First Beijing slot booked

Britain booked its first Beijing Olympic Games slot today when the Camelot-backed women’s quadruple scull held off a tough challenge from Germany to win their heat in Munich at the World Championships and qualify directly into Sunday’s final thus securing one of the Games places reserved for top seven finishers here.


"We’re proud of our achievement and that takes the pressure off", said Debbie Flood of the crew featuring Katherine Grainger, Fran Houghton and Annie Vernon. "Now we can focus on the final". China, and Germany again, are likely to be the main threats.

Britain also had heat wins with the Siemens- sponsored men’s lightweight double and four who now have quarter-finals on Wednesday. Both crews looked smooth and comfortable in victory.

The men’s eight and lightweight women’s double were both involved in dramatically close finishes but fell the wrong side of the progression line by agonising hundredths in the latter case. They both now race in
Wednesday’s repechages alongside the women’s eight who were fourth and the men’s quadruple scull who were third.

Earlier in the day the lightweight women’s quadruple scull also grabbed their chance to take a place in  Sunday’s finals of the International classes here by winning their heat.  Their male counterparts race a repechage as do Matt Beechey and Daniel Harte in the lightweight men’s pair.

Tom Aggar made a big impression on his debut in the Paralympic boat classes. He won his heat by 18 seconds today.

"We have had a decent day with some good results in the Olympic classes", said GB Performance Director David Tanner. "I’m particularly pleased with the women’s quad and the lightweights have also had a good day. We’ve also seen our Paralympic boat classes in action for the first time. There are significantly higher numbers of boats in these events this year which has transformed the quality of competition".

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RACE REPORTS

Great Britain’s Camelot-backed women’s quadruple scull knew that starting well would help their cause today.  Fast in the first 250m, they settled into a race  pace which allowed them to develop a length over their nearest rivals, Germany, in the heats this morning.

With only one place available in Sunday’s final, and, with it, a guaranteed Olympic berth, this quickly became a two-horse race with denying the Germans paramount – something the British women achieved by over a second ultimately.

"They made lots of moves", said Flood, of the Germans.  Chief of these came at 750m gone when they won back an overlap and at 1250m when the home crew clawed back to half a length before the British responded to hold them off in their new crew order featuring Katherine Grainger at bow and Annie Vernon at stroke.

Grainger told the crew several times that they were "looking good".  "It was an important race for us today", she said.  "We didn’t know a lot about some of the other crews, especially the USA, and Germany have changed their crew as have the Australians.  It feels good to have got one out of the way".

Experienced international Mark Hunter and young talent Zac Purchase blended themselves into a silky-smooth sculling machine today to win their opening lightweight men’s double heat in style. The Siemens-backed duo took an early lead and were only really challenged in the final 200m by the USA who were second with New Zealand in third. All three crews now move into the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

"We aimed to get out front at the start and not get caught in the fight behind", said Hunter afterwards. "After that it was just a case of staying there".

There were a lot of guts and hussle off the start line from Britain’s Siemens-backed lightweight men’s four today. One of the medal favourites here, after their win at the World Cup finals last month, the quartet of James Clarke, Paul Mattick, James Lindsay-Fynn and Richard Chambers, pulled out to clear-water by the 1250m mark and made sure of victory from there.

"You’re always a bit nervous in the heats and we went out hard like a lot of other crews.  It’s good to get that out of the way", said James Clarke afterwards.

Germany took a very early lead in the lightweight women’s double scull heat this morning but were soon overhauled by Australia, the eventual winners. Helen Casey and Hester Goodsell, Britain’s entrants, were in the chasing pack.

Unfazed by the large Australian lead, they kept up the pressure on the second-placed Germans. With 250m to go, it seemed as if they may just prevail and take the second qualifying slot.  Instead they ran out of race course and were third by four agonising hundredths of a second.  They will now race a repechage on Wednesday.

"I suppose it was disappointing in a way", said Casey afterwards.  "But fourth hundredths is nothing really.  The field in this event is so tight, it’s always going to be close every time we race".

Later in the morning the British men’s eight, sponsored by Siemens and with Tom James racing as an eleventh hour sub for a poorly Tom Parker, were also involved in the kind of scuffle which can make sport so cruel.  Tucked in behind race leaders, Canada, for the  majority of the race, they led Australia by half a length with 500m to go only to see their lead whittled away stroke by stroke with Australia getting their nose ahead for the first time with five strokes to go to the line. The eight now also race in Wednesday’s repechage.

The women’s eight were fourth in their heat this morning in a race won by Australia in 6:12.79. With only the heat winner able to progress to the final, Britain’s performance was a solid one and offers an opportunity for a second chance through the repechages on Wednesday.

They will be joined there by the British men’s quadruple scull, sponsored by Siemens, who pulled their way back up into third place in the latter half of their heat today from their fifth place at the 500m mark.  The performance showed solid progress made through the training camps.

Earlier the British lightweight women’s quadruple scull became the first crew to book a place in the finals on Sunday by winning their heat today. Stroked by Jane Hall they held off an American challenge to their lead to win in 6:41.44.

The equivalent men’s boat were outgunned by an Italian crew who blasted off the start and clung to their lead at the end to win a place in the final with Great Britain now racing the repechage on Wednesday.

Matt Beechey and Daniel Harte in the  lightweight men’s pair opened the morning’s programme for Great Britain but it was Australia who took this race by the scruff of the neck from the start to build an eventually unassailable lead.  Harte and Beechey held off pressurising Greeks and Japanese but their second place still means a repechage on Wednesday.

Tom Aggar, a newcomer to the GB adaptive squad this year, caused a bit of a stir by winning his heat of the men’s arms-only single scull today in style. On the 1,000m course the Siemens-sponsored sculler was eleven seconds ahead by the half-way mark and eighteen ahead at the finish.  Small wonder that the race commentator offered the suggestion that he might like to ease off at the 750m mark.  His win puts him through to the semi-finals.

Helene Raynsford will have been disappointed with her fourth-placed finish in the equivalent, Siemens-backed women’s event today. The reigning world champion suffered an asthma attack and could not put in the level of performance she would have liked and must now race a repechage.

The British adaptive double scull, meanwhile,
were fourth in their heat today and will now
race a repechage. In this mixed-sex event there was a tight battle between Brazil and Australia at the head of the race, won narrowly by Brazil with Poland third.

Britain’s adaptive mixed coxed four, backed by Siemens and the reigning world champions, looked as if they would be roundly beaten by the host nation today at the mid-way point of their heat.  A spirited surge, though, saw them make up enough ground to force a photo finish which was won by Germany but Britain’s second place was enough to book a semi-final place.Later the Germans were relegated to last place when their boat was found to be underweight. 

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RACING TIMETABLE

Racing in Munich from now on takes place
as follows (full timetable
at www.worldrowing.com):

Repechages & Quarter-finals

28 and 29 August

Semi-finals

30 August and 31 August

FINALS

1 and 2 September

(Full details:  www.worldrowing.com and click on media
center before selecting events).

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RESULTS – Day two/27 August
(races featuring GB crews only. Full results:
www.worldrowing.com)

OPEN

WOMEN

Eight

1.  Australia 6:12.79
2.  USA 6:14.85
3.  Canada 6:16.76
4.  Carla Ashford/Baz Moffat/Alice Freeman/Louisa Reeve/
Natasha Howard/Alison Knowles/Katie Greves/Jess Eddie
Caroline O’Connor (cox) 6:18.90
5.  Russia 6:27.84

Quadruple scull

1.  Katherine Grainger/Debbie Flood/Fran Houghton/
Annie Vernon (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:30.87
2.  Germany 6:31.83
3.  Canada 6:37.61
4.  USA 6:39.52
5.  Australia 6:41.46
6.  Russia 6:50.64

MEN

Eight

1.  Canada 5:34.27
2.  Australia 5:35.71
3.  Tom James/Tom Stallard/Tom Solesbury/Josh West/
Richard Egington/Robin Bourne-Taylor/Alastair Heathcote
(GREAT BRITAIN)  5:36.37
4.  France 5:46.10
5.  Italy 5:47.31

Quadruple scull

1.  Germany 5:56.17
2.  France 5:58.91
3.  Simon Fieldhouse/Sam Townsend/Alex Gregory/
Ian Lawson (GREAT BRITAIN)  6:02.95
4.  Belarus 6:03.95
5.  Cuba 6:04.88

LIGHTWEIGHT

WOMEN

Double scull

1.  Amber Halliday/Marguerite Houston (Australia)  7:08.22
2.  Berit Carow/Marie-Louise Draeger (Germany)  7:11.22
3.  Helen Casey/Hester Goodsell (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:11.26
4.  Erika Bello/Laura Milani (Italy)  7:16.24
5.  Anniken Ellingsen/Hilde Guidem (Norway)  7:26.18
6.  Zsofia Novak/Zsuzsanna Hajdu (Hungary) 7:27.69

Quadruple scull

1.  Sophie Hosking/Laura Greenhalgh/Mathilde Pauls/Jane Hall
(GREAT BRITAIN)  6:41.44
2.  USA 6:42.38
3.  Netherlands 6:53.25
4.  Malaysia 7:18.04

MEN

Pair

1.  Ross Brown/Michael McBryde (Australia)  6:47.51
2.  Matt Beechey/Daniel Harte (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:49.17
3.  Apostolos Kourkoumpas/Evangelos Tsourtsoulas (Greece) 6:50.59
4.  Tatsuya Mizobe/Yu Kataoka (Japan) 6:51.02
5.  Kasper Winther/Asbjoern Joensen (Denmark) 6:54.90
6.  Javier Gonzalez Nieto/Juan Luis Tomas Fernandez (Spain) 6:59.96

Four

1.  Richard Chambers/James Lindsay-Fynn/Paul Mattick/
James Clarke (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:09.90
2.  Germany 6:12.08
3.  Japan 6:14.08
4.  South Africa 6:15.74

Double scull

1.  Zac Purchase/Mark Hunter (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:35.86
2.  Richard Montgomery/Andy Liverman (USA) 6:38.03
3.  Graham Oberlin-Brown/Peter Taylor (New Zealand)  6:40.48
4.  Alberto Dominguez Lorenzo/Carlos Perez Loriente (Spain) 6:43.06

Quadruple scull

1.  Italy 6:04.88
2.  Simon Jones/Robert Williams/Chris Bartley/Dave Currie
(GREAT BRITAIN)  6:06.33
3.  Denmark 6:09.75
4.  Hungary 6:22.90

ADAPTIVE (1000m course)

WOMEN

Single scull

1.  Liudmila Vauchok (Belarus)  6:16.04
2.  Agnese Moro (Italy) 6:26.83
3.  Joan Reid (Canada)  6:33.11
4.  Helene Raynsford (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:37.59
5.  Zhang Jinhong (China) 6:49.28
6.  Fusako Inaishi (Japan) 8:14.56

MEN

Single scull

1.  Tom Aggar (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:28.49
2.  Pierre Morel (Canada)  5:46.94
3.  Daniel Sturm (Germany)  6:01.52
4.  Manual Amaro (Portugal) 6:32.59
5.  Bang Sei Hoon (Korea)  6:54.34
6.  Katsumi Takakura (Japan) 7:05.83

MIXED

Coxed four

Heat

1. Vicky Hansford/Alan Crowther/Alastair Mckean/
Naomi Riches (GREAT BRITAIN) 3:33.51
2.  Russia 3:47.81
3.  Ukraine 4:13.96
4.  Portugal 4:37.25
5.  Germany BUW

Double scull

1.  Lucas Pagani/Josiane Lima (Brazil)  4:14.34
2.  John Maclean/Kathryn Ross (Australia)  4:16.56
3.  Piotr Majka/Jolanta Pawlak ( Poland) 4:23.08
4.  Karen Cromie/James Roberts (GREAT BRITAIN) 4:33.38
5.  Dmytro Ivanov/Iryna Kyrychenko (Ukraine) 4:45.23

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GB CREWS FOR THE 2007 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
(Munich, August 26 – September 2, 2007)
(NB – listed from bow to stroke with
athlete name followed by club, home town
and date of birth in brackets).

OPEN

WOMEN

Pair

Beth Rodford (Thames RC/Burton-on-Trent/ 28.12.82)/
Natasha Page (Reading Uni/Hartpury/30.4.85)

Coach: John Keogh

Four

Georgina Menheneott (Mortlake, Anglian & Alpha RC/North Bradley,
Wilts/18.12.79)/Rebecca Rowe (Rebecca/Bridgend/16.5.81)/
Vicki Etiebet (Auriol Kensington/Ottowa, Canada/12.2.79)/
Vicky Myers (Leander/Cheshire/31.3.81)

Coach: Nathan Williams

Eight

Carla Ashford (Thames RC/Northallerton/13.3.79)/Baz Moffat
(Thames RC/Bradford/8.4.78)/Alice Freeman (Wallingford RC/Oxford/
6.9.78)/Louisa Reeve (Leander/London/16.05.84)/Natasha Howard (Tideway Scullers/West Runton/3.9.80)/Alison Knowles (Thames RC/
Bournemouth/27.3.82)/Katie Greves (Uni of London/Oxford/2.9.82)
Jess Eddie (Uni of London/Durham/7.10.84)/Caroline O’Connor
(Oxford Brookes/Ealing/25.4.83) (cox)

Coaches: John Keogh

Double scull

Elise Laverick (Thames RC/Poling, W.Sussex/27.7.75)/
Anna Bebington (Leander Club/Leek, Staffs/13.2.83)

Coach:  Miles Forbes Thomas

Quadruple scull

Annie Vernon (Thames RC/Wadebridge/1.9.82)/Debbie Flood
(Leander Club/Leeds/27.2.80)/Fran Houghton
(Uni of London/Oxford/19.9.80)/Katherine Grainger
(St Andrews BC/Aberdeen/12.11.75)

Coach: Paul Thompson

MEN

Pair

Colin Smith (Leander/Henley on Thames/23.9.83)/
Matt Langridge(Leander Club/Northwich/20.5.83)/

Coach:  Jurgen Grobler

Four

Steve Williams (Leander Club/Cheltenham/15.4.76)/Peter
Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth, Glos/27.7.81)/Alex Partridge
(Leander Club/Alton, Hants/25.1.81)/Andy Triggs Hodge
(Molesey BC/Hebden, N.Yorks/3.3.79)

Coach: Jurgen Grobler

Coxed four

Oli Moore (Imperial/Burford)/James Orme (Leander Club/
Colchester/1.4.84)/Marcus Bateman (Leander Club/Torquay/
16.9.82)/Tom James (CUBC/Wrexham/11.3.84)/Phelan Hill (London
RC/London/21.7.79) – cox

Coach: Richard Tinkler

Eight

Tom Parker (OUBC/Winchester/24.10.82)/Tom Stallard
(Leander/Welwyn, Herts/11.9.78)/Tom Lucy (Oxford Brookes/
Monmouth/1.5.88)/Tom Solesbury (Molesey BC/Petts Wood, Kent/23.9.80)/Josh West (Leander/Santa Fe/25.3.77)/Richard Egington (Leander/Knutsford/26.2.79)/Robin Bourne-Taylor (Army RC/Oxford/22.7.81)
/Alastair Heathcote (Army RC/London/18.8.77)/Acer Nethercott (OUBC/Harlow/28.11.77) (cox)

Coaches:  Mark Banks, John West

Single Scull

Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers/Coleraine/9.5.83)

Coach: Bill Barry

Double Scull

Matt Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.4.79)/
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club/Winscombe, Somerset/11.11.81)

Coach: Mark Earnshaw

Quadruple scull

Simon Fieldhouse (Molesey/Thames Ditton/4.9.76)/Sam Townsend
(Reading Uni/Reading/26.11.85)/Alex Gregory (Reading Uni/
Wormington/11.3.84)/Ian Lawson (Leander/Otley, W.Yorks/4.3.77)

Coach: Steve Gunn

LIGHTWEIGHT

WOMEN

Single scull

Andrea Dennis (Wallingford RC/Oxford/03.01.82)

Coach: Rob Dauncey

Double scull

Helen Casey (Wallingford RC/Oxford/6.2.74)/
Hester Goodsell (Rob Roy/Cambridge/27.6.84)

Coach: Robin Williams

Quadruple scull

Sophie Hosking (Durham Uni/Wimbledon/25.01.86)Laura Greenhalgh (Rob Roy/Oxford/2.9.85)/Mathilde Pauls (Imperial College BC/Berlin & Putney/26.09.83)/ Jane Hall (Leander/Caversham/20.10.73),

Coach: Rob Dauncey

MEN

Pair

Matt Beechey (Leander/Worcester/3.4.77)/Daniel
Harte (London/Edinburgh/12.12.75)

Coach:  Paul Reedy

Four

Richard Chambers (Oxford Brookes/Coleraine/10.6.85)/
James Lindsay-Fynn (London/Trim/29.9.75)/Paul Mattick
(Wallingford/Oxford/25.4.78)/James Clarke (London RC/
London/13.12.84)

Coach: Robin Williams

Single scull
Alasdair Leighton-Crawford (Tideway Scullers/Richmond-upon-Thames/
09.12.81) – racing spare.

Double scull

Zac Purchase (Marlow RC/Tewkesbury, Glos/2.5.86)/
Mark Hunter (Leander Club/Romford, Essex/1.7.78)

Coach: Darren Whiter

Quadruple scull
Simon Jones (Leander/Henley/8.6.78)Rob Williams (London
RC/Maidenhead/21.1.85)//Chris Bartley (Wallingford/Chester/
2.2.84)/Dave Currie (Leander/Bridgend/10.1.82)

Coach:  Rob Morgan

ADAPTIVE CREWS

WOMEN

Single scull

Helene Raynsford (Guildford RC/Frimley/29.12.79)

Coach:  Chad King

MEN

Single scull

Tom Aggar (Royal Docks/Barnet, London/24.5.84)

Coach: Chad King

MIXED

Mixed adaptive coxed four

Naomi Riches (Marlow RC/Harrow Weald/15.6.83)/
Alastair Mckean (Herne Bay ARC/Whitstable/14.4.79)/
Alan Crowther (Nottingham BC/Derby/29.7.65)/
Vicki Hansford (Guildford RC/Lewisham/31.10.79)/
Alan Sherman (cox)

Coach: Chad King

Double scull

Karen Cromie (Royal Docks BC/Ballinamalllard, Co.Fermanagh/
24.9.79)/James Roberts (Swansea/11.5.86)

Coach: Chad King

SPARES

Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft RC/Warrington/16.9.85)
Tom Wilkinson (Leander/Henley/4.7.85)
Charles Burkitt (Leander/Reading/28.4.86)
Bill Lucas (Reading Uni/Dartmouth/13.9.87)
Atlanta St John (Reading Uni/North Leigh, Oxon/13.1.87)

TEAM MANAGEMENT AND SUPPORT

Team Manager:  David Tanner
Assistant Team Manager:  Maggie Netto
Doctor: Ali Sanders
Chief Coach Men: Jurgen Grobler
Chief Coach Women and Lightweights:  Paul Thompson
Logistics Manager:  Maurice Hayes
Adaptive boats coordinator:  Louise Kingsley
Lead Physio:  Mark Edgar
Physios:  Pam Gardiner, Gill Edmondson, Mike Chisholm
Physiologist:  Al Smith
Pyschologist:  Chris Shambrook
Nutritionist:  Wendy Martinson
Sponsorship Liaison Manager:  Fran Bullock
Drivers: Phil Tinsley, John Brockway
Press Officer:  Caroline Searle

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OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC QUALIFYING DETAILS

Each nation competing in Munich will be seeking to
qualify for Olympic Games’ quota places, available for
each event.  It is important to remember, though, that
it is the "boats" that qualify in Munich and at the later
regattas (see below). In Britain’s case the individual "rowers’
names" will not be put to the places in each boat
until late June, 2008.

Events (with quota places available in Munich)

MEN

Single scull (11)
Pair (11)
Double scull (11)
Four (11)
Quadruple scull (11)
Eight (7)

WOMEN

Single scull (9)
Pair (8)
Double scull (8)
Quadruple scull (7)
Eight (5)

LIGHTWEIGHT MEN

Double scull (11)
Four (11)

LIGHTWEIGHT WOMEN

Double scull (8)

If British boats do not gain a quota place in any given
event in Munich, there will be one further chance
via the final qualifying regatta in June of 2008 in
Lucerne, Switzerland where a small number of
further quota places will be available but for which
the competition will be fierce.

ADAPTIVE BOAT CLASSES

Each adaptive boat class has eight spaces
available in Munich for Beijing 2008.  For those
who do not qualify in Munich there will be a
second-chances at the world cup from
9-11 May, 2007. 

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