Stimulating semi-final day in Munich
Great Britain’s rowers enjoyed a series of semi-final successes at the World Cup in Munich today with eight from ten starters qualifying for tomorrow’s finals.
That brings Britain’s tally of finalists to 11 when the qualifiers from yesterday are added to the list, including the world champion women’s quadruple scull who are sponsored by Camelot. The tally is all the more pleasing because a record 49 countries are taking part here.
Alan Campbell, in the men’s single scull, the Camelot sponsored men’s four and the talented, young women’s double scull were all semi-final winners.
"It’s been a good day", said GB Performance Director David Tanner today. "Overall there have been some satisfying performances. Alan Campbell‘s victory and that of the new look women’s double were particularly positive and are a step on from where we were this time last year. Both crews have developments to come but they have definitely put a marker down".
Tomorrow’s finals session begins at 9am UK time.
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Alan Campbell has burst onto the world stage as a single sculler here in Munich. Today he won the quicker of the two semi-finals in 6:51.52 after yesterday winning both his heat and his quarter-final.
In today’s semi-final he had over a length on the field at 500m but, having been well-informed in advance by the coaching team, he kept a weather eye on the normally fast-finishing Swede Lassi Karonen to hold him off in the second part of the race.
The Coleraine sculler’s emergence here has excited seasoned observers.
"I think he’s the best prospect in British rowing since Steve Redgrave hit the scene", said former Olympic gold medallist Martin Cross in Munich as a commentator for BBC Radio 5 Live.
"I haven’t seen pace like that from any British sculler ever", he added. "You can’t expect a young man like that to dominate all the races and hold the same form for the rest of the season but if he carries on improving he’s definitely a medal prospect for Beijing".
Campbell himself said: "I feel slightly surprised the races here have gone to plan. Bill (Barry – Campbell’s coach) and I have looked at the form of everyone else and we’ve stuck to our plan. So far it’s worked really well.
"Tomorrow I’ll go out and race my race and see where I am at 1000m", he added.
On a day when emerging young talent took much of the limelight, Annie Vernon and Anna Bebington also won their semi-final in some style.
They were half a length up on the field by halfway with Germany their nearest challengers. America put in a burst at 1100m and Germany began to close down the lead to just over half a second by 1500m.
The Cornish-Staffordshire combination then rose to the challenge, lifted their speed and were over half a length up again at the line.
Bebington, the Staffordshire half of the duo summed up the British boat’s control of as the race reached its climax: "We were really confident coming in to the last 500m. We were ahead of the Germans and were confident that if they made a push, we could respond to them."
"We’ll sit down tonight and we’ll do some work. We won’t change anything drastically, but we can improve."
The men’s four, backed by Camelot, were pleased with their semi-final win. Coach Jurgen Grobler said of the race during which the main challenge came from the Canadians: "Today was a good test of where we are. We made a step up in racing. Tomorrow’s final will be tough. This season we will have to feel people chasing us as we are world champions".
Whilst Canada were still chasing at the end, the British four took the lead from the first few strokes and never gave it up. This has become their trademark style of racing and worked well again today.
Matt Wells and Stephen Rowbotham are a new combination for Britain in the men’s double. They came through a tussle of a race to make tomorrow’s final.
After "not the best start", according to Rowbotham, they worked hard to get back into contention but still suffered some dramatic moments in the final quarter of the race.
"I looked up with 250m to go and expected to be second but suddenly realised we were fourth", said Rowbotham. "At that point we put in 15 massive strokes. We weren’t going to be in the B Final, believe me".
In the final race of the day the British lightweight men’s four got a flying start, survived an uncomfortable mid-race period and emerged in third place to reach the final.
"We seem to have a naturally fast start", said Matt Beechey afterwards. "We’ve been working on our cruising speed in the middle of the race but that didn’t seem to work too well today. But, if we can qualify on the back of a bad row, it has to be pretty good".
Earlier in the day, the men’s eight made sure of their place in the final with a second place in the repechage. They built a good position off the back of a decent start. China challenged strongly in third place for much of the way but the British held themselves in contact with the Australian winners throughout.
Laura Ralston, a development economist currently based in Ely, will contest tomorrow’s final of the lightweight women’s single scull as part of a promising debut in the senior squad.
She was third in today’s lightweight single scull final. Having led at halfway she was rowed down by China at the 1450m mark and Switzerland moments later. The 23 year-old held off a challenge from Italy in the final 500m and was beginning to make ground back on the leaders to take up her final slot.
Mark Hunter, the Leander Club captain, continued his return to racing after injury with a very positive performance in the lightweight men’s single scull.
Whilst the Dutch and Slovenians were quickest off the start, Frederic Dufour of France soon picked up the lead with Hunter tracking him.
That’s the way it stayed until 1350m had gone when Hunter moved into the lead and was confident enough of qualifying for the final to take his foot off the gas and allow Dufour through on the line.
Britain’s B finalists tomorrow will be Helen Casey and Jane Hall in the lightweight women’s double scull and the equivalent men’s boat of James Lindsay Fynn and Tim Male.
The women were in contention for much of the race today but faded in the final 750m. "That’s a reflection of where we are in our development", said coach Rob Dauncey after the race.
The men were clearly disappointed not to progress, having missed out by less than a second on a place in the final. They came home in fourth place in 6:28.10.
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(Crews bow to stroke – plus cox. GB results
only. Full results available on www.worldrowing.com)
1. Steve Williams/Peter Reed/Alex Partridge/Andy Hodge
(GREAT BRITAIN) 6:00.87
2. Canada 6:01.94
3. Slovenia 6:02.84
4. Italy 2 6:06.25
5. Ireland 1 6:06.78
6. Germany 1 6:07.03
1. Alan Campbell (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:51.52
2. Lassi Karonen (Sweden) 6:53.02
3. Andre Vonarburg (Switzerland) 6:57.94
4. Sjoerd Hamburger (Netherlands 1) 6:59.80
5. Gabor Bencsik (Hungary) 7:04.71
6. Tim Maeyens (Belgium) 7:07.69
1. Jean-Baptiste Macquet/Adrien Hardy (France 2) 6:19.83
2. Matthew Wells/Stephen Rowbotham (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:20.62
3. Jonathan Coeffic/Julien Bahain (France 1) 6:20.86
4. Tonu Endrekson/Andrei Jaemsae (Estonia 1) 6:21.24
5. Allar Raja/Igor Kuzmin (Estonia 2) 6:24.54
6. Luca Ghezzi/Federico Gattoninoni (Italy 1) 6:27.95
1. Annie Vernon/Anna Bebington (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:57.68
2. Magdalena Schmude/Stephanie Schiller (Germany) 6:59.18
3. Jitka Antosova/Gabriela Varekova (Czech Republic 1) 7:01.08
4. Laura Schiavone/Elisabetta Sancassani (Italy) 7:05.97
5. Brett Sickler/Susan Francia (USA) 7:06.53
6. Veronika Jakoubkova/Irena Neffeova (Czech Republic 2) 7:10.10
1. Fabiane Albrecht (Switzerland) 7:48.51
2. Lihong Chen (China) 7:49.56
3. Laura Ralston (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:49.83
4. Laura Milani (Italy) 7:56.09
5. Mathilde Pauls (Germany) 7:58.45
6. Maria Sakellaridou (Greece) 8:06.32
1. Jing Liu/Haixia Chen (China 3) 7:08.54
2. Xuefei Fan/Shimin Yan (China 2) 7:09.17
3. Sine Christiansen/Juliane Rasmussen (Denmark 1) 7:11.40
4. Benedicte Dorfman/Coralie Simon (France) 7:13.96
5. Jane Hall/Helen Casey (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:14.48
6. Chrysi Biskitzi/Alexandra Tsiavou (Greece) 7:15.23
1. Frederic Dufour (France) 7:06.60
2. Mark Hunter (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:07.76
3. Gerard van der Linden (Netherlands) 7:09.08
4. Daniele Gilardoni (Italy) 7:11.36
5. Juan Zunzunegui Guimerans (Spain) 7:13.61
6. Bine Pislar (Slovenia) 7:16.89
1. Marcello Miani/Ella Luini (Italy) 6:22.87
2. Vladimir Varfolomeev/Denis Moiseev (Russia) 6:25.52
3. Michal Vabrousek/Ondrej Vetesnik (Czech Republic) 6:27.36
4. Tim Male/James Lindsay-Fynn (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:28.10
5. Sebastian Sageder/Jullusz Madecki (Austria) 6:28.68
6. Elias Pappas/Dimitrios Mougios (Greece 1) 6:31.84
1. Australia 5:43.55
2. Tom Stallard/Toby Garbett/Tom Solesbury/Jonno Devlin/
Hugo Lee/Josh West/Kieran West/Matt Langridge/Acer
Nethercott (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:46.05
3. China 5:47.18
4. Switzerland 5:51.64
RACE FOR SEEDED LANES
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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/
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