Grainger wins in ‘Olympic’ level final

Six Olympic medallists went to the start line today in the GB Rowing Senior
Trails in Hazewinkel, Belgium, and Scot, Katherine Grainger, emerged the winner of the women’s single scull final in a time of 7:47.80.
The already double Olympic silver medallist held off a late challenge from Sarah Winckless, winner of a bronze in Athens.

"I was aware that it was an absolute ‘class’ race today", said Grainger afterwards. "It shows the calibre of this women’s squad that the British Trials were like an Olympic line–up".

The leading men raced in pairs here and favourites Steve Williams, Olympic gold medallist in the men’s four, and Alex
Partridge were beaten today in the men’s pair by Andrew Hodge and Peter Reed in a time of 6:42.93.

Hodge and Reed took an early lead, extended that with a push at just past1000m and held on for victory.

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"I’m quite emotional", said Reed afterwards. "There was excitement towards the end at seeing the blades of Steve and Alex behind us. For me they are up there with the greats".

"It wasn’t quite the race we expected", said Williams. "At half–way we thought we were in a good position but they kept their length and we lost ours a bit in the second half".

World silver medallist Jo Hammond won the women’s lightweight single in a time of 8:05.84 from her training partner and Olympian Helen Casey whilst Mark Hunter held off a challenge from two new contenders, James Lindsay–Fynn and Zac Purchase to win the equivalent men’s title in 7:25.71.

Beth Rodford and Alison Knowles won the women’s pair in a time of 7:38.43.

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