Two golds, three bronzes for Olympic boats
On a remarkable day for British rowing at the World Championships in Munich every crew competing in an Olympic class final won medals with two golds coming from the Camelot-backed women’s quadruple scull and the lightweight men’s four, sponsored by Siemens, and bronzes from the men’s and women’s eights and from the lightweight double of Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase.
Britain’s men’s and women’s lightweight quadruple sculls also won bronze and silver respectively in the international classes bringing GB’s regatta total to three golds, two silvers and six bronzes – seven of the medals in Olympic and two in Paralympic boat classes – in one of Britain’s most successful world championships of all-time for which GB were awarded the FISA team prize.
"Today’s results were totally exceptional to add to our medals from yesterday", said GB Performance Director David Tanner. "Seven medals from Olympic class boats is stunning. Today has been a massive step up for our men’s lightweight rowers and an emphatic return to form for the women’s quadruple scull".
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Zac Purchase in the bow seat of the Siemens-backed lightweight double scull, stroked by Mark Hunter, looked across the field after 20 strokes of the final today. What last year’s lightweight single scull champion saw would have pleased him. Italy were the early race leaders with Britain in a good second place. Over the ensuing few hundred metres the pack closed up and the world champions from Denmark took up the leaders’ mantle. Behind them there
very little to choose between the other crews as the race passed the mid-way point.
By 1500m, the British duo had benefitted from a push to pull themselves up to third behind Greece and leaders Denmark – with still little space between the crews. In a spectacular rush for the line, the Australians hustled down the stand side to try and snatch a medal but the British duo held them off with Denmark retaining their title and Greece in second.
For Hunter, a Thames waterman, it was the first senior world championships medal in an Olympic class boat in a distinguished international career. For both it augured well for the Olympic Games twelve months hence.
"That was the best and most complete race ever", said Hunter afterwards. "That was tough", added Purchase. "The line came too quickly for us today. Now it’s a holiday and then back to work. Those Danes are good but they are beatable".
In the ensuing lightweight men’s four event Britain were in second place as the long sprint began to the line from 1500m gone. Italy were the race leaders. In a hugely-close field with nothing to choose between the first three boats the British opened up the throttle and headed at full tilt for the line. Inexorably, stroke by stroke,
they pulled past Italy and in a nail-biting finish Richard Chambers, James Lindsay-Fynn, Paul Mattick and James Clarke held onto win. France were second and Italy third.
Understandable, then, that their coach Robin Williams should pronounce himself speechless at the result.
Earlier in the race Great Britain had done the hard work to put themselves in the gold medal spot. They were foruth at half-way but second at 1500m
"The other crews went out very quickly in the first 1000m but we kept steady and came back at them in the second half", said James Clarke afterwards. "Going to the line it’s always easier to defend your position and we were just trying to hold onto that prize".
The strains of the national anthem were still playing for the lightweight men’s four when the women’s quadruple scull, backed by Camelot and coached by Paul Thompson, of Katherine Grainger, Fran Houghton, Debbie Flood and Annie Vernon, came into the medallist pontoon. Perhaps the women thought momentarily that they had missed their own medal ceremony after a race in which they dominated the field and held off the fast-finishing Germans in the last 250m in front of an understandably partisan home crowd.
The Germans, with the legendary Kathrin Boron at bow were coming back at the 750m "but we pushed ahead again", said Fran Houghton of the crew who banished the disappointment of losing out to Russia at Eton last year only to subsequently retain their title when one of the Russians proved to have tested positive.
For Katherine Grainger, back in the stroke seat and who paced her crew to a length and a half lead for much of the early race, this was a third world title in this boat class after a 2003 gold in the women’s pair.
"For each of us that was something really special", she said afterwards. "In the last few days we’ve got closer to that special rhythm that you get when everything is really flowing naturally".
"All the way through we knew that you could lose a race in the very last stroke", said Annie Vernon of the tension they clearly all felt in the dying few metres.
As they came away from the medal pontoon the quartet paused to watch the British women’s eight, sponsored by Siemens, come down the course. This was probably a crew with a Beijing place on their mind – which called for a top five finish – rather than any previous predictions of potential medals but who were in third place for much of the early race and fighting for their place in the sun.
What a finish it proved. A blanket of boats came past the grandstand with everyone in contention – the British amongst them. Small wonder that Caroline O’Connor the boat’s diminutive cox could not resist a boat bending jig beyond the line when it became clear that the British had not only got their boat in the Beijing line-up but had taken a bronze medal, too.
"For the last 600m I could see that we could win bronze and I called for us to go early, I knew they wouldn’t be able to hear me because of the crowd so I just kept shouting bronze medal, bronze medal", said O’Connor.
"We’ve improved so much this year from the B Final last year to winning bronze and qualifying for the Olympics is fabulous", said Natasha Howard.
That left just the men’s eight amongst the Olympic class boats to complete the day’s racing. Already Beijing-bound this crew had got better and better as the week progressed after a below-par performance in the heats.
Canada took the race on in the first half with Germany’s reigning world champion crew tracking them all the way. But the British were well-positioned themselves for a placing themselves as the crews blasted through the wall of sound along the granstands.
Ultimately no-one could catch Canada and the Germans kept their ahead of the British at the line but the men’s bronze medal meant that every single British Olympic class boat competing today won a medal today – five in total.
Earlier the British combination in the lottery-funded lightweight women’s qaudruple scull got a good start in Munich today in their international class final. Stroked by Jane Hall, who was in the lightweight women’s double scull last year, they were third at the 500m mark – less than a second down on China with Australia in second.
The lead changed hands in that second quarter of the race and GB dropped back a little as the Australians made a break to create a length lead on the fields. Undeterred Jane Hall kept the crew to their task and they moved steadily up into second from 1250m onwards – ahead of China but behind Australia.
Past the grandstands, the Americans began to show their hand and China made an effort
to row back into silver but the British held them at bay to take second.
"We’ve always had a strong move at 1250m", said birthday girl Laura Greenhalgh after the race. "When the call came today it was great, everything came into place".
The British lightweight men’s quadruple scull were next in action. They put themselves in a good position – never out of second or third place at the timing points – by 1500m and in the final sprint to the line they had enough in the tank to take bronze and challenge the French quite closely for silver. Italy were the race winners.
"I thought we were going to get the French at the end said Simon Jones afterwards. "We started our sprint early to try and get them and then the wheels really started to come off with 10 strokes to go".
In the men’s coxed four, stroked by world U23 medallist, Oli Moore, Britain were fifth at the 500m mark, three seconds off the USA who were leading. At the halfway point the lead had switched hands to Serbia but GB were still in contact. In the third 500m the British made a push to move up to third with Serbia still leading, the USA second and Germany fourth. As the boats approached the grandstands the Serbians were still a length up but the pack closed in, led by the USA who took eventual gold. In the final 250m Britain looked poised momentarily to take a bronze but finished fourth behind Germany.
Australia and Italy started well in the lightweight men’s pair race in which Daniel Harte and Matt Beechey were racing for Great Britain after a world cup season during which they had been medallists more than once. By the 500m mark the British duo were in fifth. At halfway, the Kuehner brothers from Germany had eaten into the lead and the Italians had begun to make their move but the British were still in fifth.
The signs were better by 1500m with the British moving up to fourth but with a significant gap to cover. By now Germany and Italy had overhauled the Australians in the sprint to the line and the British and French came close but not quite close enough to pipping the Australians for bronze with Italy taking gold and Germany silver.
Hester Goodsell and Helen Casey looked
back on form today in the B final of the
lightweight women’s double scull where
two Beijing qualifying places were at stake.
They were quick off the start and in the frame
with the Canadians and Poles who made
the early running. Sculling steadily, they
stayed with the leaders and picked up their
own pace with 300m to go. Then it became
tense as Canada attempted to hold them at
bay and Japan came storming up the grandstand
side with the intention of getting past. At
the line, the crews were too close to separate
except by photo-finish which showed Canada
as race winners with the Siemens-backed British duo in second by just sixteen hundredths of a second with Japan third, five hundredths behind the British.
"I’ve never been so happy at finishing eighth in my life", said Goodsell afterwards.
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RESULTS – Day seven/1 September
(races featuring GB crews only. Full results:
1. USA 6:17.20
2. Romania 6:18.33
3. Carla Ashford/Baz Moffat/Alice Freeman/Louisa Reeve/
Natasha Howard/Alison Knowles/Katie Greves/Jess Eddie
(GREAT BRITAIN) 6:19.66
4. Australia 6:19.86
5. Germany 6:19.99
6. Canada 6:23.10
1. Annie Vernon/Debbie Flood/Fran Houghton/Annie Vernon
(GREAT BRITAIN) 6:30.81
2. Germany 6:32.02
3. China 6:33.91
4. Ukraine 6:34.55
5. Canada 6:40.37
6. USA 6:41.02
1. USA 6:10.35
2. Serbia 6:11.17
3. Germany 6:12.49
4. James Orme/Marcus Bateman/Tom Wilkinson/Oli Moore
(GREAT BRITAIN) 6:13.78
5. Netherlands 6:14.62
6. Italy 6:16.80
1. Canada 5:34.92
2. Germany 5:37.19
3. Tom James/Tom Stallard/Tom Lucy/Tom Solesbury/Josh
West/Richard Egington/Robin Bourne-Taylor/Alastair
Heathcote (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:37.95
4. USA 5:41.26
5. Russia 5:41.60
6. Poland 5:43.63
1. Australia 6;35.97
2. Sophie Hosking/Laura Greenhalgh, Mathilde Pauls/Jane
Hall (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:38.78
3. China 6:40.32
4. USA 6:41.82
5. Germany 6:42.69
6. Netherlands 6:48.20
1. Andrea Caianiello/Armando Dell’Aquila (Italy) 6:38.00
2. Jochen & Martin Kuehner (Germany) 6:39.43
3. Ross Brown/Michael McBryde (Australia) 6:42.05
4. Vincent Faucheux/Guillaume Raineau (France) 6:42.33
5. Matt Beechey/Daniel Harte (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:42.91
6. Apostolos Kourkoumpas/Evangelos Tsourtsoulas (Greece) 6:48.39
1. Richard Chambers/James Lindsay-Fynn/Paul Mattick/James
Clarke (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:16.21
2. France 6:17.43
3. Italy 6:17.49
4. Canada 6:18.92
5. China 6:19.04
6. Denmark 6:20.09
1. Mads Rasmussen/Rasmus Quist (Denmark) 6:24.21
2. Dimitrios Mougios/Vasileios (Greece) 6:25.89
3. Zac Purchase/Mark Hunter (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:26.92
4. Sam Beltz/Tomm Gibson (Australia) 6:28.75
5. Marcello Milan/Elia Luini (Italy) 6:29.95
6. Zasushige Ura/Daisaku Takeda (Japan) 6:30.00
1. Italy 6:01.70
2. France 6:02.94
3. Simon Jones/Robert Wiliams/Chris Bartley/Dave Currie
(GREAT BRITAIN) 6:03.83
4. Germany 6:07.65
5. Denmark 6:09.46
6. USA 6:11.08
1. Jennerich Lindsay/Tracy Cameron (Canada) 7:08.15
2. Helen Casey/Hester Goodsell (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:08.31
3. Misaki Kumakura/Akiko Iwamoto (Japan) 7:08.36
4. Magdalena Kemnitz/Ilona Mokronowska (Poland) 7:12.61
5. Wendy Tripcian/Jana Heere (USA) 7:13.09
6. Erika Bello/Laura Milani (Italy) 7:15.21
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GB CREWS FOR THE 2007 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
(Munich, August 26 – September 2, 2007)
(NB – listed from bow to stroke as at 23/08/07 – with
athlete name followed by club, home town
and date of birth in brackets. NB some seat order
changes have taken place – see above results each
day for up-to-date information).
Beth Rodford (Thames RC/Burton-on-Trent/ 28.12.82)/
Natasha Page (Reading Uni/Hartpury/30.4.85)
Coach: John Keogh
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
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
Elise Laverick (Thames RC/Poling, W.Sussex/27.7.75)/
Anna Bebington (Leander Club/Leek, Staffs/13.2.83)
Coach: Miles Forbes Thomas
Coach: Paul Thompson
Colin Smith (Leander/Henley on Thames/23.9.83)/
Matt Langridge(Leander Club/Northwich/20.5.83)/
Coach: Jurgen Grobler
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
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
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
Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers/Coleraine/9.5.83)
Coach: Bill Barry
Matt Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.4.79)/
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club/Winscombe, Somerset/11.11.81)
Coach: Mark Earnshaw
Coach: Steve Gunn
Andrea Dennis (Wallingford RC/Oxford/03.01.82)
Coach: Rob Dauncey
Helen Casey (Wallingford RC/Oxford/6.2.74)/
Hester Goodsell (Rob Roy/Cambridge/27.6.84)
Coach: Robin Williams
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
Matt Beechey (Leander/Worcester/3.4.77)/Daniel
Coach: Paul Reedy
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/
Coach: Robin Williams
Alasdair Leighton-Crawford (Tideway Scullers/Richmond-upon-Thames/
09.12.81) – racing spare.
Zac Purchase (Marlow RC/Tewkesbury, Glos/2.5.86)/
Mark Hunter (Leander Club/Romford, Essex/1.7.78)
Coach: Darren Whiter
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
Helene Raynsford (Guildford RC/Frimley/29.12.79)
Coach: Chad King
Coach: Chad King
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
Karen Cromie (Royal Docks BC/Ballinamalllard, Co.Fermanagh/
24.9.79)/James Roberts (Swansea/11.5.86)
Coach: Chad King
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)
Single scull (11) – qualified (30/08/07)
Pair (11) – qualified (30/08/07)
Double scull (11) – qualified (30/08/07)
Four (11) – qualified (30/08/07)
Quadruple scull (11) – will seek to qualify in June 2008
Eight (7) – qualified (31/08/07)
Single scull (9)
Pair (8) – will seek to qualify in June 2008
Double scull (8) – qualified (30/08/07)
Quadruple scull (7) – GB qualified (27/08/07)
Eight (5) – qualified (2/09/07)
Double scull (11) – qualified (31/08/07)
Four (11) – qualified (31/08/07)
Double scull (8) – qualified (02/09/07)
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.
Women’s arms only single scull – qualified 28/08/07
Men’s arms only single scull – qualified 30/08/07
Mixed coxed four – qualified 30/08/07
Mixed double scull – qualified 31/08/07