Three gold medals for GB and a record haul at the World Rowing U23 Championships

Great Britain win eight medals – including three golds – to record their best ever World Rowing U23 Championships result


Sam Meijer, Josh Armstrong, Matt Haywood & Rowan Law won gold in the men's quadruple sculls at the 2018 World Rowing U23 Championships (© Merijn Soeters -

Great Britain won three gold medals and secured eight medals in total to record their best ever World Rowing U23 Championships performance.

Imogen Grant took gold in the lightweight single scull, Charlotte Hodgkins Byrne and Anna Thornton won the double sculls and the men’s quadruple sculls crew of Sam Meijer, Josh Armstrong, Matt Haywood and Rowan Law also topped the podium.

GB won silver in the men’s four and men’s eight, and bronze in the women’s lightweight double sculls on the final day in Poznan, adding to the silver and bronze won by the women’s pair and quadruple sculls on Saturday – finishing third in the medal table.

The three golds match the haul from the 2011 Championship in Amsterdam, with eight total medals a best for Great Britain.

Grant stormed to gold in the first medal final of the day, leading by two clear boat lengths by the line. Australia’s Wallis Russell pushed the Brit hard in the first half, but faded towards the end as Grant continued her impressive pace.

Hodgkins Byrne and Thornton were equally impressive in their double sculls victory, taking the win by half a length from Germany having led from the start. Both athletes claim their second World U23 gold medals, having won in the quadruple sculls in 2017.

The men’s quad put in a clinical performance to take gold, winning by over a length from Italy. Meijer won gold in the double sculls last year, with Armstrong adding U23 gold to his Junior title in 2015. Haywood is a product of British Rowing’s World Class Start programme in Nottingham and Leander Club’s Law takes gold at the third attempt in the quad.

The men’s four came through Saturday’s semi-final with a medical substitution and with Felix Drinkall back in the stroke seat they took silver in a hard-fought race, less than one tenth of a second ahead of New Zealand.

The men’s eight final saw an even tighter finished, with GB pipping Romania to silver by less than one hundredth of a second in a photo finish.

Susannah Duncan and Danielle Semple took a fantastic bronze in the lightweight double sculls. They led at the halfway mark, with Italy and Germany finishing fast to take the top two medals.

GB’s women’s eight were just 0.2 seconds away from bronze in an incredibly tight race. Canada took a comfortable win, with places two to five separated by just half a length.

Ruth Siddorn battled to fifth place in the women’s single sculls and the women’s four took sixth place, both in very competitive fields following a week of hard racing in Poznan.

Gavin Horsburgh and James Temple finished their week on a high by dominating their lightweight double sculls B final, winning by two clear lengths.

Brendan Purcell, British Rowing Performance Director, said: “It’s fantastic to come away from Poznan with excellent performances across the board. Our U23 Chief Coach Pete Sheppard and his team have put together a formidable squad of athletes who have made themselves very hard to beat out on the water.

“Eight medals is an incredible performance – the best ever by a GB squad – and having all 15 crews finish in the top nine in the world bodes well for the future of British rowing.

“I look forward to seeing our athletes continue to develop and hopefully we’ll see many of these rowers form the base of the GB team for the Paris 2024 Olympics and beyond.”

Lightweight women’s single scull

1. Imogen Grant (GBR) 7:29.28
2. Vera Spanke (GER) 7:34.95
3. Clara Guerra (ITA) 7:35.27

Women’s double sculls

1. Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne & Anna Thornton (GBR) 6:47.03
2. Leonie Menzel & Pia Greiten (GER) 6:48.34
3. Valentina Iseppi & Alessandra Montesano (ITA) 6:49.17

Women’s four

1. Russia 6:31.49
2. Romania 6:34.22
3. China 6:35.43

6. Great Britain (India Somerside, Alice Bowyer, Flo Donald & Megan Slabbert) 6:46.13

Men’s four

1. Romania 5:50.61
2. Great Britain (David Ambler, Sam NunnCharlie Elwes & Felix Drinkall) 5:52.74
3. New Zealand 5:52.81

Lightweight women’s double sculls

1. Stefania Buttignon & Silvia Crosio (ITA) 6:54.41
2. Katrin Volk & Sophia Krause (GER) 6:57.34
3. Susannah Duncan & Danielle Semple (GBR) 6:59.21

Men’s quadruple sculls

1. Great Britain (Sam Meijer, Rowan Law, Josh Armstrong & Matt Haywood) 5:44.00
2. Italy 5:46.89
3. Germany 5:49.90

Women’s eight

1. Canada 6:04.61
2. Netherlands  6:06.58
3. USA 6:08.04
4. Great Britain (Nuala Gannon, Alex Rankin, Meg Saunders, Alice Davies, Eleanor Stewart, Holly Dunford, Lauren Irwin, Sophia Heath & cox Autumn Mackay) 6:08.23

Women’s single scull

1. Samantha Voss (NZL) 7:28.34
2. Emily Kallfelz (USA) 7:31.60
3. Desislava Georgieva (BUL) 7:36.17

5. Ruth Siddorn (GBR) 7:40.04

Men’s eight

1. USA 5:22.48
2. Great Britain (Ben Freeman, Tom Digby, David Bewicke-Copley, Matt AldridgeLenny Jenkins, Freddie Davidson, Will Stewart, Harvey Kay & cox Hugo Ramambason) 5:24.93
3. Romania 5:24.93

B final
Lightweight men’s double scull

1. Gavin Horsburgh & James Temple (GBR) 6:21.74
2. Johannes Hafergut & Alexander Maderner (AUT) 6:25.59
3. David Kampman & Damion Eigenberg (NED) 6:26.75