Good day at the office for GB Rowing Team in Korea

Headlined by the women’s pair of Olympic Champion Helen Glover and Polly Swann the GB Rowing Team had a ‘pretty good day in the office’ on Korea’s Lake Tangeum today.

Six crews qualified for the finals in Chungju from eight semi-final starters to join the already-qualified men’s and women’s eight and lightweight men’s pair.

Glover and Swann were one of three semi-final winners. The others were the lightweight men’s double of Northern Ireland’s Chambers brothers, Richard and Peter, and the lightweight single sculler Ruth Walczak.

Despite having all three medallists from the last world cup in their semi-final Glover said: We knew if was going to be tough but that felt like a nice controlled race. Today we rowed our own race and now we are building towards the final”, said Glover.

The men’s quadruple scull of Graeme Thomas, Charles Cousins, Sam Townsend and Peter Lambert gave the German Olympic champions a good run for their money before coming home second despite being disappointed with the manner in which they delivered their race.

Second-place was enough to see the lightweight women’s double scull of Imogen Walsh and Kathryn Twyman into the final after a shaky first-half of today’s semi-final in which they were last for some time.

Mat Tarrant stroked the men’s four into the final by taking third place. The line-up for this boat has three debutants, including Tarrant, Alan Sinclair and Scott Durant, and the experience of Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell in the two-seat who made the calls today which helped them through.

James Foad and Oli Cook battled hard but came fifth in the men’s pair and now have a B final in which to contest for global end-of-season rankings and Jamie Kirkwood came close with a final sprint to snatching a place in the lightweight men’s single scull before coming in fourth and will also race a B final.

“Building on our great gold medal in the para events yesterday, our boats have done us proud this morning in qualifying another five boats for the Olympic A class finals and one for the International Class finals, showing the strong level we have across our team here in Korea”, said Sir David Tanner, GB Rowing Team Performance Director.

Tomorrow’s race programme includes five Olympic-class semi-finals: the men’s and women’s single and double sculls and the lightweight men’s four with GB fielding boats in all five. That will be followed by finals of the lightweight women’s single and men’s pair.

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


Helen Glover and Polly Swann are unbeaten this season and were expected to win their semi-final today. They coped with the pressure of expectation admirably despite the fact that all three Lucerne world cup medallists were in their semi-final.

“When I saw the start list, I knew it was going to be tough”, said Glover. However, the Cornish-Scottish combination were soon out front and leading the race. They built on that lead in the second 500m and then moved away from the chasing Americans and New Zealanders in the second half to win in 7:03.22.

“That felt like a nice controlled race.. Today we rowed our own race and now we are building towards the final”, said Glover.

“We are rowing well and have improved in the last few weeks”, said Swann. Romania won the opposing semi and could also be significant challengers in the final.

James Foad and Oliver Cook in the men’s pair were next in action and did not get the kind of start they would have wanted. They were left trailing the field for the first phase before finding their rhythm.
From there it was an uphill task and they come home in fifth in a time of 6:30.26 in a race won by Poland.

“It was a tough semi. The guys took on the challenge and their attitude to it was 100%”, said coach Rob Dauncey afterwards. “But after a short preparation time, it always going to be difficult to get into the A Final. They are disappointed but now we will focus on the B Final”.

James Foad said: “The start was a little bit messy which was obviously what we didn’t want. From there we found it quite hard to get into our rhythm.

“I am not so much disappointed at how we did but more at how we rowed the race. I think we could have given a little bit better account of ourselves. It’s still great to be here and to be in the boat after the season I’ve had. We have been in the boat two weeks and five days and that’s not a lot of time to prepare but now the focus is on the B final and to get as high a ranking as possible”.

The men’s quadruple scull of Graeme Thomas, Sam Townsend, Charles Cousins and Peter Lambert set out relatively gingerly in their semi-final before stamping a bit of presence on the race in its closing 600m.

Switzerland started strongly and were then overtaken by the Olympic Champions, Germany, at the head of the field. The British quartet were in the pack and lying third with the Netherlands sometimes looking as if they might provide a spot of bother.

In a mature way, the GB combination shrugged off the Dutch to make sure of qualifying and then nudged past the Swiss and were challenging the Germans towards the final few strokes before taking second in 5:42.15.

“I feel a mixture of disappointment at the row, because I know it certainly wasn’t our best and excitement at reaching the final”, said Reading’s Townsend. “They are always nervous races, the semi-finals. You have got to be in the final to win a medal, you can’t win it from the B Final.

“We went out with the intention of trying to win it today and we haven’t quite nailed it but it also makes us quite excited to see what would happen if we get it right in the final”.

Lambert, who has come into the GB squad for the first time this season said of the pressure of a semi-final at this level: “Everyone takes pressure differently. Personally I didn’t feel any pressure. I have every confidence in the other three guys in the boat and confidence in the GB Rowing Team and its programme. You know if you follow the programme you can deliver”.

Thomas said: “The keyword today was efficiency and I think that we were a bit off that. But the pressure is off now that we are in the final”.

Great Britain has a new men’s four this year of Alan Sinclair, Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell, Scott Durant and Mat Tarrant. Only Reilly O’Donnell, winner of World Championships silver in the eight previously has raced at this level before.

In their semi-final today they were crisp and fast off the start and led the race early doors, somewhat to their own surprise they admitted later.

Australia, probably the pre-race favourites, emerged to lead after 300m and may have thought they could squeeze on the gas and get away. Italy and GB had other ideas. Sticking to the task, the GB boat held onto Australia and made sure that Romania could not convert their momentary threat in their wake.

In the scramble of the finish, Italy came charging through to win the semi-final in 5:52.07 with Australia second and GB taking the third qualifying slot in 5:54.42.

Scott Durant said: “We agreed before the race that we would get our heads down and Noddy [Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell] was gong to make the calls and we would respond to what he was saying which I think we did pretty well. We were really first off the start which was somewhat surprising. Towards the end we could just tell that the Romanians were dropping back and we were going with the Aussies and the Italians.

“It is a really good feeling to be in the top six. We have three new guys in the boat and Noddy who didn’t get into the Olympic team which must have been disappointing. So, it’s a good feeling to be in the top six already”.

Richard and Peter Chambers won their semi-final of the lightweight men’s double. The Coleraine brothers remained in the pack for the first half of this race behind Austria who led early but faded to fourth at the end.

Norway struck up a session at the head of the race in the second half. With about 600m to go the British siblings picked up the pace and came through them in the final sprint to the line to win in 6:18.39.

“We got out at the start and just tried to do our own thing”, said Richard, the elder of the two. “We had a good battle with the Norwegians and it’s just good to win. We knew it was going to be tough but it was also a good challenge for us”.

Kathryn Twyman and Imogen Walsh in the equivalent women’s boat caused some consternation in the peleton of British coaches cycling alongside their race. As a British boat expected to reach the final they were last off the start before beginning to show their true capabilities 600m into the race. By halfway they had clawed back to fourth.

“I don’t think it was our best row and I think that first 1000m was the most nervous I have ever raced”, admitted Walsh.

“In the end we did a good job but we were definitely a bit tense. Now we can just go out int0 the final and enjoy it and give it our best”, added Twyman.

With the pressure on them, the British duo responded in the second half to move back on the leading pack. They picked off the Netherlands with 600m to go and then challenged the German winners at the end. Second to GB in 6:57.85 just over seven tenths down on the Germans.

Ruth Walczak is through to the final of the lightweight women’s single in some style. For much of her semi-final today she tracked the more established Fabiana Beltrame of Brazil and Ursula Grobler of South Africa. Biding her time and, with 300 to go, just when an Australian coach had remarked on the towpath that “the British girl looks like she’s tiring”, Walczak moved up a gear to come through the field and take the win in 7:36.76.

No wonder Walczak in her debut season was pleased as punch afterwards: “That was quite good! I focussed on my own race today and now let’s see what I can do in the final”.

Jamie Kirkwood flew off the start and took a very early lead in his lightweight men’s single scull semi-final. Germany’s Jonathan Koch kept an eye on him and came through by 650m gone to take the lead with Kirkwood holding onto second. Much of the action happened in the third 500m of the race with Kirkwood tiring on the inside lane and Switzerland’s Michael Schmid coming up to take third.

Kirkwood is renowned for his final sprint and he unleashed it, so did Pedro Fraga of Portugal who stormed through the field to take victory at the line. Kirkwood was not so lucky and missed out on a place in the final in his debut senior season by under a second. He came home fourth in 7:05.00 with Germany and Switzerlrand taking the other two qualifying slots.





Pair (1-3 to FINAL, rest to B Final)

1. Helen Glover/Polly Swann (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:03.22
2. Taylor Goetzinger/Meghan Musnicki (USA) 7:06.81
3. Kayla Pratt/Rebecca Scown (New Zealand) 7:08.10
4. Kerstin Hartmann/Malrene Sinnig (Germany) 7:14.83
5. Beatrice Arcangionlini/Gaia Marzari (Italy) 7:23.29
6. Mayya Dmitrieva/Alvetina Savkina (Russia) 7:26.15



Four (1-3 to final, rest to B Final)

1. Italy 5:52.07
2. Australia 5:52.55
3. Alan Sinclair/Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell/Scott Durant/Matthew Tarrant (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:54.42
4. Romania 5:57.72
5. Spain 5:59.72
6. Croatia 6:00.65

Quadruple Scull (1-3 to Final, rest to B Final)

1. Germany 5:41.13
2. Graeme Thomas/Sam Townsend/Charles Cousins/Peter Lambert (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:42.15
3. Switzerland 5:42.99
4. Netherlands 5:46.85
5. Italy 5:47.12
6. Czech Republic 5:51.06



Single scull (1-3 to FINAL, rest to B Final)

1. Ruth Walczak (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:36.76
2. Fabiana Beltrame (Brazil) 7:38.27
3. Ursula Gorbler (South Africa0 7:41.03
4. Michelle Sechster (USA) 7:41.77
5. Ella Flecker(Australia) 7:51.48
6. Weibke Hein (Germany) 8:09.54

Double scull

1. Lena Mueller/Anja Noske (Germany) 6:57.12
2. Kathryn Twyman/Imogen Walsh (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:57.85
3. Elisabeth Woerner/Maaike Head (Netherlands) 6:59.94
4. Alice McNamara/Maia Simmonds (Australia) 7:00.81
5. Ceclia Lilja/Emma Fredh (Sweden) 7:04.32
6. Katarzyna Welna/Weronika Deresz (Poland) 7:09.04


Single scull (1-3 to FINAL, rest to B Final)

1. Pedro Fraga (Portugal) 7:02.07
2. Jonathan Koch (Germany) 7:03.49
3. Michael Schmid (Switzerland) 7:04.25
4. Jamie Kirkwood (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:05.00
5. Alan Elser Armenta Vega (Mexico) 7:09.41
6. Jose Casiraghi (Italy) 7:16.53

Double scull (1-3 to FINAL, rest to B Final)

1. Richard & Peter Chambers (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:18.39
2. Kristoffer Brun/Are Strandli (Norway) 6:18.57
3. Konstantin Steinhuebel/Lars Hartig (Germany) 6:19.35
4. Paul & Bernhard Sieber (Austria) 6:20.79
5. Vincent & Tycho Muda (Netherlands) 6:21.80
6. Andrej Bendtsen/Steffen Jensen (Denmark) 6:29.32


Events featuring GB crews only. 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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