World Rowing Championships kick off in Plovdiv with four heats wins for GB crews
Great Britain get wins in the heats of the lightweight women’s single, men’s double, men’s four and women’s pair as 11 crews take to the water for the first time at the 2018 World Rowing Championships
Great Britain enjoyed four heats wins on the first day of the 2018 World Rowing Championships as 11 of GB’s 20 crews got their competitions underway in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
World U23 champion Imogen Grant continued her impressive season by setting a blistering time (7:29.39) in the heat in the lightweight women’s single sculls. The Cambridge medical student won her heat by three lengths on her senior World Championships debut.
Angus Groom and Jack Beaumont started their men’s double sculls campaign strongly with a clear-water win in their heat over Norway to take the one automatic qualification spot to the semi-final on Friday.
Rowan McKellar and Hattie Taylor also progressed to the semi-finals, taking victory in their women’s pair heat by three-quarters of a length from a battling Chinese crew. They will return on Thursday to race for a place in the medal final.
And Tom Ford, Jacob Dawson, Adam Neill and James Johnston in the men’s four timed their race perfectly to move through Poland in the last 500m to win their heat and secure their place in semi-final on Thursday.
Zak Lee-Green and Jamie Copus also finished second in their lightweight double sculls heat to reach the quarter-finals. They came back from fourth at halfway to move past Denmark and Japan to take second behind Canada.
The women’s quadruple sculls of Mathilda Hodgkins Byrne, Melissa Wilson, Jess Leyden and Zoe Lee sat second to Germany from start to finish in an excellent row to move on to the semi-final on Thursday.
Harry Leask pushed on in the second half of his men’s single sculls heat to hold off Australia’s Luke Letcher for a place in the quarter-finals. Sam Mottram also finished third in his lightweight men’s single sculls heat, fighting back in the second half, but will need to come through the repechage to progress.
Ellie Piggott and Emily Craig finished fourth in the lightweight women’s double sculls and go into the repechage. As do the men’s quadruple sculls, who finished fourth in a hotly contested heat, won by Ukraine on the line.
Six more crews will start their campaigns on Monday, including the reigning champion PR3 mixed coxed four.
You can watch each race of the 2018 World Rowing Championships on www.worldrowing.com and follow along on British Rowing’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Lightweight men’s single sculls heat (two qualify to semi-final)
Lightweight women’s single sculls heat (two qualify to semi-finals)
1. Imogen Grant (Great Britain), 7:29.39
2. Alena Furman (Belarus), 7:38.22
3. Anastasia Lebedeva (Russia), 7:49.61