GB top table

Great Britain’s rowers produced an excellent run of results on the second and final day of the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney when they won four golds and a silver – bringing their overall tally to six golds, five silvers and a bronze and taking them to the top of the overall medal table ahead of Australia, New Zealand and China.

With continuing searing temperatures, rowing began at 7am on Penrith Lake – the scene of Sir Steve Redgrave’s historic, fifth Olympic gold in 2000.

Britain’s women began brightly to take the two opening golds.  The quadruple scull of Stephanie Mottram, Rachael Jeffries, Emma Steel and Frances Fletcher, dominated the early part of their race and were a length and half up by the mid-way point. The Australian crew from Tasmania and China both attempted to haul them back but Britain held on to win by almost two seconds.

The women’s four of Vicky Bryant, Rosanna Collings, Stephanie McDowell and Jacqui Round soon followed suit.  They got ahead after 30 strokes, led by a length and a half at 1000m and put on the power to maintain and deepen that lead to take gold.

Their male counterparts – of Lewis Beech, Mohammed Sbihi, Tom Lucy and Nathaniel Reilly  O’Donnell – were not to be outdone in the men’s four final.  Australia led in the early stages but paid soon paid the price. GB moved out to a length at 1000m and had doubled that by the finish to win impressively from New Zealand and Australia.

Lewis Beech said afterwards:  “The only reason we get on the water is to win, and we treated today’s race as no different. We wanted to have a strong middle 1000m and set a hard pace throughout and the plan worked very well for us today.”

Mohamed Sbihi added:  “Competing in this festival as a multi-sport event has added another dimension to our racing as it is different to the competitions we are exposed to on a regular basis back in the UK.”

The final gold of the day came from the women’s eight who nosed ahead in the first quarter and steadily lengthened their lead to win by just a length from the chasing pack. GB’s women’s four and women’s quad doubled up into this boat with cox Zoe de Toledo.

For a time it looked as if the men’s eight – again an amalgam of the men’s quadruple scull and men’s four –  would also come home with gold. They took the lead in the second quarter and seemed set to repeat their heat win of an hour earlier.

However, in the freshening wind, the water began to chop up and the eight caught a crab which forced them to stop and restart, plunging them from first to fourth. In those circumstances it was a real credit to the discipline and skill of the crew that they
could move back through the field to take a creditable silver.

Earlier the men’s quad, who had found the going tough in their heat on Saturday with a third-placed finish, could not live with  the early place and were soon out of the medal hunt.  They raced to the line with the second fastest last 500m of all the crews to finish in fifth.

"The multi-event atmosphere has been good and we have really enjoyed mixing with the other teams", said women’s captain Frances Fletcher of the event.

Men’s captain Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell added:  "The depth of talent in Australian rowing is impressive and we have  really benefitted from the high level of competition here".

"Our rowers have done us proud with a great run of medals and we are pleased to have topped the medal table", said team manager David Tanner today.  "Our rowers have shown real mettle in the hot and challenging conditions".

"GB Rowing owes thanks to the British Olympic Association who have organised such a good competition environment for our team. Equally, praise is due to the Australian Olympic Committee for their great initiative in setting up this festival".

The next Australian Youth Olympic Festival is due in 2009.

For further information on GB Rowing please
contact:  Caroline Searle on (01225) 383518 or
(07831) 755351 OR [email protected]

For further information on Team GB please
contact:  Graham Newsom or Louisa Huddy via
(0208) 871 2677.

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DIGEST OF FINAL  RESULTS
(GB Crews only. Full results available
through:  http://www.rowingmanager.
com/rm/?results=1258) For home
towns and clubs of GB rowers, please
see squad list below).

Golds

Saturday

Women’s single scull
Men’s pair

Sunday

Women’s four
Women’s eight
Women’s quadruple scull
Men’s four

Silvers

Saturday

Men’s pair
Men’s single scull
Lightweight women’s double scull
Lightweight men’s double scull

Sunday

Men’s eight

Bronze

Saturday

Women’s pair

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GB ROWING SQUAD/AYOF:
Listed from bow to stroke plus cox
(Rowing Club/Home Town in brackets after
name where known)

WOMEN

Pairs (two boats)

Stephanie McDowell (Aberdeen Uni/Edinburgh)/
Jacqui Round (Nottingham RC/St Neots)

Vicky Bryant (Oxford Brookes/Chester-Le-Street)
Rosanna Collings (Nottingham RC)

Four

Bryant/Collings/McDowell/Round

Eight
Stephanie Mottram (Marlow RC/Aylesbury)
Rachael Jefferies (CUBC/Abingdon)
Emma Steel (Durham Uni)
Collings
Bryant
Round
McDowell
Frances Fletcher (Durham Uni)
Zoe de Toledo (Oxford Brookes/London)

Single scull (2 boats)

Jefferies

Mottram

Quadruple scull (correction to previous)

Mottram
Jeffries
Steel
Fletcher

MEN

Pairs (two boats)

Lewis Beech (Stourport BC/Stourport)
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton)

Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell (Uni of London/Durham)
Tom Lucy (Oxford Brooks/Monmouth)

Four

Beech
Sbihi
Lucy
O’Donnell

Eight

Nick Fearnhead (Durham Uni/Rhosemor, Nr Mold, Flintshire)
Bob Hewitt (Scarborough/Scarborough)
Chris Boddy (Yarm School/Thornaby)
Beech
Sbihi
Reilly O’Donnell
Lucy
Martin Haymes (Oxford Brookes/Maidenhead)
Sebastian Stuart (Durham Uni/Shaftesbury)

Single Sculls (two boats)

Haymes

Hewitt

Double scull

Boddy
Fearnhead

Quadruple scull

Boddy
Hewitt
Haymes
Fearnhead

TEAM MANAGER
David Tanner

COACHES

Peter Sheppard
Tim Dorrell
Emma Hall-Craggs
Nick Strange

PHYSIO
Jenny Conway

Useful websites:

www.biro.org.uk
www.olympics.org.uk
www.olympics.com.au

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CONTACT DETAILS
For media enquiries about British Rowing please contact:

Caroline Searle

T:  (01225) 383518
M:  (07831) 755351

e:  [email protected]

GB Rowing website www.biro.org.uk – full senior
squad biogs and past news releases available here.
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The GB Rowing Squad is supported by the National Lottery
Sports Fund as part of UK Sport’s Podium Programme.

GB Rowing News bulletins are issued by British
International Rowing. 

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