Hodge wins semi in “new” event

Andy Triggs Hodge, Olympic champion in the men’s four and more accustomed to featuring in a pair at the annual GB Rowing Senior Trials, won his men’s single scull semi-final at the event in Belgium today with a second-half surge in 6:49.56.

Hodge overhauled his Olympic double scull bronze medal winning team-mate Stephen Rowbotham in the last 500m to win in 6:49.56. But Alan Campbell, winner of  these trials three times before in the single scull, won the other semi-final and was three seconds faster than Hodge.

"I’m learning something new every time I race in the single" said Hodge afterwards. "I’m enjoying every minute of it".

Meanwhile Peter Reed, winner of Olympic gold with Hodge in Beijing, won his men’s pair semi-final with new partner Alex Gregory to set up a battle in tomorrow’s finals with Alex Partridge and Rick Egington, from GB Rowing’s 2008 Olympic men’s eight silver medal crew.

Katherine Grainger and Anna Bebington, both Beijing medallists, were winners of the women’s single scull semis.  Bebington pushed through Annabel Vernon, also a Beijing medallist, in the final 200m to win by three tenths of a second.

Paul Mattick, Rob Williams, Andrea Dennis and Sophie Hosking took victory in their respective lightweight men’s and women’s single scull semi-finals.  Olivia Whitlam and Louisa Reeve looked dominant in the women’s pair with victory in 7:18.28 – two seconds faster than the other semi-final which was won by Jess Eddie and Alice Freeman.

RACING TOMORROW

April 13th
09.00 – 11.00 FINALS
PM – reserve period

*SIEMENS is the high performance partner of the GB Rowing Team
(as such they sponsor all the Olympic and Paralympic Class
boats in the senior squad and add value to the ARA’s World Class
Start and High Performance Programme in Clubs Schemes)

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RACE REPORTS

Alan Campbell positioned himself as favourite to win another men’s single scull title at the GB Rowing Senior Trials in Belgium this afternoon when he won his semi-final in 6;46.49. Campbell headed the race from the outset but was shadowed throughout, as expected, by Olympic double scull bronze medallist Matt Wells.

The leading duo were tracked throughout by Sam Townsend, the Reading University rower, who was spotted at school as a potential future GB Rower through a scheme called World Class Start which is sponsored by Siemens and backed by the national lottery.  Townsend, who narrowly missed out on a Beijing berth last year, made his mark here by taking third place to qualify for tomorrow’s final ahead of the more experienced Matt Langridge.

"I’m pleased to make the final even if I didn’t scull particularly well", said Townsend afterwards.

Andy Triggs Hodge won the other semi-final of this event after surging to the front in the last 500m from a fifth place at the half-way mark.  Ian Lawson, who led earlier, was third in a tight battle to the line with his Leander club-mate and Olympic double scull bronze medallist Steve Rowbotham.  That left rising talent Marcus Bateman out of the final in fourth place.

The first semi-final of the women’s single scull also lived up to its billing.  Former crew-mates in the  double scull Anna Bebington and Annabel Vernon – and now both Olympic medallists – tussled down a course rippled by a strong tailwind with former World champion and Olympic medallist Sarah Winckless always threatening on the nearside.  With 250m to go it  seemed as if the verdict would go to Vernon but Bebington picked up the pace and battled through to win by just three tenths of a second.  Winckless was third and Katie Greves, who impressed in the morning’s time-trial, was fourth.

Katherine Grainger, seeking an eighth title here, stamped her authority on the second semi-final from the outset. She led at every timing point and won in 7:32.43.  Everyone had expected her main rival to be Beth Rodford, from last year’s GB women’s eight. Obviously Ro Bradbury of Westminster School hadn’t read the script and pulled ahead of Rodford in the final 300m to take second in 7:34.32. 2008 Olympian Natasha Howard was fourth. Sarah Cowburn, earmarked as "one to watch" for the future, was forced to pull out soon after the start of this race through injury.

Peter Reed and Alex Gregory were quickest in the afternoon’s brace of men’s pair semi-finals. They won in 6;28.31 and were pushed in the final 300m by Tom Wilkinson and Tom Burton from Leander Club.  The lightweight pairing of Chris Bartley and Bob Hewitt caused a stir by taking third place – and a place in tomorrow’s finals – in this event with a time of 6;31.42.

Reed and Gregory seem set to battle for the title tomorrow with Alex Partridge and Rick Egington who never looked like being beaten in their semi-final today.  The GB Rowing Beijing men’s eight silver medallists came home in 6:30.66 ahead of James Orme and George Laughton, who were strong in the final half of the race with Mohamed Sbihi and James Foad of Molesey Club producing a good performance to take third in 6:32.41 just two hundredths behind.

The women’s pair features several development boats here but also some world-class contenders. Olivia Whitlam and Louisa Reeve, Olympic finalists last year, made short work of winning their semi-final here in 7:18.28, leaving Leonora Kennedy and Lindsey Morton and Jo Cook and Vicky Myers fighting it out for the other two slots with the latter taking second place.

Somewhat unsurprisingly Jess Eddie and Alice Freeman, from the 2008 GB squad eight, were winners of the other semi in 7:20.09.  Monica Relph and Jacqui Round came up into second place before the half-way mark and held that position to the end. Vicky Bryant and Heather Stanning were third.

Sophie Hosking, whose father was a lightweight world champion, looks to be in great form here. She won her lightweight single scull semi today in 7:41.03. Andrea Dennis won the other – just seventh tenths slower than Hosking – providing the potential for a close-run final with Laura Greenhalgh, Jane Hall, Hester Goodsell and Stephanie Cullen also in with a chance.

Paul Mattick commanded his lightweight men’s single scull semi this afternoon.  He was a comfortable leader at every timing point and won in 7:00.62.  Behind him Ben Rowe held onto a consistent second place whilst Oliver Mahony and Ross Hunter did battle for the vital third place on opposite sides of the course. Ultimately, Mahony booked his passage. But it was close. The margin was a mere 0.24 of a second.

Richard Chambers and Rob Williams were tipped to get through from the other semi.  Chambers, world champion in the  lighteweight men’s four in 2007, and Williams, the Olympic reserve last year, were never more than a second apart as they battled through the first 1500m of the course. Then Williams had the strength to hold onto his lead in the final 500m to win in 7:01.36.  Jonno Clegg was third.  The race  also featured Chambers’ brother, Peter, who was sixth.

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RESULTS
(club in brackets)

SEMI-FINALS

OPEN

WOMEN

Pair

Semi-final1
1.  Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft)/Louisa Reeve (Leander) 7:18.28
2.  Jo Cook/Vicky Myers (Leander) 7:25.02
3.  Leonora Kennedy (Thames)/Lindsey Morton (Nottingham) 7;25.27
4.  Gemma Akers/Vicky Thornley (Minerva Bath) 7:36.65
5.  Jenny Arnold/Helen Wood (Reading) 7:38.82

Semi-final 2
1. Alice Freeman (Wallingford)/Jess Eddie (Uni of London) 7:20.09
2. Monica Relph/Jacqui Round (Nottingham) 7:23.52
3.  Vicky Bryant (Leander)/Heather Stanning (Army) 7:27.86
4.  Louise Entwistle/Olivia Oakes (Uni of London) 7:36.13

Single scull

Semi-final1
1.  Anna Bebington (Leander) 7:33.30
2.  Annabel Vernon (Marlow) 7:33.63
3.  Sarah Winckless (Walbrook & Royal) 7:34.63
4.  Katie Greves (Leander) 7:37.87
5.  Lindsey Maguire (Wallingford) 7:50.14
6.  Ruth Walczak (Molesey) 8:09.74

Semi-final2
1.  Katherine Grainger (St Andrew) 7:32.43
2.  Ro Bradbury (Westminster School) 7:34.32
3.  Beth Rodford (Gloucester) 7:35.78
4.  Natasha Howard (Tideway Scullers) 7:36.64
5.  Mel Wilson (Molesey) 7:48.88
6.  Sarah Cowburn  (Durham Uni) DNF

OPEN

MEN

Pair

Semi-final1
1.  Alex Partridge/Rick Egington (Leander) 6:30.66
2.  James Orme/George Laughton (Leander) 6:32.39
3.  Mohamed Sbihi/James Foad (Molesey) 6:32.41
4.  Tom Ransley/Henry Pelly (Cambridge Uni) 6:34.21
5.  Will Laughton/Will Satch (Leander) 6:38.00
6.  Colin Williamson/Nick Clark (Leander) 6:46.47

Semi-final2
1. Peter Reed (Leander)/Alex Gregory (Reading Uni) 6:28.31
2.  Tom Wilkinson/Tom Burton (Leander) 6:29.90
3.  Chris Bartley (Leander)/Bob Hewitt (Tees) 6:31.42
4.  Tom Broadway (Leander)/James Clarke (London) 6:31.95
5.  Matt Tarrant/Scott Durant (Oxford Brookes) 6:36.35
6.  Stephen Feeney (London)/Chris Boddy (Tees) 6:40.04

Single scull

Semi-final1
1.  Andy Triggs Hodge (Molesey) 6:49.56
2.  Steve Rowbotham (Leander) 6:50.72
3.  Ian Lawson (Leander) 6:50.92
4.  Marcus Bateman (Leander) 6:52.59
5.  Bill Lucas (Reading Uni) 6:59.66
6.  Brendan Crean (Agecroft) 7:01.68

Semi-final2
1. Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers) 6:46.49
2.  Matt Wells (Leander) 6:48.72
3.  Sam Townsend (Reading Uni) 6:55.56
4.  Matthew Langridge (Northwich) 7:01.07
5.  Charles Cousins (Reading Uni) 7:04.78
6.  Tom Solesbury (ISIS BC) 7:07.57

LIGHTWEIGHT

WOMEN

Single scull

Semi-final1
1.  Sophie Hosking (London) 7:41.03
2.  Laura Greenhalgh (London) 7:43.94
3.  Jane Hall (Leander) 7:49.03
4.  Ruth Sander (Mortlake Anglian & Alpha) 7:51.59
5.  Katherine Copeland (Tees) 7:53.32

Semi-final2
1. Andrea Dennis (Reading Uni) 7:41.74
2. Hester Goodsell (Reading Uni) 7:45.20
3.  Stephanie Cullen (London) 7:46.34
4.  Elaine Johnstone (Tideway Scullers) 7:48.62
5.  Nikki Bartlett (Tees) 8:25.31

MEN

Single scull

Semi-final1
1. Rob Williams (London) 7:01.36
2. Richard Chambers (Leander) 7:03.98
3. Jonno Clegg (Leander) 7:07.12
4.  Richard Dunley (London) 7:07.79
5.  Will Fletcher (Durham Uni) 7:13.79
6.  Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes) 7:16.47

Semi-final2
1.  Paul Mattick (Leander) 7:00.63
2.  Ben Rowe (Tees) 7:03.97
3.  Oliver Mahony (London) 7:04.53
4.  Ross Hunter (Leander) 7:04.53
5.  Nick Fearnhead (Durham Uni) 7:14.19
6.  Dave Jones (Leander) 7;26.41 

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