Four golds, two bronzes in Munich
Britain won four golds and two bronzes – with all the golds coming in Olympic class boats – at the World Cup in Munich today.
Alan Campbell, described by one expert as the best young talent to emerge since Sir Steve Redgrave, made an impact on the world of rowing by taking world cup single scull gold in Munich as part of a stunning senior debut in the event.
Two of his young team-mates – Anna Bebington and Annie Vernon – were also winners, this time in the women’s double scull.
There was a closer call than usual for Britain’s world champion and Camelot-sponsored men’s four. They were chased all the way to the line by Germany and Holland but were strong enough to retain their unbeaten record as a line-up.
Russia were billed pre-race as the main threat to the lead British women’s boat – also world champions and Camelot sponsored – the women’s quadruple scull. Instead Australia provided the early threat before the British took the race by the scruff of the neck to win by over a length.
Britain’s two bronzes came from Mark Hunter in the lightweight men’s single scull and the lightweight men’s pair of Nick English and Dave Currie.
"That was a pleasing start to the season. We’ve had a good regatta here with two new medal contenders emerging in the men’s single and women’s double scull", said GB Performance Director David Tanner today. "However, it’s early days yet and some of the leading boats weren’t racing here in some of the boat categories so we have to keep our feet on the ground".
The next world cup is from June 15-17 in Poznan, Poland with the world cup finals in Lucerne in July.
SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE
Jurgen Grobler, coach to the men’s four, said that in 2006 his crew had to become "used to people chasing them because they are world champions". In Munich today they had a somewhat closer call then in recent times.
Here it was the Netherlands, unchanged from the crew who won world silver behind Britain last September in Japan, who made the best effort to keep with the GB quartet of Steve Williams, Peter Reed, Alex Partridge and Andy Hodge after a trademark fast British start.
At 500m, the British had taken a half-length lead where they might have been more accustomed to being further out in front. By the 1000m mark, the gap remained the same.
In that third 500m the British increased the rate to ease out to two-thirds of a length. The Netherlands responded and began to close the gap back down.
In the final 250m the British four pushed again but the Netherlands went with them and Germany came through at pace in front of their home crowd to slip into second place in the final few metres, with Britain winning by just half a second.
"We’re pretty pleased with our weekend overall", said Olympic gold medallist Steve Williams after the race. "We didn’t have our best race today but we needed to come here and play ourselves in. Coming here and having a steady performance was important.
"Today’s race showed that the standard in our event has gone up", added Andy Hodge the strokeman of the boat.
Alan Campbell has caused huge waves here in the men’s single scull on his senior debut at World Cup level.
He won his heat, quarter-final and semi-final in style. In today’s final he produced his customary blast out of the blocks.
At the 500m mark he led by over a second with 2005 world bronze medallist Ondrej Synek in second place. With 750m gone, he had clear water over the field. The question became whether the more seasoned racers behind him were storing up energy for the final phase.
Campbell’s lead was over two and a half seconds at the mid way point with Germany’s 2002 World Champion Marcel Hacker moving up into second position.
"I knew that they would back on me in the third 500m", said Campbell. "That’s something I will have to work on in the future".
At 1500m, the lead had been cut by a second with Sweden’s Lassi Karonen third.
As the race passed in front of the grandstand it looked as if Campbell would be caught. Hacker stalked him mercilessly but somehow the raw young Brit found the energy to hang in
there, put in another push and take it on the line from Hacker in second.
"We called that final 500m the "killer zone" in our planning", said coach Bill Barry afterwards.
"I don’t know where it comes from in the final 500m", said Campbell himself of his push to the finish. "Maybe it is just the will to win, the muscles find another gear. I just want it so badly".
Hacker had to settle for second with another newcomer, Lassi Karonen of Sweden in third. Olympic champion Olaf Tufte of Norway was fourth.
The lead British women’s boat, the quadruple scull of Debbie Flood, Sarah Winckless, Fran Houghton and Katherine Grainger, were beaten off the start by Russia today in their final. But the gap between the early leaders, Britain and Australia was small with the latter just ahead at 500m.
In the second 500m the Australians emerged to take a half-length lead which the British surged to close down and overhaul as the race passed through the 1250m mark.
By the finish a controlled and fluid British unit took the verdict by over a length from Australia and Russia third.
"Compared to yesterday we held on much better to the Russians at the start", said Francesca Houghton after the race".
"It’s early season and you don’t know how the rest of the world is going to perform so it’s good to get the first race out of the way", added Flood.
Annie Vernon and Anna Bebington produced a good start in their women’s double scull final moving out to a half-length lead over Germany in second and Belarus in third by the 500m marker.
Germany pressured the young duo consistently over the second quarter of the race. The home crew narrowed the lead to 0.82 seconds by the half-way point and moved through the British crew moments later with the Czechs in third.
Over the final 500m the British duo battled back into contention and the two crews raced bow-ball to bow-ball as they passed the grandstands.
From somewhere, just like Campbell, they found an extra gear. By the line it even looked comfortable.
"It’s so exciting", said Bebington afterwards. "We really didn’t expect that".
"It feels really nice and puts us in a strong position for the rest of the season but we still have to stay realistic", added Vernon. "The New Zealand world champions weren’t here and nor were there any Australians".
Next up came the men’s double in the form of Matt Wells and Stephen Rowbotham. Racing from lane five, they were in fifth after 500m with the two French crews having established a grip on the race. They attempted to close the gap as the race developed with the Germans moving through to split the French boats, the British double remained firmly in the chasing pack.
At three-quarter distance, the medal positions were still being disputed, but Wells and Rowbotham hadn’t managed to fight their way back into the mix. Their move came in the last 500m however, although just too late to secure one of the medal positions, finishing strongly in fourth.
"We didn’t get an ideal start but we did start eating back at the crews in the leading group. There were five boats in the chase and we weren’t far off the pace. We’ll get back home and do some more work", said Rowbotham afterwards.
Matthew Beechey said yesterday that the British men’s lightweight four had a "naturally fast start". In today’s final they proved this once more. At 500m they were marginally ahead of Germany. By the halfway mark they had clung onto their slim lead.
That’s when Germany and Ireland made their move, though, overhauling the British who then fought to keep the Chinese at bay as the race moved through the 1500m point.
As the race reached its final 300m the Australians, on the opposite side of the course, burst through to push past the British four of Beechey, Daniel Harte, Paul Mattick and James Clarke, taking bronze. Germany won with Ireland in silver medal position.
The men’s eight found themselves third after the first 500m with the Polish boat, and hosts Germany, ahead of them, confirming their qualification form. A determined effort through to halfway saw them stay in touch with the lead boats.
The Australians then made their move to challenge for bronze and were soon joined by the Dutch. The Dutch joined the battle, moving through Australia and Great Britain to take third by 1500m.
In the final stretch, the British eight couldn’t match the pace of their competitors and ended up fifth behind the tightest of finishes, with Germany just having enough to steal the race from Poland on the line. Australia held the Netherlands to ensure that they came away with a medal to show for their determined effort.
The women’s eight, stroked by Elise Laverick started from lane four with the Germans in five who were the first to show. The Romanians then made a move but a quick response by the Germans meant that they stayed in control at the half way mark. The British boat stayed firmly in the medal mix by
hanging on at half way.
This new line-up can take heart from that early race performance. From 1000m out, the Australians made their move. It was close right across the field in the final 500m even if the British faded towards the end to finish in sixth.
In the lightweight men’s single scull Mark Hunter, part of GB’s Olympic-class double scull in 2005 who has been battling back from injury, moved up into the leading pack of three by the half-way point in his final.
In the last 500m Hunter looked set to challenge briefly for second but was still delighted to settle for bronze, clenching his fist as he crossed the line in a race won by Vasileios Polymeros the world champion from Greece.
"It’s good to be back", he said afterwards. "I’ve only had three weeks back in the boat after injuring my knee in April and I didn’t know if I would be coming here a week ago. At least I’ve got something to take home now".
The lightweight men’s pair of Dave Currie and Nick English mirrored Hunter’s achievement in the next race on the course with a bronze medal. They, too, challenged in the final 500m – this time tussling with Australia – for second place as the race approached the line and narrowly missed out. Germany were the race winner.
"We went out for gold today with the intention of chasing the Germans", said Currie. "In doing so we lost sight of the Aussies who made a big attack at the finish", said Currie.
"We made a better start than normal but the Germans were really tough and we couldn’t break them", said English
Laura Ralston, in the lightweight women’s single scull, has grown in stature over this weekend. Whilst she was sixth in today’s final, she proved her credentials in the preceding heats and semi-finals and will have drawn good experience from racing here.
Helen Casey and Jane Hall – the latter world champion back in 1993 – found the final phase staying power they lacked yesterday to win the lightweight single scull B final. They had half a length over Greece, their nearest challengers by the mid-way point and had strengthened that lead to a length at the line.
In the lightweight men’s double scull James Lindsay-Fynn and Tim Male were third in a tightly-packed field. They put in a massive push 40 strokes out from the line but could not overhaul the leaders.
SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE
(Crews bow to stroke – plus cox. GB results
only. Full results available on www.worldrowing.com)
1. Germany 6:14.80
2. Romania 6:16.84
3. Australia 6:17.89
4. Netherlands 6:19.98
5. China 6:20.23
6. Baz Moffat/Jess Eddie/Vicki Etiebet/Carla Ashford/
Natasha Howard/Natasha Page/Katie Greves/Elise Laverick/
Caroline O’Connor (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:20.55
1. Debbie Flood/Sarah Winckless/Frances Houghton/Katherine Grainger
(GREAT BRITAIN) 6:32.00
2. Australia 6:36.13
3. Russia 6:36.97
4. China 1 6:40.38
5. China 2 6:48.57
6. Romania 6:55.15
1. Annie Vernon/Anna Bebington (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:02.28
2. Magdalena Schmude/Stephanie Schiller (Germany) 7:03.58
3. Jitka Antosova/Gabriela Varekova (Czech Republic 1) 7:05.50
4. Volha Berazniova/Yuliya Bichyk (Belarus) 7:06.96
5. Jin Ziwei/Tang Bin (China 1) 7:09.27
6. Xi Xihua/Feng Guixin (China 2) 7:13.64
1. Germany 5:32.79
2. Poland 5:33.42
3. Australia 5:35.09
4. Netherlands 5:35.59
5. Tom Stallard/Toby Garbett/Tom Solesbury/Jonno Devlin/
Hugo Lee/Josh West/Kieran West/Matt Langridge/Acer Nethercott (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:37.87
6. Belarus 5:44.82
1. Steve Williams/Peter Reed/Alex Partridge/Andrew Hodge (GREAT
2. Germany 2 6:00.71
3. Netherlands 6:00.74
4. Canada 6:07.16
5. Slovakia 6:10.17
6. Germany 3 6:12.44
1. Alan Campbell (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:54.06
2. Marcel Hacker (Germany) 6:56.16
3. Lassi Karonen (Sweden) 6:57.00
4. Olaf Tufte (Norway) 6:57.10
5. Ondrej Synek (Czech Republic) 7:02.70
6. Andre Vonarburg (Switzerland) 7:11.80
1. Rene Bertram/Robert Sens (Germany) 6:22.88
2. Akos Haller/Tibor Peto (Hungary) 6:23.76
3. Jean-Baptiste Macquet (France 2) 6:23.85
4. Matt Wells/Stephen Rowbotham (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:24.55
5. Jonathan Coeffic/Julien Bahain (France 1) 6:27.32
6. Michal Sloma/Marcin Brzezinski (Poland 1) 6:36.67
1. Tracy Cameron (Canada) 7:54.52
2. Teresa Mas de Xaxars (Spain 1) 7:56.11
3. Xu Dongxiang (China) 7:57.46
4. Chen Lihong (China 3) 8:00.12
5. Fabiane Albrecht (Switzerland) 8:01.22
6. Laura Ralston (GREAT BRITAIN) 8:06.32
1.Felix Otto/Ole Rueckbrodt (Germany 1) 6:44.95
2. Tim Smith/Tim O’Callaghan (Australia) 6:46.61
3. Nick English/Dave Currie (GREAT BRITAIN) 6.48.13
4. Luigi Scala/Franco Sancassani (Italy) 6:50.61
5. Paul nSommeregger/Uwe Daxboeck (Austria) 6.51.33
6. Aabjoern/Made Andersen (Denmark) 6:54.70
1. Germany 6;06.88
2. Ireland 6:07.36
3. Australia 6:09.31
4. Matt Beechey/Daniel Harte/Paul Mattick/James Clarke
(GREAT BRITAIN) 6:10.46
5. China 6:12.82
6. Italy 1 6:13.90
1. Vasileios Polymeros (Greece) 7:04.02
2. Frederic Dufour (France 1) 7:07.55
3. Mark Hunter (GREAT BRITAIN) 7;09.62
4. Gerard van der Linden (Netherlands) 7:13.15
5. Rasmus Quist (Denmark) 7;13.18
6. Jan Vetesnik (Czech Republic 1) 7:14.37
1. Helen Casey/Jane Hall (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:19.52
2. Chrysi Biskitzi/Alexandra Tsiavou (Greece) 7:22.01
3. Benedicte Dorfman/Coralie Simon (France) 7:22.74
4. Anna Yuchenko/Ksenia Potapova (Russia) 7:23.77
5. Lana & Sara Karlsson (Sweden) 7:28.33
6. Laura Tasch/Daniela Reimer (Germany 2) 7:29.98
1. Elias Pappas/Dimitrios Mougios (Greece) 6:36.66
2. Maros Sloboda/Lubos Podstupka (Slovakia) 6:37.27
3. Tim Male/James Lindsay-Fynn (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:38.22
4. Miguel Cerda Silva/Felipe Leal Atero (China) 6:40.79
5. Sebastian Sageder/Juliusz Madecki (Austria) 6:41.08
6. Frederic Hanselmann/Mario Gyr (Switzerland) 6:44.22
SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE
GB ROWING SQUADS = HOME TOWNS LIST
BRITISH ROWING SQUADS
NAME D.O.B/PLACEofBIRTH/HOMETOWN/LIVING/ROWING CLUB
Carla Ashford 13.3.79/Northallerton,N.Yorks/ Masham, N.Yorks/Brentford/Thames RC
Marcus Bateman 16.9.82/Bermuda/Torquay/Henley on Thames/Reading Uni
Anna Bebington 13.2.83/Leek, Staffs/Leek/Crowthorne, Berks/Leander
Matt Beechey 3.4.77/Worcester/Worcester/Henley on Thames/Leander
Nick Brodie 6.8.96/Oxford /Oxford/Oxford/OUBC
Alan Campbell 5.9.83/Coleraine/Coleraine/Mortlake/Tideway Scullers
Helen Casey 6.2.74/Stockport/Oxford/Oxford/Wallingford
Jonno Devlin 17.3.76/South Africa/Oxford/Putney/Oxford Brookes
Jess Eddie 7.10.84/Durham/Durham/Chiswick/Uni of London
Richard Egington 26.2.79/Knutsford/n/a/Henley on Thames/Leander
Robin Ejsmond-Frey 14.3.86/London/Hammersmith/Oxford/OUBC
Nick English 11.5.78/Coventry/Whitley Bay/Nottingham/Notts&Union
Simon Fieldhouse 4.9.76 n/a/n/a/Thames Ditton, Sy/Molesey
Debbie Flood 27.2.80/Harrogate/Leeds/Henley on Thames/Leander
Toby Garbett 14.11.76/Chertsey, Sy/West Byfleet/Ascot, Berks/Leander
Katherine Grainger 11.12.75/Glasgow/Aberdeen/Bisham, Bucks/St Andrew
Alex Gregory 11.3.84n/a/Wormington/Reading/Reading Uni
Katie Greves 2.9.82/London/Oxford/Mortlake/Uni of London
Joanna Hammond 28.1.80/Leamington Spa/Leamington/Cambridge/Leander
Daniel Harte 12.12.75n/a/n/a/Putney/London
Mike Hennessy 24.12.76/London/Deptford/Chiswick/Tideway Scullers
Rob Hollis 14.2.84/Wendover/Monmouth/Cowley/Oxford Brookes
Naomi Hoogesteger 22.5.81n/a/Wells/Spennymoor/Durham Uni
Frances Houghton 19.9.80/Oxford/Oxford/Putney/Uni of London
Natasha Howard 3.9.80/Harare, Zimbabwe/West Runton/Chiswick/Tideway Scullers
Tom James 3.11.84/Cardiff/Wrexham/Cambridge/CUBC
Simon Jones 8.6.78n/a/n/a/Cropwell Butler/Leander
Matthew Langridge 20.5.83/Northwich, Cheshire/Northwich/Henley on Thames/Leander
Elise Laverick 27.7.75/Rustington, Sx/Poling, W Sx/Putney/Thames
Ian Lawson 4.3.77/Bradford/Otley, W.Yks/Henley on Thames/Leander
Hugo Lee 5.3.84/Guildford/Jeburgh, Scottish Border/Oxford/Oxford Brookes
James Lindsay-Fynn 29.9.75/Dublin/Trim, Ireland/London/London
Rachel Loveridge 7.5.80/Swindon/Hayling Island/Putney/Thames
Tim Male 9.7.75/Yeovil, So/Yeovil/Chiswick/Tideway Scullers
Paul Mattick 25.4.78n/a/Oxford/Wallingford
Acer Nethercott 28.11.77/Newmarket/Harlow, Ex/Oxford/OUBC
Lorna Norris 23.12.75n/a/na/a/Mortlake/Mortlake Anglian
Caroline O’Connor 25.4.83Ealing/Ealing/Ealing/Oxford Brookes
Natasha Page 30.4.85n/a/Hartpury/Reading/Reading Uni
Charlie Palmer 25.10.78/Melbourne Hagley, Tasmania/Cambridge/CUBC
Tom Parker 24.10.82/Hammersmith/Winchester/Oxford/OUBC
Alex Partridge 25.1.81/San Francisco/Alton, Hants/East Sheen/Leander
Peter Reed 27.7.81/Seattle, USA/Nailsworth/Oxford/Leander
Beth Rodford 28.12.82/Burton/Trent/Gloucester/Cowley/Thames
Steve Rowbotham 11.11.81n/a/Winscombe/West Molesey/Leander
Rebecca Rowe 16.5.81/Bridgend/Cardiff/Cardiff/Rebecca
Phil Simmons 6.2.75/Wimbledon/Thames Ditton/Thames Ditton/Molesey
Colin Smith 3.9.83/ Harare, Zimbabwe/Henley on Thames/Oxford/OUBC
Tom Stallard 11.9.78/London/Welwyn, Herts/London/Leander
James Stephenson 4.4.77/n/aChipstead/Thames Ditton /Molesey
Florence Temple 11.3.79/Harlow/Northampton/Putney/Thames
Sam Townsend n/a/ Reading/Reading/Reading/Reading Uni
Andrew Triggs Hodge 3.8.79/Aylesbury/Hebden, Skipton/East Molesey/Molesey
Annie Vernon 1.9.82n/a/Wadebridge, Cornwall/Marlow, Bucks/Thames
Matthew Wells 19.4.79/Bradford/Hexham, Northumberland/East Sheen/Uni of London
Josh West 25.3.77/Santa Fe, USA/Santa Fe/Oxford/Leander
Kieran West MBE 18.9.77/Kingston-upon-Thames/W. Byfleet/Mortlake/CUBC
Steve Williams 15.4.76/Warwick/Cheltenham/Henley/Leander
Sarah Winckless 18.10.73/Reading/Hurley, Bucks/Marlow, Bucks/Walbrook