Short time to savour medals before Youth Olympics
Chris Lawrie and Anna Thornton, silver and bronze medallists respectively at the World Junior Championships in Hamburg today, will have little time to celebrate their successes. The duo will travel tomorrow to Nanjing, China, to compete for TeamGB at the Youth Olympic Games.
Their medals were part of a three-medal haul in which the GB Rowing Team’s men’s coxed four also took silver and the men’s eight finished fourth despite racing in an unfavoured lane.
Team Manager John Layng said: “It’s been a really fantastic set of results to get three medals from four A-final boats and 50% of our top boats will still be juniors next year so we have a lot we can build on”.
Today Lawrie stroked the men’s quad featuring Steven Parsonage, Rowan Law and Samuel Mejjer, who were involved in a tight contest with host nation, Germany, before taking silver in 6:46.42.
The GB quartet took an early lead in the first part of today’s final. Germany, the defending champions, pressed them hard with 750m gone and took a whisker of a lead at halfway. Only just over a tenth – a canvas – separated the top two crews. New Zealand were in third but by clearwater.
To the roars of the home crowd in the picnic areas and grandstands, the Germans had a half-length lead with 500m to go. GB made a push and as the boats entered the final 250m the GB crew narrowed the gap to a canvas only for Germany to respond and power on to victory in 6:44.05.
“We’ve been thinking of this race for the past year and we are very happy with the results”, said Lawrie afterwards.
“That was probably one of the closest races of the day and Chris Lawrie lost his blades twice and recovered because of the rough conditions”, added Layng.
In a great display of sportsmanship two German rowers joined the GB boat and two British rowers joined the German boat for the paddle away from the medal rostrum to the boat-houses. “I think they all felt it had been a fabulous race”, said Layng.
Thornton was in the two-seat of the GB women’s quadruple scull who had, 15 minute earlier, taken bronze.
The GB Rowing Team crew were third through the early stages of today’s final in which the Germans and Chinese got away to a very strong start. Behind the British the Romanians were still in contention.
Just after halfway the race split into three parts. The British crew of Susannah Duncan, Thornton, Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne and Flo Pickles moved strongly away from Romania but they could not close the gap on the leading two crews. Just after halfway the Chinese took over from Germany at the head and went on to win in 7:26.48.
“That wasn’t the race we were expecting”, said Thornton of the change in lanes due to the weather conditions. Hodgkins-Byrne added: “Mentally, that was the best race I’ve ever done”.
Earlier in continuing choppy and windy conditions which marked the whole race programme today, the GB Rowing Team’s coxed four of Charles Elwes, Thomas Digby, Chetan Chauhan-Sims, Charles Thurston and cox Hugo Marsh got off to a strong start, pushing past the very early leaders, New Zealand, to reach the first timing marker at 500m in first place in 1:38.77. New Zealand and Italy remained the main challengers in the next phase.
At the halfway point the GB quartet still held the lead but Italy, the 2013 champions, came surging through to take the lead 1300m into the race and the GB boat responded but could not quite find the speed to catch them. Italy took the victory in 6:50.84, GB second in 6:56.24 and New Zealand taking bronze.
Chauhan-Sims said: “We had a great start and it was developing to plan and then the Italians put in a charge and we responded”.
Elwes added: “Today’s race was the best despite the conditions. Winning the medal at this level is a very special thing to do”.
In the last A final of the day it was inevitably the Germans who took an early lead in the junior men’s eight. The host nation are reigning Olympic champions in this event.
The Netherlands pursued them and the British boat were in third.
Liam Tustin, George Pearce, Alexander Barakat, Matthew Aldridge, Henry Lambe, James Clarke, Luke Towers, William England and cox Alex Gass were racing in an unfavoured lane given the wind conditions. So, it was small wonder that they had dipped back into fourth at halfway.
Germany still held the lead with the Dutch and the Italians in second and third. That’s the way it finished with GB in fourth in 7:57.03.
Earlier the GB junior women’s four were involved in an extremely tight finish to their B Final. Matilda Martin, Heidi Long, Fionnuala Gannon and Saskia Budgett took the verdict from New Zealand by just over two tenths of a second in 7:42.79, having moved up from fourth place early in the race. Russia were third.
Oliver Jonas and Arthur Doyle were fifth in their B final of the junior men’s pair in a time of 7:32.70 in a race won by France with Switzerland second and Canada third.
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(Events featuring GB Rowing Team crews only. For full results: www.worldrowing.com)
1. Italy 6:50.84
2. Charles Elwes/Thomas Digby/Chetan Chauhan-Sims/Charles Thurston/Hugo
Marsh (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:56.24
3. New Zealand 6:58.76
4. South Africa 7:06.75
5. Germany 7:16.63
6. Ukraine 7:17.23
1. Germany 7:39.96
2. Netherlands 7:42.66
3. Italy 7:46.05
4. Liam Tustin/George Pearce/Alexander Bakarat/Matthew Aldridge/Henry Lambe/James Clarke/Luke Towers/William England/Alexander Gass (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:57.03
5. France 7:59.07
6. Spain 7:59.49
Junior women’s four
Junior men’s pair
1. Adrien Decriem/Paul Goetghebeuer (France) 7:29.14
2. Alios Merkt/Joshua Meyer (Switzerland) 7:30.23
3. Eliot Bogers/Jacob Barker (Canada) 7:31.75
4. Alexei Jandic/Maxim Perendisli (Moldova) 7:32.50
5. Oliver Jonas/Arthur Doyle (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:32.70
6. Jens Graudal/Jakob Lillelund (Denmark) 7:44.58
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GB ROWING TEAM
Junior World Championships, Hamburg, Germany, 6-10 August, 2014
Coach: Ade Roberts
Oliver Jonas (Tideway Scullers School)
Arthur Doyle (St Paul’s School BC)
Coach: Mark Woodcock
Coaches: Richard Boulton/John Gearing
Liam Tustin (Evesham RC)
George Pearce (Pangbourne College BC)
Alexander Barakat (Eton College BC)
Matthew Aldridge (Christchurch RC)
Henry Lambe (Abingdon School BC)
James Clarke (King’s College School BC)
Luke Towers (Pangbourne College BC)
William England (Monmouth School)
Alex Gass (cox) (Reading Blue Coat School BC)
Coach: Neil Double
Fraser Russell (Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School BC)
James White (The Windsor Boys’ School BC)
Coach: Dez Atkins
Coach: Robin Dowell
Non-racing spare: Alex Haynes (Marlow RC)
Lead Coach: Richard Boulton
Team Manager: John Layng
Equipment Manager: Colin Greenway
Doctor Lucy Free
Physio: Andy Knee Robinson
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