Brace of bronzes for GB Rowing Team in Korea

Lightweight single sculler Ruth Walczak and the lightweight men’s pair of Sam Scrimgeour and Mark Aldred both bagged bronzes in the international classes at the World Rowing Championships today to add to the gold won by the para-rowing mixed coxed four yesterday.

“It’s been fourth, fourth, fourth all season and it is so good to get a medal finally”, said a clearly delighted Walczak who comes from Rochdale.

By contrast Scot Scrimgeour and Londoner Aldred were more measured in their response, having been bested by Italy in the final few strokes to miss out on silver.

“It was tight and I thought we were going to go through them”, said Scrimgeour. “It was a pretty good race I guess”, added Aldred.

Earlier another five GB boats qualified for the weekend’s finals in the Olympic classes. Frances Houghton, from Oxford, and Premnay’s Vicky Meyer-Laker were dominant in their double scull semi to win in 7:13.45.

“It’s the first time that I’ve made a World Championships final in a small boat so I’m really pleased”, said Houghton who has several world titles and two Olympic silvers in the women’s quadruple scull to her name.

GB’s other semi-final win came from the lightweight men’s four of Chris Bartley, Will Fletcher, Jonno Clegg and Adam Freeman-Pask. They paced their race to perfection to slide past a tiring New Zealand in the final 200m.

“That was pretty much the perfect race”, said Fletcher later. “In the final we will get a centre lane now so we will have to make the most of that”, said Bartley, who won Olympic silver in this boat a year ago and is leading the other three less experienced rowers here.

Single sculler Alan Campbell was the other Briton to move onto the big stage on Sunday with a measured semi performance that saw him take second behind London Olympic silver medallist Ondrej Synek.

Vicky Thornley in the equivalent women’s boat fell just short with a fourth place in her debut season in this event whilst Matthew Langridge and Bill Lucas were devastated to miss out in the men’s double scull. They were fourth with Argentina too speedy on the grandstand side to be caught for third place.

All today’s semi-finalists race their finals on Sunday as do the men’s and women’s eights. Tomorrow sees the first finals in the Olympic class boats. Helen Glover and Polly Swann kick off the programme for GB in the women’s pair with the two lightweight doubles – Imogen Walsh and Kathryn Twyman and the Chambers brothers – the men’s four and the men’s quadruple scull all in action.

Britain’s women’s quadruple scull and men’s pair both have their B Finals tomorrow.

The World Championships can be followed on-line at and is being televised by BBC TV in the UK:

Saturday 31st August
07.00 – 09.00 on the red button and website;
15.00 – 16.30 highlights show on BBC One

Sunday 1st September
07.00 – 09.00 on the red button and website;
15.00 – 16.30 highlights show on BBC Two



Ruth Walczak went out fast in today’s final of the lightweight women’s single scull and had a strong lead with 300m gone. “After that I just tried to settle into a pace I knew I could hold”, said the Rochdale sculler who had already shown in the semi-final that she could produce a fast finish.

As the middle of the race unfurled, Walczak remained unflappable and stuck to the task. Ahead of her the Austrian and Greek contestants swapped the lead twice and Walczak slipped back to fourth behind Fabiana Beltrame of Brazil.

With 350m to go Walczak wound the pace back up, moved past Beltrame and momentarily looked like catching the Greek before finishing in 7:54.12 to take bronze.

“I tried to treat this like every other race and not let the occasion get to me”, said Walczak. “So when I was coming into the medal raft I had to remind myself that this was the Senior Worlds and I’d got a medal. It was a brilliant feeling”.

Walczak’s bronze had been proceeded by the lightweight men’s pair final in which Aldred and Scrimegour knew they had the ability to win a medal but that it would be tough.

Italy led early with the Swiss not far behind and GB back in fourth before moving back up in into third place in time for the final attack. By then the Swiss looked and then proved to be untouchable but GB sensed they might close the gap on Italy only for their experienced duo to quicken and secure silver.

“I think we had a pretty good row and just ended up getting tired at the last bit”, said Aldred..


GB’s lightweight four this season has one survivor from the London Olympic silver medal boat – Chris Bartley. Today the Welshman stormed the boat to the most perfect semi-final performance he could wish for.

The crew did not lose their heads when New Zealand charged away early to get a length lead over them at one stage. They stayed focusesd on their own boat and their own task. Bartley, Jonno Clegg, Will Fletcher and Adam Freeman-Pask moved up to keep in touch in the second and third 500m portions of the race and then sliced through into the lead at the sharp end of the race to take the win in 6:08.18.

A tiring New Zealand boat held on for second and Olympic champions, South Africa, grabbed the final qualifying slot.

“I thought that was pretty impressive” said Freeman-Pask. “It is a really good demonstration of where we are at. It felt like we had a really good rhythm down through the boat”.

Frances Houghton and Vicky Meyer-Laker are like chalk and cheese in terms of their experience of big events. Houghton’s first Olympics was Sydney in 2000 and she has twice been on the Olympic rostrum as well as having four World Championships women’s quadruple scull golds to her name.

Meyer-Laker is in her debut senior season. The duo were in fine spirits after winning their semi today joking tongue-in-cheek about Meyer-Laker’s “unbeaten record so far” in the World Championships. In today’s semi-final they led from the 250m marker to the finish and won in 7:13.45. Behind them Germany and Denmark were soon established as the boats to go through with them as a long gap had opened up on the Ukrainians in fourth.

“We try not to go into any race with any expectations. It is just up to you to make the best race you can on the day”, said Houghton. “We just wanted to be sensible and aware”.

“I am really pleased, it’s my first time at the Worlds and I am in the A Final”, said Meyer-Laker.

Alan Campbell completed a smooth semi-final today to take second place behind one of the event favourites and Olympic silver medallist Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic. At 500m gone he was perfectly placed in second and overlapping the Czech boat. From there the Coleraine man, coached this season for the first time by John West rather than Bill Barry, never wavered to come home in 6:59.67 behind Synek and controlling Lithuania’s single sculler with the Harry Potter-esque name of Mindaugas Griskonis who took third.

“It was a good race, so it was. Now to get a medal would be great and to get a silver or gold would be a considerable bonus”, said Campbell who like the Olympic Champion Mahe Drysdale who went out here in the quarter-finals took an extended break after the London Olympics and struggled physically earlier in the season.

The men’s double of Bill Lucas had earlier gone tot the line with high hopes of reaching Sunday’s finals. As their coach Mark Banks said: “You always hope and dream of that kind of outcome”.

His charges got off to a pretty solid start and were exactly where they needed to be with 500m gone, sitting in the bunched up pack behind race leaders Norway. It was in the second 500m that they began to fall back so that the second half of the race left them with a considerable task to achieve.

In the third 500m, their effort was palpable but not enough to make an impact on the fast-finishing Argentinians on the grandstand side who took the third and final qualifying slot. Heads went down as the boat crossed the line with a B final on Sunday.

Wrexham’s Vicky Thornley was in the GB women’s eight that raced at the Olympics last year and which took World bronze in 2011 in Bled. This year she has changed tack dramatically and gone solo in the single scull. She reached today’s semi-final via the repechage and so a final qualifying slot in her first season was always going to be a big “ask”.

Today she was fourth at 500m and there was already a sense that the reigning World Champion Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic plus Austria and the Netherlands were going to qualify. But Thornley state din touch and in the second half of the race often looked like catching the top three only for them to respond and push on further. Ultimately it was fourth in 7:54.57 for Thornley who now races the B final which she has the capability of winning.

Jamie Kirkwood and Canadian Nicolas Pratt were the fastest over the first 250m of their lightweight men’s single scull B Final today. Kirkwood took a temporary lead before the USA’s World U23 Champion Andrew Campbell Jr took over at halfway and led to the line to win in 7:25.70.

Kirkwood sculled a mature race to take second behind him in 7:28.58 to take 8th place overall at the Championships and second in the B Final, sensibly keeping clear of Pratt and any threat from the back of the field.





Single scull

1. Michaela Taupe-Traer (Austria) 7:50.62
2. Aikaterini Nikolaidou (Greece) 7:53.23
3. Ruth Walczak (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:54.12
4. Fabiana Beltrame (Brazil) 7:56.74
5. Ursula Grobler (South Africa) 7:59.26
6. Alena Kryvasheyenka (Belarus) 8:06.57



1. Simon Niepmann/Lucas Tramer (Switzerland) 6:49.85
2. Ella Luini/Martino Goretti (Italy) 6:51.48
3. Sam Scrimgeour/Mark Aldred (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:52.08
4. Brendan Hodge/Eric Woelfl (Canada) 6:57.58
5. Jan-Philipp Birkner/Christopher Herpel (Germany) 6:59.80
6. Michael Hager/Markus Lemp (Austria) 7:07.09




Single scull

1. Mirka Knapkova (Czech Republic) 7:45.70
2. Magdalena Lobnig (Austria) 7:50.30
3. Inge Janssen (Netherlands)7:51.72
4. Victoria Thornley (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:54.57
5. Julia Levina (Russia) 7:58.27
6. Elza Gulbe (Latvia) 8:09.83

Double scull

1. Frances Houghton/Vicky Meyer-Laker (GREAT BRITAIN) 7;13.45
2. Julia LIer/Mareike Adams (Germany) 7:16.11
3. Mette Petersen/Lisbet Jakobsen (Denmark) 7:19.30
4. Anna Kravchenko/Olena Buryak (Ukraine) 7:29.55
5. Monika Dukarska/Leonora Kennedy (Ireland) 7:34.47
6. Cecilia Bellati/Alessandra Patelli (Italy) 7:39.50


Single scull

1. Ondrej Synek (Czech Republic) 6:56.52
2. Alan Campbell (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:59.67
3. Mindaugas Griskonis (Lithuania) 7:02.54
4. Alexsandr Aleksandrov (Azerbaijan) 7:18.66
5. Roman Roeoesli (Switzerland) 7:21.55
6. Dani Fridman (Israel) 7:34.49

Double scull

1. Jakob Nils Hoff/Kjetil Borch (Norway) 6:24.22
2. Eric Knittel/Stephan Krueger (Germany) 6:27.19
3. Cristian Rosso/Ariel Suarez (Argentina) 6:29.49
4. Matt Langridge/Bill Lucas (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:33.73
5. Marko Marjanovic/Aleksandr Filipovic (Serbia) 6:37.70
6. Benjamin Dann/John Graves (USA) 6:41.56




1. Adam Freeman-Pask/William Fletcher/Jonathan Clegg/Chris Bartley (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:08.18
2. New Zealand 6:08.81
3. South Africa 6:09.74
4. Netherlands 6:09.96
5. Spain 6:14.84
6. Australia 6:15.85




Single scull

1. Andrew Campbell Jr (USA) 7:25.70
2. Jamie Kirkwood (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:28.58
3. Nioclas Pratt (Canada) 7:30.70
4. Alan Eber Amenta Vega (Mexico) 7:32.92
5. Nedelcho Vasilev (Bulgaria) 7:35.50
6. Jose Casiraghi (Italy) 7:41.54


For full schedules and results (

Sunday 25 August
10.00 – 14.00 (Local time)*


Lightweight men’s pair (LM2-), single scull (LM1x), double scull (LM2x)
Lightweight women’s single scull (LW1x), double scull (LW2x)
Women’s pair (W2-), quadruple scull (W4x)
Men’s pair (M2-), four (M4-), single scull (M1x), quadruple scull (M4x)

Monday 26 August
(10.00 – 14.40 local time)


Men’s double scull (M2x), eight (M8+)
Women’s double (W2x), eight (W8+), single scull (W1x),
Lightweight men’s four (LM4-),
Para-rowing men’s arms-shoulders single scull (ASM1x), mixed coxed four (LTA4+)


Men’s single (M1x)

Tuesday 27 August
(10.00 – 14.50 local time)


Lightweight men’s pair (LM2-), single scull (LM1x), double scull (LM2x)
Lightweight women’s single (LW1x), double scull (LW2x)
Women’s pair (W2-), quadruple scull (W4x)
Men’s pair (M2-), four (M4-), quadruple scull (M4x)
Para-rowing men’s arms-shoulders single scull (ASM1x), mixed coxed four (LTA4+).

Wednesday 28 August
(10.00 – 12.45)


Men’s double scull (M2x), eight (M8+)
Women’s single scull (W1x) double scull (W2x), eight
Lightweight men’s four (LM4-)


Men’s single scull (M1x)


(14.20 – 16.00)


Para-rowing men’s arms-shoulders single scull (ASM1x), mixed coxed four (LTA4+).

Thursday 29 August
(09.30 – 12.50 – LOCAL TIME


Lightweight men’s single scull (LM1x), double scull (LM2x)
Lightweight women’s single scull (LW1x), double scull (LW2x)
Men’s four (M4-)

NO para-rowing finals

Friday 30 August
(B finals 11.24 – 11.50 all remaining 13.33 – 16.55 local time)

B Finals

Lightweight men’s pair (LM2-), single scull (LM1x)
Lightweight women’s single scull (LW1x)


Men’s single scull (M1x), double scull (M2x)
Women’s single scull (W1x), double scull (W2x)
Lightweight men’s four (LM4-)


Lightweight men’s pair (LM2-), single scull (LM1x),
Lightweight women’s single scull (LW1x)

Saturday 31 August
(13.30 – 16.40 local time)


Women’s pair (W2-)
Men’s pair (M2-)
Lightweight men’s double scull (LM2x)
Lightweight women’s double scull (LW2x)
Men’s four (M4-), quadruple scull (M4x)
Women’s quadruple scull (W4x)

Sunday 1 September
(B final 13.30 – 14.25 all remaining 15.03 – 16.40 local time)


Men’s single scull (M1x), double scull (M2x), eight (M8+)
Women’s single scull (W1x), double scull (W2x), eight (W8+)
Lightweight men’s four (LM4-)

*Korea is eight hours ahead of the UK

GB Rowing Team
World Championships, Chungju, Republic of Korea
August 25 – 1 September


Helen Glover (Minerva Bath/Penzance/17.06.86)/
Polly Swann (Leander Club/Edinburgh/05.06.88)
Coach: Robin Williams


Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Gloucester/28.12.82)/
Melanie Wilson (Imperial College BC/London/25.06.84)/
Caragh McMurtry (Reading Univ BC/Southampton/22.08.91)/
Louisa Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)/
Jessica Eddie (London RC/Durham/07.10.84)/
Zoe Lee (Sport Imperial BC/Richmond, N. Yorks/15.12.85)/
Katie Greves (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)/
Olivia Carnegie-Brown (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Oxford/28.13.91)/
Zoe de Toledo (cox) (Leander Club / London / 17/07/87)
Coach: Paul Thompson / Robin Williams

Single Scull

Victoria Thornley (Leander Club/Wrexham/30.11.87)
Coach: Jane Hall

Double scull

Frances Houghton (Leander Club/Oxford/19.09.80)/
Victoria Meyer-Laker (Leander Club/Premnay/18.03.88)
Coach: Paul Thompson

Quadruple Scull

Rosamund Bradbury (Leander Club/Banstead/17.12.88)/
Kristina Stiller (Tees RC/Yarm/23.06.87)
Monica Relph (Leander Club/Cambridge/15.01.88)/
Lucinda Gooderham (Sport Imperial BC/Bury St Edmunds/09.06.84)/
Coach: Nick Strange

Women’s spares

Katherine Douglas (Leander Club/Midlothian/03.08.89)
Caragh McMurtry (Reading Univ BC/Southampton/22.08.91)



Oliver Cook (Univ of London BC/Windsor/05.06.90)/
James Foad (Molesey BC/Southampton/20.03.87)/
Coach: Rob Dauncey


Alan Sinclair (Leander Club/Inverness/16.10.85)/
Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell (Univ of London BC/Durham/13.04.88)/
Scott Durant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Lancaster/12.02.88)/
Matthew Tarrant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Shepperton/11.07.90)
Coach: Christian Felkel


Dan Ritchie (Leander Club/Herne Bay/16.01.87)/
Tom Ransley (Leander Club/Cambridge/16.09.85)/
Alex Gregory (Leander Club/Wormington/11.03.84)/
Pete Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth/27.07.81)/
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)/
Andrew Triggs Hodge (Molesey BC/Hebden/03.03.79)/
George Nash (Molesey BC/Guildford/02.10.89)/
Will Satch (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/09.06.89)/
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)
Coach: Jürgen Grobler

Single scull

Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers School/Coleraine/09.05.83)
Coach: John West

Double scull

Matt Langridge (Leander Club/Northwich/20.05.83)/
Bill Lucas (London RC/Kingswear/13.09.87)
Coach: Mark Banks

Quadruple scull

Graeme Thomas (Agecroft RC/Preston/08.11.88)/
Sam Townsend (Reading Univ BC/Reading/26.11.85)/
Charles Cousins (Leander Club/Willingham/13.12.88)/
Peter Lambert (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/03.12.86)
Coach: Paul Stannard

Men’s Sweep spares

Paul Bennett (Univ of London BC/Leeds/16.12.88)
Matt Gotrel (Leander Club/Chipping Campden/01.03.89)

Men’s Sculling Spare

Jonathan Walton (Leander Club/Leicester/06.10.90)



Double scull

Kathryn Twyman (Wallingford RC/Oxford/29.03.87)/
Imogen Walsh (London RC/Inverness/17.01.84)
Coach: Paul Reedy

Single scull

Ruth Walczak (Molesey BC/Rochdale/15.09.88)
Coach: Paul Reedy



Adam Freeman-Pask (Reading Univ BC/Windsor/19.06.85)/
William Fletcher (Leander Club/Chester-le-Street/24.12.89)/
Jonathan Clegg (Leander Club/Maidenhead/14.07.89)/
Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Chester/02.02.84)
Coach: Rob Morgan


Sam Scrimgeour (Imperial College BC/Forfar/28.01.88)/
Mark Aldred (London RC/London/18.04.87)
Coach: Rob Morgan

Double Scull

Richard Chambers (Leander Club/Coleraine/10.06.85)/
Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Coleraine/14.03.90)
Coach: Darren Whiter

Single scull

Jamie Kirkwood (Leander Club/Cresswell/30.08.89)
Coach: Darren Whiter



Arms-Shoulders Single Scull

Tom Aggar (Royal Docks RC/London/24.05.84)
Coach: Tom Dyson


Legs-Trunk-Arms Coxed Four

Pamela Relph (Leander Club/Aylesbury/14.11.89)
Naomi Riches (Marlow RC/Harrow/15.06.83)
Oliver Hester (Henley RC/Henley-on-Thames/18.02.90)
James Fox (Univ of London/Peterborough/02.05.92)
Oliver James (cox) (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/05.10.90)
Coach: Mary McLachlan


For media enquiries about this event please contact:

The GB Rowing Team Press office at Matchtight Ltd on (01225) 384211 or [email protected]

For pictures please e-mail [email protected]

For media enquiries during the event, please contact GB Rowing Team Press officer Caroline Searle via Korean mobile number: +82 1072842696. NB Korea is 8 hours ahead of the UK. So text is best!

GB Rowing Team website, including full rower biogs:

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