World Championships: Day Seven

A late change in the men’s quad, a new world’s best time for the Para mixed coxed four and four medals for Britain on a day of action at the World Championships


The men's quadruple scull of Jack Beaumont, Jonny Walton, John Collins and Graeme Thomas (credit: Naomi Baker)

A day of high drama concluded with four medals for British crews on day seven of the 2017 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton.

A dominant gold for the Para-rowing mixed coxed four (PR3 Mix4+) began the podium action before bronze medals for both the men’s four (M4-) and the women’s quad (W4x).

But a late change in Britain’s men’s quad (M4x) crew meant a delayed start and Graeme Thomas stroking the boat as a late medical substitution for the injured Pete Lambert.

And Thomas, a World Class Start athlete who missed out on racing in the quad at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games due to illness, rowed superbly along with John Collins, Jonny Walton and Jack Beaumont to clinch a silver medal.

The quad finished behind Lithuania, who won gold, and ahead of the Estonian boat back in third.

Thomas said: “I know exactly what it’s like to sit on the sidelines and watch the boys race and seeing Pete just bought back those memories, it’s brutal for him. The guys today were incredible and did a fantastic job. If they hadn’t have kept their cool it wouldn’t have mattered what I’d done.”

Collins said: “It was a bit of a frantic race and that’s the toughest seat to come into but luckily we’ve got the strongest spare in the world in Graeme and we couldn’t have asked for more of him. We came here knowing we could win gold so there is some disappointment but mainly we’re delighted to win a medal. It’s a slightly hollow feeling doing this without Pete but what Graeme did was absolutely incredible.”

Earlier in the day, Oliver Stanhope, Grace Clough, Giedre Rakauskaite, James Fox and cox Anna Corderoy won the Team’s first gold of the Championships, winning the race 23 seconds clear of the USA.
The four broke their own world’s best time in the process, crossing the finish in 6:55.70 and making two of the crew in Grace Clough and James Fox reigning Paralympic and World champions.

Clough said: “It’s great to have the titles for another year. We had a race plan and we stuck to that today after leading right from the start. Anna called it perfectly and we were almost time-trialling to break the record. We’ve set the standard but we know the rest of the world will move on so a lot more hard work will go back into this boat.”

The men’s four secured Britain’s second medal of the day, winning bronze in their A final as Matt Rossiter, Moe Sbihi, Mat Tarrant and Will Satch, returning to the boat from illness, held the Netherlands off in the final 500m to take their place on the podium. Australia won gold with Italy finishing in the silver medal position.

Sbihi said: “We are going to be bitterly disappointed over the next couple of months but this boat is on the way up. We gave it our all today, especially in the first 1,000m but something didn’t quite go right and sometimes you just can’t put your finger on what that is.”

The young women’s quad of Beth Bryan, Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne, Holly Nixon and Jess Leyden were also on the podium with a bronze medal.

The Netherlands and Poland took gold and silver but an excellent second 1,000m from the British crew took bronze ahead of Germany and the USA.

Bryan said: “I looked over for the first time after 1km and could see two boats clear but everyone else was neck and neck. I knew that if we stayed focused we would come through as we practice that last 750m and it worked for us in the heat. We’ve had some ups and downs this season but the crew as a whole have really stepped on this year and we’re a really good unit.”

There were also A finals today for the men’s pair (M2-), women’s pair (W2-) and the lightweight women’s double (LW2x). First, the women’s pair of Holly Hill and Melissa Wilson finished one place short of a medal in fourth. Hill and Wilson, who are in their first year with the senior squad, came home behind the USA, New Zealand and Denmark, concluding an excellent debut World Championships for the pair.

Tom George and Tom Jeffery then finished in fifth in the men’s pair with Italy, Croatia and New Zealand winning the medals in what is the GB crew’s first senior regatta. Kat Copeland, a product of the British Rowing World Class Start Programme, and Emily Craig also finished fifth in the lightweight double final with Romania, New Zealand and the USA winning gold, silver and bronze respectively.

Elsewhere, the day began with two GB crews in B finals, with Caragh McMurtry, Rebecca Girling, Rowan McKellar and Sam Courty victorious in the women’s four (W4-).

The win means the four will finish seventh overall in Florida, while the lightweight men’s double (LM2x) of Jamie Copus and Sam Mattram will be 10th after a fourth place finish in their B final.

Sir David Tanner said: “It’s been a challenging but a good day for the Team and Graeme has been an absolute star. Pete is quite an exceptional guy and no one wants that to happen but we are a Team and the way the four of them raced that boat was outstanding. The sheer attitude of the guys was excellent.

“I’m really pleased with the medal in the women’s quad and the guys in the four are pretty ok with their bronze. It’s very pleasing to win three medals in the Olympic classes and a dominant gold for the Para-four who are setting the standards there for the rest of the world.”



Lightweight Men’s Double Scull, B Final

1. Czech Republic, 06:19.11

2. Denmark, 06:20.75

3. Ukraine, 06:23.03

4 Great Britain (Sam Mottram, Jamie Copus), 06:23.12


Women’s Four, B Final

1. Great Britain (Caragh McMurtry, Rebecca Girling, Rowan McKellar, Sam Courty), 06:36.18

2. Italy, 06:39.94

3. Canada, 06:40.20


Para-rowing Mixed Coxed Four, A Final

1. Great Britain (Oliver Stanhope, Grace Clough, Giedre Rakauskaite, James Fox, Anna Corderoy (cox)), 06:55.70

2. USA, 07:18.80

3. Italy, 07:23.52


Women’s Pair, A Final

1. New Zealand, 07:00.53

2. USA, 07:04.37

3. Denmark, 07:06.21

4. Great Britain (Holly Hill, Melissa Wilson), 07:13.74


Men’s Pair, A Final

1. Italy, 06:16.220

2. Croatia, 06:16.56

3. New Zealand, 06:20.85

5. Great Britain (Tom Jeffery, Tom George), 06:31.19


Lightweight Women’s Double,  A Final

1. Romania, 06:55.88

2. New Zealand, 06:56.09

3. USA, 06:56.38

5. Great Britain (Katherine Copeland, Emily Craig), 07:03.27


Men’s Four, A Final

1. Australia, 05:55.24

2. Italy, 05:57.19

3. Great Britain (Matt Rossiter, Moe Sbihi, Mat Tarrant, Will Satch), 05:57.9


Women’s Quadruple Scull,  A Final

1. Netherlands, 06:16.72

2. Poland, 06:17.71

3. Great Britain (Beth Bryan, Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne, Holly Nixon, Jess Leyden), 06:19.93


Men’s Quadruple Scull, A Final

1. Lithuania, 05:43.10

2. Great Britain (Jack Beaumont, Jonny Walton, John Collins, Graeme Thomas), 05:45.03

3. Estonia, 05:45.32