Seven Medals on Super Sunday
Against the backdrop of the Swiss foothills surrounding Lucerne’s Rotsee, Britain today won seven medals at the BearingPoint World Cup Finals.
Whilst pride of place goes to the gold won by the British men’s four, the men’s quadruple scull also made history by taking Britain’s first ever world cup medal in their discipline – a bronze – and there were medals from two new crews in the women’s Olympic events.
Just as in yesterday’s semi-finals the Camelot-sponsored British men’s four were pushed hard by the Netherlands at the BearingPoint World Cup Finals in Lucerne. Like yesterday the British went onto win but the margin in today’s final was narrow.
Britain made it home in 5:53.87 with the Dutch just over a second ahead. Denmark were third.
Bowman and Olympic gold medallist Steve Williams said: "We’ve had the luxury recently of winning by two, three or even four seconds this season but if we thought that would continue for the next four years we would be living in dreamland.
"I’ve enjoyed the races yesterday and today, it’s when you get the adrenalin running through your body. It’s why I do the sport ".
As well as the win in Lucerne, the quartet picked up the overall World Cup title.
The British women’s quadruple scull also retained the overall world cup yellow jersey here despite racing with substitute Annie Vernon replacing an injured Rebecca Romero. They took silver behind Russia.
Two new combinations in the women’s squad also delivered medals for the nation. Elise Laverick and Debbie Flood took bronze in the women’s double scull as did Katie Greves and Carla Ashford in the women’s pair.
Laverick and Flood are already Olympic medallists but Greves and Ashford are at the threshold of their senior career.
Earlier in the non-Olympic class finals Britain secured a bronze from the women’s four and a silver from Jo Hammond in the lightweight women’s single.
"We’ve had a good day today", said British Team Manager, David Tanner. "A big step forward has been made by our women’s boats and our men’s quad. Our men’s four and women’s quad – racing here with a very able substitute in Annie Vernon – have won their world cup events this season outright. But it’s right that the focus should be on our improving boats with a new women’s pair and women’s double and a first ever international senior medal for our GB men’s quad who sculled an outstanding second half today to take bronze. They are all young and there’s more to come".
SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE
When the starting gate opened the British men’s four powered into a quick and early lead in their world cup final today. By 400m they had a half a length on the field. At 650m the gap had broadened to three-quarters of a length.
Between 1000m and 1500m the British squeezed another three tenths to move to a 1.85 seconds lead. It was just as well because the Netherlands, Canada and Denmark were still in the hunt.
As the race reached the grandstands it looked close. Whilst British supporters were getting agitated Steve Williams was making some calm calls in the boat. "Steve was very calm he just kept asking us to hold them and hold them", explained Alex Partridge afterwards. And hold them, they did.
The Dutch and British knew they had been in a good skirmish. There were grins and handshakes all round as the crews came into the medal pontoon.
Each will also know that come the World Championships they will face additional competition from nations like Australia and the US.
"We always knew that we weren’t two lengths ahead of the rest of the field in this event" said British team manager David Tanner. It has been great but let’s be careful".
Racing with talented, young substitute Annie Vernon on board, the Camelot-sponsored British were closing on Russia in the women’s quadruple scull final as the crews raced to the line but could not quite catch them. Russia took gold in with Britain finishing in 6:22.06.
Russia had earlier moved out to a length lead with the Ukraine in second and Great Britain in third. Gradually stroke Katherine Grainger moved her crew up through the gears to row through the Ukraine and eventually drop Germany.
In the final 250m they began to attack the Russian lead but ran out of space. The silver, though, was enough to secure the overall World Cup title in this event for Britain.
"It would have been nice to have finished on a win", said Sarah Winckless afterwards, "but the Russians are a good crew and we knew they’d give us a tough race".
As the afternoon began to move towards a grey-skies close the British received a further and important boost. The British men’s quadruple scull of Matt Langridge, Alan Campbell, Stephen Rowbotham and Matthew Wells finished at lightning pace to win bronze.
Their instructions had been to concentrate on their own race and it seems to have paid dividends. This was Britain’s first World Cup medal in this boat class of all-time.
"It feels as if we’ve achieved what we’ve set out to achieve and we can take this into the World Championships with us", said Rowbotham afterwards.
His former world U23 team-mate Alan Campbell, from Northern Ireland, agreed. "Every great athlete have an exceptional part of their race. Today we lacked a bit at the start but our finish was good. I don’t see why we can’t push now for a "real" medal in Japan".
The men’s eight continue to strive for consistency in their delivery. Here they were last at the 500m mark, had battled past the French and into fifth place by 1000m with Germany leading from their Munich nemesis Italy.
At 1500m the British were still fifth. Briefly, as the crews came into the final stretch past the grandstands, it seemed as if the French might draw Britain back. By a whisker GB prevailed but the race was won by Germany from Italy with Poland in third.
Kieran and Josh West will have been disappointed with their men’s pair final today. They had a relatively good first 500m, staying within two seconds of the leading New Zealand duo of Nathan Twaddle and George Bridgewater, but slipped gradually back through the field from there to finish sixth in 6:39.67.
Carla Ashford and Katie Greves only came together as a pair after seat racing within the squad two weeks ago. They were unhappy with the way they rowed here in the heats, happier with their repechage win of yesterday and clearly delighted if exhausted by their bronze medal effort in today’s final.
They led at 500m but after that there was some consternation amongst the group of British onlookers in the grandstands that the young British duo then seemed to disappear completely from the television graphics for the remainder of the race.
In reality, on the water, they were making a concerted effort to stay in contention and hang onto a medal slot.
"We were ahead at the 500m mark and haven’t quite worked out the middle of our races together yet", said Ashford afterwards. "When we had a bad row in the heats we were a little apprehensive", added Greves. "But we rowed much better in the repechage, that gave us confidence and we put things right".
Debbie Flood and Elise Laverick are also a new combination for Britain even though both have been at the top of the women’s squad for some time and each already has an Olympic medal.
Today they, too, won World Cup bronze in a well-paced race in which the Evers-Swindell sisters, the Olympic champions from New Zealand, burst into their customary lead with Bulgaria chasing. In an extremely tight race to the line the New Zealanders, unbeaten for several years, lost out to the Bulgarians but Britain never truly looked like losing out to Italy or Germany behind them.
"It’s a really good start together", said Flood afterwards. "We’ve been learning a lot and it’s encouraging. Until the last 500m we could feel the Bulgarians were within half a length of us, so that’s pretty good".
Laverick talked of the excitement of the new partnership and the days ahead but also took a moment to reflect on the tragic bombings in London earlier this week. "We’ve been concentrating on the job in hand out here but our hearts also go out to the people at home".
All of Britain’s crews competing today wore black ribbons on their racing kit as a tribute.
Earlier China, as in yesterday’s race for lanes, were winners of the women’s four final today. Britain, eventual bronze medallists, led the early part of the race, following the plan which had been set. China attacked before the 1000m mark and whilst the British were able to hold them the first time, they couldn’t at the second time of asking.
"We went out according to our race plan and maybe we went out a little too hard", said Natasha Page afterwards.
"There is also the question of selection for the worlds in Japan. We know that the selectors were considering it here and we would like to have finished higher up".
In the lightweight men’s single scull final, Tim Male finished in what athletes often call the "loneliest place" at a major event. He was fourth in a time of 7:12.41. As the race passed in front of the grandstand Male knew that a medal was beyond him and eased off, knowing he could hold onto fourth.
Jo Hammond was delighted with her performance in winning silver in the lightweight women’s single scull. Until recently she had been competing in a double scull with Helen Casey.
"I’ve only been back in the single for ten days and I’m pleased with how quickly I’ve found my feet. Marit van Eupen, who won the gold, has the world’s best time so I just decided to go out and have a pop at it".
Britain’s lightweight men’s pair of Paul Mattick and Daniel Harte were consistently in fifth place throughout their lightweight men’s pair final. Medallists in Munich, they could not find the extra gear needed to stay in contention after the halfway mark and finished in 6:53.24 in a race won by Chile in 6:41.61.
The two British lightweight men’s Olympic class boats were both involved in tight races to the line in the early morning’s B Finals. Cruelly, the four were just four hundredths down on race winners South Africa. James Lindsay-Fynn and Mark Hunter were pressuring the Russian winners of their race throughout the final 300m but eventually crossed the line just under a second behind.
Earlier Jessica Eddie and Anna Bebington, tipped for World U23 selection, were second in their women’s pair B Final.
SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE
LUCERNE WORLD CUP FINALS
RESULTS – Day 3
(crews from bow to stroke).
Pair (two boats)
1. Nicky Coles/Juliette Haigh (New Zealand) 7:03.52
2. Tamara Smakhvalava/Natallia Helakh (Belarus) 7:11.32
3. Katie Greves/Carla Ashford (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:14.99
4. Celia Foulon/Marie Le Nepvou (France) 7:18.28
5. Majbrit Nielsen/Fie Udby (Denmark) 7:20.94
6. Christina Gerking/Johanna Roenfeldt (Germany) DNS
1. China 6:43.09
2. Germany 6:46.66
3. Natasha Page/Beth Rodford/Natasha Howard/Alison
Knowles (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:48.46
4. France 6:56.82
5. Australia 7:07.47
1. Rumyana Neykova/Miglena Markova (Bulgaria) 6:41.06
2. Georgina & Caroline Evers-Swindell (New Zealand) 6:41.12
3. Elise Laverick/Debbie Flood (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:47.57
4. Laura Schiavone/Elisabetta Sancassani (Italy) 6:49.25
5. Magdalena Schmude/Peggy Waleska (Germany) 6:49.56
6. Agnieszka Tomczak/Aneta Belka (Poland) 7:19.12
1. Russia 6:20.91
2. Annie Vernon/Sarah Winckless/Frances Houghton/
Katherine Grainger (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:22.06
3. Ukraine 6:25.13
4. Germany 6:26.00
5. Belarus 6:31.63
6. Czech Republic 6:44.33
1. Nathan Twaddle/George Bridgewater (New Zealand) 6:28.74
2. Niksa & Sinisa Skelin (Croatia) 6:31.48
3. Luca Agamennoni/Dario Lari (Italy) 6:34.94
4. Tobias Kuehne/Jan Herzog (Germany) 6:37.86
5. Scott Frandsen/Barney Williams (Canada) 6:39.37
6. Kieran & Josh West (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:39.67
1. Steve Williams/Peter Reed/Alex Partridge/Andy Hodge
(GREAT BRITAIN) 5:53.87
2. Netherlands 5:54.68
3. Denmark 5:57.47
4. Canada 5:57.49
5. Italy 6:01.94
6. Czech Republic 6:03.60
1. Germany 5:27.32
2. Italy 5:27.95
3. Poland 5:32.96
4. Netherlands 5:33.89
5. Toby Wallce/Phil Simmons/Tom Parker/Tom Stallard/Jonno
Devlin/Richard Egington/Simon Fieldhouse/Henry Bailhache-Webb/
Acer Nethercott (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:38.30
1. Estonia 5:44.55
2. Czech Republic 5:44.69
3. Matthew Wells/Stephen Rowbotham/Alan
Campbell/Matthew Langridge (GREAT BRITAIN)
4. Russia 5:48.46
5. Germany 1 5:48.66
6. Ukraine 5:50.94
1. Marit van Eupen (Netherlands) 7:50.50
2. Jo Hammond (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:52.08
3. Teresa Mas de Xaxars Rivero 7:55.44
4. Lea Fluri (Switzerland 1) 7:56.96
5. Chrysi Biskitzi (Greece) 7:58.07
6. Ismaray Marrero Aria (Cuba) 8:07.23
1. Miguel Cerda Silva/Felipe Leal Atero (Chile 1) 6:41.61
2. Bo Helleberg/Thomas Ebdert (Denmark 2) 6:43.59
3. Catello Amarante/Salvatore Amitrano (Italy) 6:46.06
4. Jochen & Martin Kuehner (Germany 1) 6:48.09
5. Paul Mattick/Daniel Harte (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:53.24
6. Alberto Dominguez Lorenzo/Imanol Calvo Ortiz (Spain) 6:58.32
1. Daisaku Takeda (Japan 1) 7:03.80
2. Vasileios Polymeros (Greece 2) 7:04.05
3. Ingo Euler (Germany) 7:04.69
4. Tim Male (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:12.41
5. Marcello Miani (Italy) 7:15.24
6. Gerard van der Linden (Netherlands 1) 7:17.15
1. Vera Pochitaeva/Valerya Starodubrovskaya (Russia)
2. Jessica Eddie/Anna Bebington (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:38.32
3. Sassi McCarthy/Alice King (Australia) 7:49.69
1. Vladimir Varfolomeyev/Dnis Moisseyev (Russia) 6:32.93
2. Mark Hunter/James Lindsay-Fynn (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:33.83
3. Juliusz Madecki/Sebastian Sageder (Austria) 6:35.85
4. Ruben Alvarez/Juan Zunzunegui Guimeras (Spain) 6:39.31
5. Douglas Vandor/Jeff Bujas (Canada 2) 6:42.69
6. Ronaldo Vargas/Thiago Gomes (Brazil) 6:45.65
1. South Africa 6:09.68
2. Nick English/Simon Jones/Dave Currie/Mike Hennessy
(GREAT BRITAIN) 6:09.72
3. Poland 2 6:09.86
4. Japan 6:12.32
5. Greece 6:12.50
6. Denmark 6:13.74
SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ANNOUNCEMENT
GB Rowing’s selectors will meet after
the World Cup Finals this weekend (8-10 July)
to select the British team for the
World Championships, taking place in
Japan from August 28 – September 4.
GB Rowing takes great pleasure in
inviting you to the media announcement
of this selection:
Thursday July 14th at 10.30am for 11.00am
Leander Club, Henley
Leading GB crews and coaches
Available for one-to-one interviews, photography
and filming (key crews will be available for
on-water photography and filming).
Opportunity to meet the team before
departure for summer training camps
and the World Championships.
Please RSVP to British Rowing’s
press office at Matchtight Ltd
if you would like to attend. You
can do this by e-mail to [email protected]
OR by phone (01225) 383518.
If you would like any more information
in advance or to log specific interview
requests please contact:
[email protected] or (07831)
SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE
For media enquiries about British Rowing please contact:
m (07831) 755351
t (01225) 383518
British Rowing website www.biro.org.uk – full biogs available
Dorney Lake, Eton, host to the 2005 World Cup in May will
also be the venue for the 2006 World Championships, taking
place in August. News available at: www.wrc2006.com
Accreditation and results details for major
international events can be found at:
The GB Rowing Squad is supported by the National Lottery
Sports Fund as part of UK Sport’s World Class Performance
Britain’s lead women’s crew and lead men’s sweep
boat are both sponsored by Camelot.
GB Rowing News Bulletins are issued by British