Best-ever Euros for GB Rowing Team

16th September

The GB Rowing Team won its best-ever haul of five medals at the European Championships in Italy as the lottery-funded team's development crews carried on the success of their Olympic and Paralympic team-mates.

The women's and lightweight's squad won five of GB's nine medals at London 2012 and on Lake Varese continued to make the podium with 21-year-olds Caragh McMurtry and Olivia Carnegie-Brown winning silver in the women's pair, before doubling up in the women's eight to win a dramatic last-gasp bronze medal.

The lightweight men's four, featuring Olympic reserve Adam Freeman-Pask and stroked by 23-year-old Jonathan Clegg, won silver in beautiful conditions and two more GB crews made the medal podium winning bronze against Olympic opposition - the lightweight women's double scull of Imogen Walsh and Ruth Walczak - a day after her 24th birthday - and the lightweight men's double of Chris Boddy and Mikey Mottram.

There were also excellent results for 23-year-old Graeme Thomas in the men's single scull and 2012 World U23 Champions Kieren Emery and Matthew Tarrant, both 22, in the men's pair with close, fourth-place finishes against experienced opposition and the fifth-placed men's eight were just two seconds off the gold-medal crew from Poland. The GB men's quadruple scull won their B final at the start of the day.

None of the GB Olympic rowing squad raced in Varese, with the European Championships again reserved as an opportunity for younger members of the GB Rowing Team to gain competition experience against a field from a record 36 countries - many of whom raced at London 2012.

"It was an exceptional team result and although some crews got medals it is about the overall squad performing and across all disciplines we covered ourselves with real credit. These are a very strong set of results, better than we have ever done before," said Pete Sheppard, Team Manager and Lead Coach of the GB team in Varese. "It shows the strength of the development squad going forwards towards Rio.

"All the team stepped up. The men's team were very close to the medals and narrowly off the gold-medal times. All the crews put themselves on the line today and they all performed to what we've seen them do in training at what was a very well organised event.

"It's what the team do next in the next four years that matters though. This has been a useful experience but it's what they do next that is crucial."

For now, McMurtry and Carnegie-Brown were delighted their plan to race two events paid off.

"I was very happy to get the opportunity to double up, I think we were both really professional in the way we handled it," said McMurtry.

Carnegie-Brown added: "I see it as the beginning of the next four years. It's great to carry on the women's results from the Olympics and we kept it really exciting with several close races."

Among the medals were a number of rowers from the GB Rowing Team's Siemens-sponsored START talent ID and development programme, such as 22-year-old Claire McKeown from the programme's Glasgow centre and 19-year-old Yasmin Tredell who was identified by the Evesham centre and is now part of GB's high performance programme at Oxford Brookes University.

The long selection process for the 2013 season starts all over again from the start of October with a number of the European Championship team hoping to secure places in the senior squad for the world cup series which comes to Eton Dorney on June 21-23 and the 2013 World Championships in Korea.

Follow the selection process via: www.gbrowingteam.org.uk

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RACE REPORTS

WOMEN'S PAIR

Caragh McMurtry and Olivia Cargnegie-Brown won silver in the women's pair at the 2012 World U23 Championships earlier this summer and repeated the feat on Lake Varese with a sterling finish, rowing through Croatia in the closing metres to snatch silver by three tenths of a second.

Reigning European Champions Romania broke free off the front of the race early on but the young British pair, both just 21, hung on to Croatia in second, ensuring themselves a medal of some colour as a gap opened behind them to Italy.

As the finish line approached, up went the rating and inch by inch Reading University Boat Club's McMurtry, from Southampton, and Oxford Brookes University Boat Club rower Carnegie-Brown, from Goring Heath, reeled in the Croatian crew and collected their second silver of the summer before preparing to join the GB women's eight.

“We are very happy about the result because the race was very competitive," said Carnegie-Brown.
"I see it as the beginning of the next four years. It's great to carry on the women's results from the Olympics and we kept it really exciting with several close races."

MEN"S PAIR

In the A final of the men's pair, another young GB crew of Kieren Emery from Newcastle and Matthew Tarrant from Shepperton in Surrey, both 22, produced an excellent result in a field in which eight of the 12 rowers had raced at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Holland set the early pace, taking a lead of more than a length from Spain with GB in third at halfway. Emery and Tarrant, 2012 World U23 Champions, held on to fourth place come the finish after a late charge by Serbia to take the Bronze with the British pair just outside the medals and holding off the Polish pair from London 2012.

LIGHTWEIGHT WOMEN'S DOUBLE SCULL

The lightweight women's double scull of Imogen Walsh and Ruth Walczak faced a big task after the Greek World Champions and Olympic bronze medallists blazed away from the start line, but almost caused a significant upset a day after Walczak's 24th birthday.

Poland and Italy took the initiative behind the Greeks with GB moving quietly up past Poland and Italy catching and overtaking Greece in front of a delighted home crowd.

The Olympic GB lightweight double of Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking won gold at London 2012 and their GB Rowing Team colleagues Walsh, 27, from London Rowing Club and Walczak from Molesey Boat Club showed the strength in depth in the squad by also almost catching the Greek World Champions, winning an excellent bronze in a fast race with clear water back to the rest of the field.

Walsh said: "We were up against Olympic-class crews so it was a great performance considering that. We don't see it as the last race of the season but the start of the next Olympiad."

MEN'S LIGHTWEIGHT DOUBLE SCULL

In the men's equivalent event Chris Boddy, 24, from Stockton on Tees and Mikey Mottram, 22, from Stoke Mandeville, were in the mix for a medal at halfway, lying third behind Greece - featuring Panagiotis Magdanis who raced at London 2012 and World U23 Champion Spyridon Giannaros - and the Portuguese crew which finished fifth at London 2012.

The British crew were just a fraction ahead of another young lightweight double from Austria who got their bow ball ahead of GB in the third-quarter before Boddy and Mottram upped the rate and drew level in the final sprint.

Both boats were on the surge as they crossed the line and it took a photo finish to confirm the British crew had won a superb bronze medal by seven hundredths of a second, close behind winners Greece and Portugal in second.

"I knew it would be really tight but we're very happy to come out on top and performed really well," said Mottram. "It was a great regatta all around. The two of us have had a tough time over the last two years but it was great to come out with a result like this."

His crew-mate, Boddy added: "It was a really good week with an excellent set of performances building to today. It was great to be on the podium with Olympians and World Champions which puts us in good company and shows we mean business going forwards."

LIGHTWEIGHT MEN'S FOUR

Another thrilling race followed in the lightweight men's fours. Italy took gold on home water challenged hard by GB just half a length back in silver and Serbia another length back in bronze.

The GB crew, stroked by 23-year-old Jonathan Clegg from Leander Club, went out fast and held off the Italian crew until just after halfway.

With the experience of Windsor's Olympic reserve Adam Freeman-Pask, 27, on board the GB crew, also featuring Sam Scrimgeour and William Fletcher kept up the pace and went with the Italians, cementing a fine silver medal ahead of Serbia and just 0.82 seconds behind Italy.

MEN'S SINGLE SCULL

GB's single sculler for the European Championships, Graeme Thomas, came third in his semi-final to qualify for the top six in Varese and started well in the medal race before reigning European Champion Mindaugas Griskonis from Lithuania came through to take a commanding lead at halfway.

Croatia's Damir Martin, 2012 Olympic silver medallist in the men's quad, and Georgi Bozhilov of Bulgaria also pulled out in front of 23-year-old Thomas from Preston who held on for an excellent fourth place ahead of three-times Olympian Tim Maeyens from Belgium in an experienced field.

WOMEN'S EIGHT

McMurtry and Carnegie-Brown were back in action in the women's eight, coxed by Zoe de Toledo from Henley.

Reigning champions from Romania shot out at the start, with GB battling for fourth at halfway. Ukraine and Belarus led the chasing pack with Italy coming through GB into fourth then up into the silver medal position.

The GB crew of Londoner Leonora Kennedy, 25, Claire McKeown, 22, from Glasgow, Monica Relph, 24 from Henley, Victoria Meyer-Laker, 24, from Henley, 19-year-old Yasmin Tredell from Evesham, Zoe Lee, 26, from London, McMurtry, Carnegie-Brown and Toledo, coached by Nick Strange and Don McLachlan, finished fifth in the race for lanes on Friday and looked to have missed out on a medal in the final.

But the GB crew pulled a huge, aggressive sprint out of the bag to catch Belarus on the final stroke of the 2km race and win bronze - with Monica Relph adding a medal for the family cabinet to join the gold won by her sister Pam in the mixed coxed four at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

MEN'S EIGHT

Rounding off the regatta were the GB men's eight, featuring Yasmin Tredell's brother Lance and Lancaster's 24-year-old twin brothers Mason and Scott Durant from Oxford Brookes University Boat Club at bow and stroke.

Poland - who just missed out on a place in the Olympic final - led early as expected, slowly building their lead while the GB crew coached by Paul Stannard and Christian Felkel battled in the pack and were up into silver before a fast finish with three crews less than a second apart saw GB crossing the line in fifth, just seven tenths of a second off the Czech Republic in bronze with Ukraine fourth and just over two seconds off the gold-medal crew from Poland.

MEN'S QUADRUPLE SCULL

At the start of the day, the GB men's quadruple scull, featuring fit-again 2010 and 2011 World silver medallist from the men's eight Dan Ritchie, 25, from Herne Bay, warmed up the British crowd with victory in their B final.

The quad narrowly missed out on a place in the A final yesterday and put in a determined, positive performance today to underline that fact.

The British crew of Ritchie, fellow Leander Club rowers Nicholas Middleton, 24, and John Collins, 23, with Loughborough rower Jonathan Walton, 21, had their bow ball in front of the chasing pack of France, Poland, Romania and Denmark at halfway.

The GB quad held their position and nerve at the front in an incredibly close finish, seeing off strong sprints from Romania and Poland to win their B final - with just 0.6 seconds separating the top three.

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RESULTS
European Rowing Championships, Varese, Italy
September 14-16, 2012
(GB crews only - for full results go to www.worldrowing.com)

'A' FINALS

WOMEN

Pair

1. Camelia LUPASCU, Nicoleta ALBU (Romania) 7:14.49
2. Caragh McMurtry, Olivia Carnegie-Brown (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:18.65
3. Sonja KESERAC, Maja ANIC (Croatia) 7:18.91
4. Claudia WURZEL, Sara BERTOLASI (Italy) 7:25.13
5. Tetiana STEKOLSCHYKOVA, Viktoriia VYKHRIST (Ukraine) 7:29.41
6. Anca LUCHIAN, Geanina ZLAVOG (Turkey) 7:34.24

Eight

1. Romania 6:06.94
2. Italy 6:17.66
3. Leonora KENNEDY, Claire MCKEOWN, Monica Relph, Victoria Meyer-Laker, Yasmin TREDELL, Zoe Lee, Caragh McMurtry, Olivia Carnegie-Brown, Zoe de Toledo (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:18.31
4. Belarus 6:18.55
5. Ukraine 6:20.95
6. Russia 6:21.86

MEN

Single scull

1. Mindaugas GRISKONIS (Lithuania) 6:57.56
2. Damir MARTIN (Croatia) 6:57.63
3. Georgi BOZHILOV (Bulgaria) 6:59.71
4. Graeme Thomas (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:04.91
5. Tim MAEYENS (Belgium) 7:07.22
6. Peter GALAMBOS (Hungary) 7:10.39

Pair

1. Rogier BLINK, Mitchel STEENMAN (Holland) 6:28.00
2. Alexander SIGURBJONSSON BENET, Pau VELA MAGGI (Spain) 6:29.17
3. Nenad BEDIK, Nikola STOJIC (Serbia) 6:31.50
4. Kieren Emery, Matthew Tarrant (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:33.86
5. Wojciech GUTORSKI, Jaroslaw GODEK (Poland) 6:35.77
6. Domonkos SZELL, Bela SIMON JR (Hungary) 6:46.33

Eight

1. Poland 5:33.23
2. Italy 5:34.57
3. Czech Republic 5:35.23
4. Ukraine 5:35.27
5. Mason Durant, Peter ROBINSON, Thomas CLARK, Lance Tredell, Oliver Cook, Fred GILL, Matthew Gotrel, Scott Durant, Henry Fieldman (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:35.91
6. Romania 5:43.06

LIGHTWEIGHT WOMEN

Double scull

1. Laura MILANI, Elisabetta SANCASSANI (Italy) 6:53.39
2. Christina GIAZITZIDOU, Alexandra TSIAVOU (Greece) 6:57.62
3. Ruth Walczak, Imogen Walsh (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:58.87
4. Agnieszka RENC, Weronika DERESZ (Poland) 7:05.20
5. Alena KRYVASHEYENKA, Irina LIASKOVA (Belarus) 7:08.65
6. Christina SPERRER, Sara LAMBING (Austria) 7:13.73

LIGHTWEIGHT MEN

Double scull

1. Panagiotis MAGDANIS, Spyridon GIANNAROS (Greece) 6:21.58
2. Pedro FRAGA, Nuno MENDES (Portugal) 6:22.27
3. Chris Boddy, Michael MOTTRAM (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:23.34
4. Paul SIEBER, Bernhard SIEBER (Austria) 6:23.41
5. Thomas BAROUKH, Fabrice MOREAU (France) 6:26.85
6. Stanislav KOVALOV, Igor KHMARA (Ukraine) 6:32.66

Four

1. Italy 6:00.92
2. Sam Scrimgeour, Adam Freeman-Pask, William Fletcher, Jonathan Clegg (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:01.74
3. Serbia 6:05.46
4. Poland 6:08.57
5. Germany 6:12.63
6. Russia 6:14.71

'B' FInal

MEN

Quadruple scull

1. Dan Ritchie, Nicholas MIDDLETON, Jonathan Walton, John Collins (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:59.63
2. Romania 6:00.11
3. Poland 6:00.20
4. Denmark 6:01.00
5. France 6:01.37
6. Austria 6:05.48

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CREW LIST
European Rowing Championships, Varese, Italy
September 14-16, 2012
(GB crews only - for full entry list go to www.worldrowing.com)

OPENWEIGHT WOMEN

Eight
Leonora Kennedy/Sport Imperial BC/London/12.01.1987)/
Claire McKeown (Clydesdale ARC/Glasgow/16.07.1990)/
Monica Relph (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/15.01.1988)/
Victoria Meyer-Laker (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/18.03.1988)/
Yasmin Tredell (Oxford Brookes University BC/Evesham/18.11.1992)/
Zoe Lee (Sport Imperial BC/London/15.12.1985)/
Caragh McMurtry (Reading University BC/Southampton/22.08.1991)/
Olivia Carnegie-Brown (Oxford Brookes University BC/Goring Heath/28.03.1991)/
Zoe de Toledo (Cox) (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/17.07.1987)
Coaches: Nick Strange & Don McLachlan

Pair
Caragh McMurtry (Reading University BC/Southampton/22.08.1991)/
Olivia Carnegie-Brown/Oxford Brookes University BC/Goring Heath/28.03.1991)
Coach: Nick Strange

OPENWEIGHT MEN

Pair
Kieren Emery (Leander Club/Newcastle-upon-Tyne/01.06.1990)/
Matthew Tarrant (Oxford Brookes University BC/Shepperton/11.07.1990)
Coaches: Paul Stannard.& Christian Felkel

Eight
Mason Durant (Oxford Brookes University BC/Lancaster/12.02.1988)/
Peter Robinson (Molesey BC/Salisbury/01.10.1985)/
Thomas Clark (Leander Club/Worcester/28.01.1989)/
Lance Tredell (Oxford Brookes University BC/Oxford/25.08.1988)
Matt Gotrel (Nottingham RC/Moreton-in-Marsh/01.03.1989)/
Scott Durant (Oxford Brookes University BC/Lancaster/12.02.1988)/
Oliver Cook (University of London BC/Windsor/05.06.1990)/
Fred Gill (Molesey BC/Shrewsbury/09.01.1986)/
Henry Fieldman (cox) (Imperial College BC/London/25.11.1988)
Coaches: Paul Stannard & Christian Felkel

Single Scull
Graeme Thomas (Agecroft RC/Preston/08.11.1988)
Coach: Hamish Burrell

Quadruple Scull
Daniel Ritchie (Leander Club/Herne Bay/06.01.1987)/
Nicholas Middleton (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/12.08.1988)/
Jonathan Walton (Loughborough Students RC/Leicester/06.10.1990)/
John Collins (Leander Club/Caversham/24.01.1989)
Coach: Miles Forbes-Thomas

LIGHTWEIGHT WOMEN

Double Scull
Ruth Walczak (Molesey BC/East Molesey/15.09.1988)/
Imogen Walsh (London RC/Putney/17.01.1984)
Coach: Phil Bourguignon

LIGHTWEIGHT MEN

Double Scull
Chris Boddy (Leander Club/Stockton-on-Tees/16.11.1987)/
Michael Mottram (Leander Club/Stoke Mandeville/08.06.1990)
Coach: Rob Morgan

Four
Sam Scrimgeour (Imperial College BC/Kirriemuir/28.01.1988)/
Adam Freeman-Pask (Imperial College BC/Windsor/19.06.1985)/
William Fletcher (Durham University BC/Chester le Street/24.12.1989)/
Jonathan Clegg (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/14.07.1989)
Coach: Peter Sheppard

Spare
Jamie Kirkwood (Imperial College BC/Northumberland/30.08.1989)

MANAGEMENT AND SUPPORT STAFF

Performance
Team Manager & Lead Coach: Peter Sheppard
Assistant Team Manager: James Lee
Resources Manager & Driver: Maurice Hayes
Driver: Ian Shore

Medical & Sports Science
Doctor: Guy Evans
Physio: Katherine Vials

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SCHEDULE
European Rowing Championships, Varese, Italy
September 14-16, 2012
(For full race schedule and daily start lists go to www.worldrowing.com)

Friday 14 September: Heats and repechages
Saturday 15 September: Repechages, Semi-finals and C/D Finals
Sunday 16 September: A/B Finals

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