Three golds for GB Rowing Team
The men’s four of Alex Gregory, Peter Reed, Tom James and Andrew Triggs Hodge won a dramatic race with Australia to take gold at the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne this morning in a time of 5:50.84.
It was not all plain sailing for the British team, however, with Olympic and World Champions Zac Purchase clearly out of sorts to finish in sixth place.
This afternoon’s finals include GB Rowing team crews in the men’s and women’s eight, the women’s quadruple scull, men’s single and double and the lightweight men’s four – the latter crew being one to watch after some stirring performances in the heats and semi-finals.
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In the calm of a Swiss Sunday morning on smooth water and with the air still somewhat chilly, the British pair of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning made all the noise at the start of the women’s pair final.
By 500m they had a strong lead over the chasing Americans the World Champions from New Zealand, Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown. As the crews broke through the halfway point there was no change – except for the fact that the other three crews had dropped away from the leading trio.
With more than three seconds over the Kiwis and over a second on the Americans the British pair looked technically superb and strong at 1500m gone. As the roar went up from the Grandstands the British seemed to find yet another burst of power to fend off the American, rather than expected Antipodean challenge to win in 7:02.14.
“It was a really good race for us. Helen made some fantastic calls and that meant all I had to do was focus on what I was doing”, said Stanning afterwards.
Glover paid tribute to the GB support in Lucerne. “It makes such a difference. It’s a little taste of London to come”, she said. “Even on Thursday morning when our heat was at 9.30 in the morning they were here on the front row with the GB flags. It’s fantastic”.
In Belgrade three weeks ago the World Champions Anna Watkins and Katherine Grainger of Great Britain had a tussle in the final 500m with the German duo Britta Oppelt and AnneKatrin Thiele. The combinations met in the heats here with the British winning.
A quarter-way through the final today the British duo had 0.8 of a second buffer over their nearest rivals. Both crews, though, would have been keeping an eye on Poland and the Czech Republic in the chasing pack.
Just before halfway Oppelt stole two swift glances across to the British crew. She would have seen that Watkins and Grainger had stretched out their lead but not hugely.
With just a quarter of the race to go, Watkins and Grainger still had the lead but now by some margin. Behind them Germany had been caught by Poland and the Czech Republic and the scene was set for the final surge which saw Grainger and Watkins unruffled and victorious in 6:52.52with Poland out-doing Germany to take silver.
Sport is peppered by great rivalries between Britain and Australia and it looks as if the battle for Olympic honours in the men’s four in 2012 might be another one in the sequence.
Today the Australian men’s four, including three-times Olympic champion, Drew Ginn, decided to lay down the gauntlet early in the Lucerne final. By 500m they had a half-length lead over the British boat containing Andrew Triggs Hodge, Tom James, Peter Reed and Alex Gregory.
To be honest, by the halfway point, the roles remained the same and Australia must have scented victory. Hearts were in British mouths on the banks of the Rotsee and pulse rates were high.
With a superb display of strength and power the GB quartet upped their game and overhauled the Australians in the final 20 strokes to take the win in 5:50.84 from 5:51.98 for Australia’s silver. Greece were third in 5:56.61.
“We knew that they were going to be quick. It was just a case of hanging on and then producing a really powerful sprint”, said Alex Gregory.
“Andrew Triggs Hodge added: “It was a really solid race for us. It’s a step up from Belgrade and a great move along the way. There’s more to come”.
Tom James added: “You are aware of what’s going on but we just focused on what we were doing and I wasn’t worried – just wanted to get our race together. Always thought we could get there – felt confident in what we were doing”.
Peter Reed said: “We had a feeling before the race that they would try to do something special . That’s the way they raced in Bled last year and in the Olympic final as well. That race reminded me a lot of the Olympic final from Beijing. The Australian boat is always very classy but moving past them in the last 500 is something we hadn’t seen from our crew yet and that can be massively improved. An exciting race and good for the event – really pleased to get one up”.
George Nash and Will Satch knew they had a race on their hands from the outset of their men’s pair. Silver medallists in Belgrade three weeks ago they were aware that the arrival of strong pairs from Canada and New Zealand would make a difference to their still fledgling world cup participation.
At the 500m mark the new British no.1 pair this season were sixth. At the halfway they’d moved up a place in a field that was still tightly packed. Canada, early leaders, were overtaken by New Zealand just after the halfway point and GB had moved up to fourth.
In the final sprint the Greek Gkountoulas brothers had kept enough in the tank to hold onto bronze behind the all-conquering New Zealanders and silver medallists Canada and Germany, winners in Belgrade, just edged the British boat into fifth in 6:31.60.
The lightweight men’s double of Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase are Olympic and World Champions. They have not had the best of regattas here. Through the heats and an extremely hard-fought semi-final they did not look in sparkling form and the final suggested that they had not been simply conserving energy.
Clearly out of sorts they were at the back of the field throughout – albeit a closely contested field from which France emerged to take victory in 6:22.78 and Canada, the early leaders, were overhauled by New Zealand who took silver and Denmark in bronze.
Sophie Hosking and Kat Copeland in the lightweight women’s double scull also finished outside the medals but were in close contention to the end before finishing fifth in 7:07.54. The race was won by China who established themselves early at the front of the field with New Zealand and the USA taking on the mantle of the “chasers”.
New Zealand’s Louise Ayling and Julia Edward came within a whisker of stealing the show on the line before taking silver just two tenths behind Xu and Huang of China. Greece, the World Champions, came through from sixth to third in the final with a superb sprint to overhaul the Americans. Denmark were sixth.
Cameron Nichol and Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell demonstrated the strength in depth of the GB men’s squad by winning the men’s pair B Final early in the morning session in a time of 6:39.66 after leading throughout. Olivia Carnegie Brown and Jo Cook were a close third in their equivalent final won by China.
At the halfway stage of the B Final of the men’s quadruple scull the British quartet of Stephen Rowbotham, Charles Cousins, Tom Solesbury and Matthew Wells were heading the Australian world champions in a fairly tight battle including Ukraine and the host nation – the latter being urged on by the traditional sound of cow bells.
Racing past the crowds the Britihs crew held on from the fast-finishing Ukraine to win in 5:51.22 with the Ukraine taking bronze.
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1 Helen Glover/Heather Stanning (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:02.14
2 Erin Cafaro/Eleanor Logan (USA 1) 7:04.09
3 Juliette Haigh/Rebecca Scowen (New Zealand) 7:05.98
4 Sarah Tait/Kate Hornsey (Australia 1) 7:17.88
5 Maria Laura Abalo/Gabriela Best (Argentina) 7:19.74
6 Naydene Smith/Lee-Ann Persse (South Africa) 7:20.22
1 Anna Watkins/Katherine Grainger (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:52.52
2 Magdalena Fularczyk/Julia Michalska (Poland) 6:55.00
3 Britta Oppelt/Annekatrin Thiele (Germany 1) 6:55.42
4 Lenka Antosova/Jitka Antosova (Czech Republic) 6:56.92
5 Fiona Paterson/Anna Reymer (New Zealand 1) 7:00.45
6 Yan Jiang/Li Rong (China 2) 7:03.34
1 Eric Murray/Hamish Bond (New Zealand) 6:24.04
2 Dave Calder/Scott Frandsen (Canada 1) 6:26.77
3 Nikolaos Gkountoulas/Apostolos Gkountoulas (Greece 1) 6:30.04
4 Anton Braun/Felix Drahotta (Germany) 6:30.79
5 George Nssh/William Satch (GREAT BRITAIN 1) 6:31.60
6 Niccolo Mornati/Lorenzo Carboncini (Italy) 6:35.86
1 Dongxiang Xu/Wenyi Huang (China 1) 7:04.14
2 Louise Ayling/Julia Edward (New Zealand) 7:04.39
3 Christina Giazitzidou/Alexandra Tsiavou (Greece) 7:04.79
4 Kristin Hedstrom/Julie Nichols (USA) 7:07.45
5 Sophie Hosking/Katherine Copeland (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:07.54
6 Anne Lolk Thomsen/Juliane Rasmussen (Denmark) 7:08.01
1 Stany Delayre/Jeremie Azou (France) 6:22.78
2 Storm Uru/Peter Taylor (New Zealand) 6:24.32
3 Mads Rasmussen/Rasmus Quist (Denmark) 6:24.97
4 Douglas Vandor/Morgan Jarvis (Canada) 6:25.18
5 Linus Lichtschlag/Lars Hartig (Germany) 6:28.67
6 Zac Purchase/Mark Hunter (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:32.03
1 Yage Zhang/Yulan Gao (China 1) 7:22.27
2 Carolyn Ganes/Larissa Lagzdins (Canada 1) 7:23.31
3 Jo Cook/Olivia Carnegie-Brown (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:24.03
4 Claudia Wurzel/Sara Bertolasi (Italy) 7:30.09
5 Lisa Kemmerer/Anne-Sophie Agarius (Germany) 7:32.86
6 You Wu/Xiaoxia Yan (China 2) 7:48.30
1 Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell/Cameron Nichol (GREAT BRITAIN 2) 6:39.66
2 James Marburg/Brodie Buckland (Australia 1) 6:41.64
3 Nanne Sluis/Meindert Klem (Netherlands) 6:41.85
4 Spencer Crowley/Will Dean (Canada 2) 6:43.39
5 Joaquin Iwan/Diego Lopez (Argentina) 6:44.90
6 Konstantinos Christomanos/Apostolos Lampridis (Greece 2) 6:50.97
1 Stephen Rowbotham/Tom Solesbury/Matthew Wells/Charles Cousins (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:51.22
2 Ukraine 5:51.86
3 Australia 5:51.99
4 Switzerland 5:52.61
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GB ROWING TEAM CREWS LIST
(See home-towns, clubs and dates of birth in list below. Named here in crews bow to stroke unless indicated. (Coach in brackets).
SAMSUNG WORLD ROWING CUP II
Lucerne, Switzerland 25-27 May, 2012
Pair – two boats
Jo Cook/Olivia Carnegie Brown
Single scull – Olympic qualifying regatta only
Rachel Gamble Flint
Pair – two boats
Single scull – two boats
Bill Lucas/Sam Townsend
Stephen Rowbotham /Tom Solesbury/Matt Wells/Charles Cousins
Double scull – two boats
(Rob Morgan & Darren Whiter)
Zac Purchase/Mark Hunter
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HOME TOWN LISTS
PAIR (Boat 2)
Jo Cook Leander Club Sunbury-on-Thames 22/03/84
Olivia Carnegie-Brown Oxford Brookes Univ BC Oxford 28/03/1991
Olivia Whitlam Agecroft RC Warrington 16/09/85
Debbie Flood Leander Club Guiseley, W Yorks 27/02/1980
Emily Taylor Leander Club Lincoln 28/06/87
Jessica Eddie Univ of London BC Durham 07/10/84
Louisa Reeve Leander Club London 16/05/84
Natasha Page Gloucester RC Hartpury 30/04/85
Katie Greves Leander Club Oxford 02/09/82
Annabel Vernon Leander Club Wadebridge 01/09/82
Caroline O’Connor (cox) Oxford Brookes Univ BC Ealing, London 25/04/83
Coach: Nick Strange
Single Scull – Olympic qualifying Regatta only
Rachel Gamble-Flint Leander Club Darlington 13/09/91
Coach: Jane Hall
Beth Rodford Gloucester RC Gloucester 28/12/82
Melanie Wilson Imperial College BC London 25/06/84
Frances Houghton Leander Club Oxford 19/09/80
Victoria Thornley Leander Club Wrexham 30/11/87
Coach: Ade Roberts
Pair (Boat 2)
Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell Uni of London BC Durham 13/04/88
Cameron Nichol Molesey BC Glastonbury 26/06/87
Alex Gregory Leander Club Wormington 11/03/84
Pete Reed Leander Club Nailsworth, Glos 27/07/81
Tom James Molesey BC Wrexham 11/03/84
Andrew Triggs Hodge Molesey BC Hebden, N. Yorks 03/03/79
Coach: Jürgen Grobler
Greg Searle Molesey BC Marlow 20/03/72
Alex Partridge Leander Club Alton, Hants 25/01/81
Marcus Bateman Leander Club Torquay 16/09/1982
Tom Ransley York City RC Cambridge 06/09/85
Mohamed Sbihi Molesey BC Surbiton 27/03/88
Richard Egington Leander Club Knutsford 26/02/79
Matthew Langridge Leander Club Northwich 20/05/83
James Foad Molesey BC Southampton 20/03/87
Cox – Phelan Hill Leander Bedford 21/07/79
Coaches: John West & Christian Felkel
Single Scull (Boat 1)
Alan Campbell Tideway Scullers School Coleraine 09/05/83
Coach: Bill Barry
Bill Lucas London RC Kingswear 13/09/87
Sam Townsend Reading Univ BC Reading 26/11/85
Coach: Mark Earnshaw
Stephen Rowbotham Leander Club Winscombe, Somerset 11/11/81
Matthew Wells Leander Club Hexham, Northumberland 19/04/79
Tom Solesbury Leander Club Petts Wood, Kent 23/09/80
Charles Cousins Reading Univ BC Willingham, Cambs 13/12/88
Coach: Mark Banks
Kathryn Twyman Wallingford RC Oxford 29/03/87
Coach: Paul Reedy
Adam Freeman-Pask Imperial College BC Windsor 19/06/85
Coaches: Rob Morgan & Darren Whiter
Paul Mattick Leander Club Frome, Somerset 25/04/78
Rob Williams London RC Maidenhead 21/01/85
Richard Chambers Leander Club Coleraine 10/06/85
Chris Bartley Leander Club Chester 02/02/84
Coach: Rob Morgan
Zac Purchase Marlow RC Tewkesbury 02/05/86
Mark Hunter Leander Club Romford, Essex 01/07/78
Coach: Darren Whiter
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BBC COVERAGE FROM LUCERNE
Lucerne, Switzerland, 25-27 May (all time – UK Times)
• Red Button – Sunday 27 May, 0920-1045 & 1200-1355
• BBC2 – Sunday 27, May 1800-1900
BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra will also be providing coverage during the three rowing World Cup regattas with double Olympic Gold medallist James Cracknell forming part of the commentary team
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