Two golds and the overall world cup title
GB Rowing took two gold medals at the season-concluding world cup in Lucerne as well as lifting the overall world cup trophy for the third consecutive year.[img_assist|nid=3188|title=The men’s four celebrate victory in Lucerne|desc=Picture: Peter Spurrier|link=none|align=right|width=565|height=403]
Today’s golds came from the men’s four and lightweight women’s double scull and were backed by silvers from the men’s pair and quadruple scull – the latter being the best performance from a GB men’s quad of all-time at the world cup – as well as bronze from the women’s pair.
"I’m really pleased with our two gold medals today and especially heartened to see the silver from our men’s quadruple scull, all of whom have come out of whom have come out of GB Rowing’s talent identification programme", said GB Rowing Performance Director David Tanner.
"We can leave Lucerne and prepare for the World Championships on the back of some good results here", he added.
GB rowers also won individual overall world cup titles in the men’s pair, four and quadruple scull and the women’s quadruple scull and lightweight women’s double scull on the back of consistent results across the world cup season.
Now the focus will be on a series of testing training camps before the World Championships in late August for which GB will name its squad this Thursday (16 July).
Today there were impressive performances from each of the men’s four gold medallists – Alex Partridge, Ric Egington, Alex Gregory and Matt Langridge. And the men’s quadruple scull of Sam Townsend, Bill Lucas, Marcus Bateman and Charles Cousins , silver medallists today, continued to show the new-found determination and drive that has marked their performances this season.
Hester Goodsell and Sophie Hosking proved that their victory three weeks ago in Munich was not a one-show wonder by taking gold again in the lightweight women’s double scull.
Whilst disappointed at silver, the men’s pair of Andrew Triggs Hodge and Pete Reed were upbeat about their potential to turn around their season in time for the World Championships by dint of some "brutal" work at training camps.
Both British open double scull crews were ruled out of action here by illness – Matthew Wells and Stephen Rowbotham had already qualified for the final today before Rowbotham was laid low by a stomach virus and Anna Bebington competed here to win the B final with Ro Bradbury after illness for Annabel Vernon.
Alan Campbell, a medallist twice so far at the world cup so far, was absent, too, having chosen to sit out Lucerne and pace his season towards the Worlds.
FISA, the world rowing federation, announced today that the 2013 world championships has been awarded to Chungju in central South Korea and that the 2014 event will be in Amsterdam.
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The GB men’s four have been medallists in the previous two world cups and were determined to put their mark on today’s final. They were a smidgen ahead of Germany in the opening 500m. By halfway they were almost a length up with Germany second and Slovenia third.
From Matt Langridge at stroke, through Ric Egington and Alex Gregory in the middle, to Alex Partridge at bow the effort was palpable. Langridge kept up a relentless rhythm. By 1500m the quartet, coached by Mark Banks, were just over three seconds ahead. Had they spent too much too soon? Would the Germans come back? The answer was no. In fact in the final surge to the line Slovenia and the USA got ahead of Germany to take silver and bronze respectively.
"It certainly felt good today", said Langridge after the race. "It was nice to be in front and keep an eye on everyone behind us. We were disappointed in Munich [the last world cup] and wanted to make amends here".
"There is a lot of prestige in winning here", said Partridge. "It was a very consistent performance and our best row of the season so far".
"I couldn’t ask for anything more here today", said Egington. "We know what we’ve got to do now and we can go away and work on improving with a lot more confidence".
GB Rowing’s Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs Hodge took silver at this final world cup of the season. The result will give them and their coach, Jurgen Grobler, plenty of food for thought during the forthcoming training camps in Europe before August’s world championships.
Reed and Hodge were once more beaten comfortably by Eric Murray and Hamish Bond of New Zealand in today’s final. It was a third consecutive defeat at a major event including the Munich world cup and the Henley final.
The New Zealanders had their bowball in front by just 0.8 of a second at 500m. The damage, though, came in the next 200m. Bond and Murray moved out to a length lead. Reed and Hodge were their closest challengers but could not close the gap. Indeed by 1500m the leaders had more than two lengths over the field and romped home from there.
GB were briefly troubled by the USA but saw them off in the finishing sprint.
Reed and Hodge know that the next four weeks of training will now be crucial to their ability at the World Championships in Poznan in late August.
"They will be brutal camps I’m sure", said Reed. "But we’re not going to give up hope of winning the worlds. It was a lot smoother today and it’s only our second race over a 2000m course with me in the stroke seat".
"We’ve got a lot to work on and discuss", added Hodge. "We’ve got to take the last two regattas as a learning curve and move on. It’s a small part of the Olympic picture and we’re still a work in progress", he added.
In the men’s quadruple scull final the British quartet of Charles Cousins, Marcus Bateman, Bill Lucas and Sam Townsend got off to a blistering start. They were first to 500m and even though the Germans pulled through them just before halfway they remained within half a second of the new leaders at 1000m.
In the second half, Germany continued to dominate but the GB crew were ahead of the rest and holding their form. With 400m to go the British boat was holding an overlap on Germany and looked as if they might challenge for gold until Germany put their foot on the gas and surged ahead to win in 5:50.74 with GB second in 5:53.14, having held off a counter-attack from Slovenia in bronze and the USA in fourth.
"None of us went to the Olympics and that was really disappointing, so we’re on a mission this season", said Sam Townsend.
"We got off to a flyer today", added Charles Cousins. "We wanted to make it difficult for the others to live with our pace".
Bateman said: "We knew from the start of the year that we wanted to prove ourselves. So it’s great to get a good result here".
Lucas, missing through illness from the final in Munich, said: "We had a couple of "Ok"races in Henley so we needed to step up a level here and this was our best row of the season so far".
The British men’s eight is also a work in progress. In today’s final their finishing speed looked good but they could not hold onto the third place they held at 500m gone.
Germany and Canada, two titans of men’s eight racing, battled at the head of the field throughout the race. The Dutch used a stronger second half to move from fifth to take bronze and Britain kept Poland and Italy at bay to finish fourth in 5:40.38.
GB’s Olivia Whitlam and Louisa Reeve opened the programme for GB with a bronze in the women’s pair. They were second throughout the first half of the race behind the eventual winners from New Zealand. Germany came through strongly in the second half to take silver and the GB duo finished well to make the bronze their own in 7:23.73.
The two women were clearly pleased with their performance. Whitlam said: "I think we underperformed in Munich and here we have made a step up".
Reeve added: "I’m pleased with that. There are things to improve on but it’s a step up from Munich. We can improve again in Poznan".
Katherine Grainger has made the move from more accustomed crew boats – in which she has won Olympic silver three times – to a fresh challenge of the single scull this season. Today presented a tall task for the Scot to feature in the medals. She faced Zhang Xiuyun who proved her speed in the semi-finals as well as Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic.
At 500m Grainger was just under a second behind Knapkova in fourth place with Zhang in second and New Zealand’s Emma Twigg, winner at Henley last week, in third.
By 1000m Grainger was still fourth but Knapkova had moved to a length lead over Zhang. Twigg was still third.
In the third 500m, the top three scullers broke away and Twigg pipped Zhang at the line. Grainger was briefly challenged by Sweden’s Frida Svensson but held onto fourth in 7:39.45.
"On balance I’m disappointed. But there are technical improvements I can make", said Grainger.
The GB women’s quadruple scull did not get the best start to their final today. As a project, this is an interesting boat as it contains rowers who are making the transition to sculling this season. It also has two newcomers in Ro Bradbury and Sarah Cowburn.
By 500m they were in sixth and last place. As the race progressed they moved up into fifth place and had a better second half but could not catch the leaders, Germany.
Hester Goodsell and Sophie Hosking, coached by Paul Reedy, knew that the Greek duo in today’s lightweight women’s double scull might provide stiff opposition and that they would go out fast in the early part of the race. However, Belgium were the first to the 500m mark with Greece second and GB third.
By halfway, though, the British duo who have seemed to grow in confidence all season, were in the lead with Greece second and Canada third.
Goodsell and Hosking held their shape and fluidity right through the final half of the race and still looked smooth as they came past the grandstands to win in 7:07.59.
"We knew the Greeks would go out quickly but we also felt that if we rowed as well as we could in the middle of the race we’d have a good chance", said Hosking.
"All the pieces in training over the winter have paid off. Munich could have been a one-off but now we’ve shown that we can be consistent. Now we’ve got six weeks before the World Champs", said Goodsell.
In the lightweight men’s double scull less than two seconds separated the field at the 500m mark with GB comfortably in the pack in fifth. New Zealand, who are having a sensational season as a nation, were leading with Canada second and France third.
At 1000m GB were still in fifth. By now, though, they were four seconds behind the leaders but still holding off the Dutch to keep fifth place. The Dutch briefly went through them with 400m to go but the British responded to hold onto fifth. New Zealand were clear winners with Canada in second and France third.
"It was a disappointing result", said Williams. "But with more time in the boat together we can put that right. The training camps will help that".
GB’s lightweight men’s four were involved in one of the closer races of the afternoon. Although they ultimately finished sixth they were still in the pack from which Denmark emerged in the final sprint to take victory in 6:05.67 with France second and the Czech Republic in third. The GB quartet were less than five seconds off bronze, proving their potential in a season where they are all debutantes in this boat class at this level.
Anna Bebington and Ro Bradbury proved how much they have progressed in three days together here as a scratch combination when they won today’s B final of the women’s double scull in 7:20.18. The duo led throughout the race and held off a relatively determined push from the Danes in the final 200m.
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1. Emma Feathery/Rebecca Scown (New Zealand) 7:20.18
2. Kerstin Hartmann/Marlene Sinnig (Germany) 7:21.28
3. Olivia Whitlam/Louisa Reeve (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:23.73
4. Lindsay Shoop/Caroline Lind (USA 2) 7:25.32
5. Mara Allen/Erin Cafaro (USA 1) 7:26.36
6. Dai Li/Wang Liang (China 1) 7:26.63
1. Mirka Knapkova (Czech Republic) 7:25.43
2. Emma Twigg (New Zealand) 7:30.29
3. Zhang Xiuyun (China) 7:30.79
4. Katherine Grainger (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:39.45
5. Frida Svensson (Sweden) 7:39.77
6. Annick de Decker (Belgium) 7:59.10
1. Eric Murray/Hamish Bond (New Zealand) 6:27.00
2. Andrew Triggs Hodge/Peter Reed (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:32.47
3. David Banks/Charles Cole (USA) 6:36.90
4. Apostolos & Nikolaos Gkountoulas (Greece) 6:39.62
5. Jakub Makovicka/Vaclav Chalupa jr (Czech Republic) 6:46.22
6. Shaun Keeling/Ramon di Clemente (South Africa) 6:46.46
1. Germany 5:33.56
2. Canada 5:36.09
3. Netherlands 5:37.99
4. Tom Broadway/Tom Burton/James Orme/Tom Solesbury
/Tom Wilkinson/Dan Ritchie/Tom Ransley/James Clarke
(GREAT BRITAIN) 5:40.38
5. Poland 5:43.34
6. Italy 5:44.99
1. Hester Goodsell/Sophie Hosking (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:07.59
2. Jo Hammond/Evi Geentjens (Belgium) 7:09.92
3. Lindsay Jennerich/Sheryl Preston (Canada) 7:10.66
4. Anja Noske/Marie-Louise Draeger (Germany) 7:11.91
5. Triantafyllia Kalampoka/Christina Giazitzidou 7:13.51
6. Magdalena Kemnitz/Agnieszka Renc (Poland) 7:17.27
1. Denmark 6:05.67
2. France 6:06.96
3. Czech Republic 6:07.62
4. Germany 6:08.82
5. Italy 1 6:09.46
6. Chris Bartley/Chris Boddy/Stephen Feeney/Bob Hewitt
(GREAT BRITAIN) 6:12.26
1. Storm Uru/Peter Taylor (New Zealand) 6:22.71
2. Douglas Vandor/Cameron Sylvester (Canada) 6:25.54
3. Frederic Dufour/Jeremie Azou (France) 6:26.62
4. Marcello Miani/Elia Luini (Italy) 6:28.76
5. Rob Williams/Paul Mattick (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:31.23
6. Paul Drewes/Jaap Schouten (Netherlands) 6:32.00
1. Rosamund Bradbury/Anna Bebington (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:20.18
2. Fie Graugaard-Udby/Lea Jakobsen (Denmark) 7:21.36
3. Sanna Sten/Minna Nieminen (Finland) 7:28.04
4. Sara Hofmann/Nora Fletcher (Switzerland) 7:30.86
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WORLD CUP FINAL, LUCERNE, Switzerland
JULY , 2009
(Listed as bow to stroke plus cox)
Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft/Warrington/16.09.85)/Louisa Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)
Katherine Grainger (St Andrew BC/Aberdeen/12.11.75)
Rosamund Bradbury (Westminster School BC/Banstead/17.12.88)/Anna
Bebington (Leander Club/Leek, Staffs/13.02.83)
Rosamund Bradbury (Westminster School BC/Banstead/17.12.88)/
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Burton-on-Trent/ 28.12.82)/
Sarah Cowburn (Durham Uni BC/Redditch/01.02.89)/
Katie Greves (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)/
Alex Partridge (Leander Club/Alton, Hants/25.01.81)/Richard
Egington (Leander Club/Knutsford/26.02.79)/Alex Gregory (Reading
Uni BC/Wormington/11.03.84)/Matt Langridge(Leander Club/Northwich/20.05.83)
Tom Broadway (Leander Club/Newport Pagnell/21.08.82)/
Tom Burton (Leander Club/Barton-le-Clay, Beds/24.05.80)/
James Orme (Leander Club/Colchester/01.04.84)/
Tom Solesbury (Isis BC/Petts Wood, Kent/23.09.80)/
Tom Wilkinson (Leander Club/Reading/04.07.85)/
Dan Ritchie (Reading Uni BC/Herne Bay/06.01.87)/
Tom Ransley (Cambridge University BC/ Ashford, Kent/06.09.85)/
James Clarke (London RC/London/31.12.84)/
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)
Matt Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.04.79)/
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club/Winscombe, Somerset/11.11.81)
Hester Goodsell (Reading Uni/Cambridge/27.06.84)/
Sophie Hosking (London RC/Wimbledon/25.01.86)
Adam Freeman-Pask (Imperial College BC/Windsor/19.06.85)
Rob Williams (London RC/Maidenhead/21.01.85)/Paul Mattick
(Leander Club/Frome, Somerset/25.04.78)
Ross Hunter (Leander Club/Romford, Essex/13.07.81)/
Oliver Mahony (London RC/London/21.10.83)
Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Chester/02.02.84)/
Stephen Feeney (London RC/Coleraine/12.05.85)/
Chris Boddy (Tees RC/Stockton-on-Tees/16.11.87)/
Bob Hewitt (Tees RC/Scarborough/27.04.87)/