarke(cox)) 6:07.24
3. USA 6:08.07

Lightweight women’s quadruple scull (BLW4x)
1. Italy 6:25.96
2. Netherlands 6:34.91
3. Germany 6:32.26

5. Great Britain (Susannah Duncan, Flo Pickles, Imogen Mackie, Imogen Grant) 6:37.13

Lightweight men’s pair (BLM2-)
1. Italy 6:33.05
2. Turkey 6:36.70
3. Ireland 6:37.63
4. Great Britain (Dominic Jackson, Chris Tebb) 6:45.33

Lightweight men’s quadruple scull (BLM4x)
1. Switzerland 5:50.62
2. Austria 5:52.09
3. Ireland 5:52.37
4. Great Britain (Jonny Jackson, James Temple, Ollie Varley, Hugo Coussens) 5:54.55

Women’s quadruple scull (BW4x)
1. Great Britain (Anna Thornton, Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne, Saskia Budgett, Lucy Glover) 6:22.87
2. Australia 6:24.70
3. Germany 6:25.36

Men’s four (BM4-)
1. Australia 5:50.16
2. Great Britain (Rob Hurn Tom Digby, Charlie Elwes, Sholto Carnegie) 5:53.64
3. Austria 5:56.39


Men’s pair (BM2-)
1. Romania 6:29.54
2. USA 6:31.73
3. Great Britain (Will Stewart, Freddie Davidson) 6:32.16

Men’s double scull (BM2x)
1. Great Britain (Seb Devereux, Sam Meijer) 6:15.68
2. Belgium 6:19.34
3. Croatia 6:20.89

Lightweight men’s double scull (BLM2x)
1. Canada 6:19.88
2. Spain 6:20.66
3. South Africa 6:21.69

5. Great Britain (Matthew Curtis, Gavin Horsburgh) 6:23.77

Men’s quadruple scull (BM4x)
1. Russia 5:42.98
2. Great Britain (Andy Joel, Harry Glenister, Rowan Law, Harry Leask) 5:46.31
3. Hungary 5:48.86

Men’s single scull (BM1x)
1. Canada 6:55.30
2. Poland 6:57.00
3. Bulgaria 6:58.23
4. Great Britain (Josh Armstrong) 7:00.17