Great Britain sets up seven medal finals on Saturday at World Rowing U23 Championships

Five GB boats progress to A finals on day three at the World Rowing U23 Championships in Plovdiv, with Josh Armstrong also reaching the M1x semi-final


The women's eight at the World Rowing U23 Championships in Plovdiv (Naomi Baker)

Great Britain will contest seven medal finals on Saturday after another successful day on the water at the World Rowing U23 Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

In Friday’s racing GB qualified five boats for weekend A finals, with Josh Armstrong adding to the impressive performances by qualifying for the semi-final of the men’s single scull.

Both the men’s four and lightweight men’s quadruple sculls finished second in their semi-finals. The four were involved in a great battle with Australia, sitting second until shortly before the 1,500m mark where they took a narrow advantage. But Australia edged their way back through to win by a canvas and set up what promises to be a fascinating final on Saturday afternoon.

The lightweight quad sat fourth after a quarter of the race but steadily made their way though the field, moving in to second place behind Switzerland in the final quarter to guarantee their place in the final.

The women’s four finished third in their semi-final, a race dominated by the Netherlands, to take their place in Saturday’s race for medals. The Dutch put in by far the fastest time of the two semi-finals, and will surely be the ones to beat in the final.

Both the men’s and women’s eights qualified for their A finals on Sunday, coming through the repechages safely. The women finished fourth in their race, won by Germany, to take their place in the final, while the men dominated their race to guarantee progress. They finished nearly seven seconds ahead of second place Germany and will battle for the medals at the weekend.

And Armstrong made it through his quarter-final in the men’s single, pipping Italy’s Salvatore Monfrecola by just over a tenth of a second to take the third and final semi-final place from the race. Poland’s Natan Wegrzycki-Szymczyk set the fastest time in the quarter-finals with 6:50.03, with the semi-final races taking place on Saturday.

It promises to be a busy day of racing for the GB Rowing Team on Saturday, with the semi-finals for the men’s pair, men’s double scull, lightweight men’s double, men’s quad and men’s single in the morning session. The A finals for the women’s four, men’s coxed four, lightweight women’s quad, lightweight men’s pair, women’s quad, men’s four and lightweight men’s quad follow in the afternoon.


Women’s eight repechage (BW8+) Four progress to A final
1. Germany 6:09.94
2. Russia 6:12.68
3. Denmark 6:14.63
4. Great Britain (Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne, Georgia Statham, Eleanor Stewart, Isobel Powell, Fiona Bell, Thea Zabell, Ally French, Heidi Long, Sasha Adwani (cox)) 6:15.94

Men’s single scull quarter-final (BM1x) Three progress to semi-final
1. Denmark 6:53.07
2. Greece 6:53.58
3. Great Britain (Josh Armstrong) 7:03.30

Men’s eight repechage (BM8+) Two progress to A final
1. Great Britain (Matt Benstead, Alastair Douglass, Michael Glover, Matt Aldridge, David Bewicke-Copley, Morgan Bolding, David Ambler, Arthur Doyle, Ian Middleton (cox)) 5:27.45
2. Germany 5:34.10
3. Poland 5:37.49

Women’s four semi-final (BW4-) Three progress to A final
1. Netherlands 6:26.62
2. Romania 6:29.77
3. Great Britain (Lauren Irwin, Oonagh Cousins, Chloe Brew, Meg Saunders) 6:34.40

Lightweight men’s quadruple scull semi-final (BLM4x) Three progress to A final
1. Switzerland 5:47.26
2. Great Britain (Jonny Jackson, James Temple, Ollie Varley, Hugo Coussens) 5:49.31
3. France 5:50.52

Men’s four semi-final (BM4-) Three progress to A final
1. Australia 5:44.38
2. Great Britain (Rob Hurn Tom Digby, Charlie Elwes, Sholto Carnegie)
3. Serbia 5:48.48