Grant gets GB off to a golden start at World Cup III

Imogen Grant claimed Great Britain’s first medal of World Cup III as she stormed through to win gold in the lightweight women’s single sculls

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Imogen Grant on the podium at World Cup III. Credit Anthony Benoit/Aesthetic Sport

Grant led from start to finish in the morning’s semi-finals to qualify as the fastest sculler but had to dig deep in the afternoon’s final as she, Georgia Nesbitt of Australia and Marie-Louise Draeger of Germany jostled for the top three positions throughout the race.  With 500m to go Grant made her move and charged through the field to take the gold.

A delighted Grant said: “It was a long race! I knew that I was in form to win it; I was a bit worried in the middle part when the other rowers started pulling away but thankfully I had the chance to pull something out of the bag in the second half.

“This is my first ever World Cup medal, so winning gold is really special.”

Fellow lightweight single sculler Zak Lee-Green was also in action in this afternoon’s A finals but finished fifth in the tough conditions.

Eleven GB crews will now compete in tomorrow’s A finals.  Among them is Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Polly Swann, who made her return to the GB team earlier this season after completing her medical studies. She and teammate Holly Hill took a comfortable third place in their women’s pair semi-final, gaining qualification for tomorrow’s A final.

Swann, who graduated from the University of Edinburgh last weekend, said: “We did the job that needed to be done today; this will be my first A final of the Olympiad, which is very exciting.

“We need to up our game now because today’s race was a bit more nervy than it needed to be, so we’re looking forward to bringing our best tomorrow.”

The GBR1 women’s eight won their repechage by a length to see them safely through to tomorrow’s A final. The crew, of Fiona Gammond, Zoë Lee, Jo Wratten, Hattie Taylor, Rowan McKellar, Rebecca Shorten, Karen Bennett, Holly Norton and Matilda Horn, kept the Romanian crew behind them and led from start to finish to take the win.  The GBR2 crew of Natasha Harris-White, Susie Dear, Heidi Long, Oonagh Cousins, Fiona Bell, Alice Davies, Rebecca Edwards, Nicole Lamb and Morgan Baynham-Williams finished in fourth and will contest tomorrow’s B final.

GBR1’s Bennett and Lee were part of GB’s silver medal-winning women’s eight at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Reflecting on today’s race, Bennett said: “We did exactly what we set out to do today and it’s a good step in the right direction.  It’s always good to win a race but tomorrow will be much tougher; we are looking forward to getting out there and seeing what we can do in the final.”

Lee added: “It was a job well done today.  We got ourselves into the final and have given ourselves everything to play for.  Extra races in the eight are never a bad thing and we used today well to learn more about ourselves as a crew and add that to the knowledge bank for the World Championships.

“Tomorrow we will look to keep stepping on and seeing where we stand ahead of the final training block of the season.”

Remarking on the day’s results, British Rowing Director of Performance Brendan Purcell said: “It’s fantastic to have achieved our first gold medal today: in her first time racing in the single this season, Imogen put in a strong performance in tough conditions.

“We now have 11 crews contesting 10 finals tomorrow; this is our final opportunity to benchmark ourselves against the rest of the world before we head into training camp and then on to the Olympic and Paralympic qualification regatta at the World Championships”.

You can watch the GB Rowing Team in action on the BBC Red Button and online from 10:00 to 13:50 GMT at the following link: https://bbc.in/2XDBU4W

Results

Lightweight women’s single scull (A final)

1. Imogen Grant (GBR) 08:43.59

2. Georgia Nesbitt (AUS) 08:45.31

3. Marie-Louise Draeger (GER) 08:50.38

Lightweight men’s single scull (A final)

1. Sean Murphy (AUS) 07:53.15

2. Rajko Hrvat (SLO) 07:59.18

3. Gary O’Donovan (IRL 1) 08:04.38

5. Zak Lee-Green (GBR) 08:18.33

Men’s single scull (C final)

1. Oliver Zeidler (GER 1) 06:57.42

2. Tom Barras (GBR 1) 07:05.22

3. Thibault Verhoeven (FRA 1) 07:07.08

Lightweight women’s single scull (Semi-final)

1. Imogen Grant (GBR) 08:06.38

2. Chiaki Tomita (JPN 1) 08:08.66

3. Marie-Louise Draeger (GER) 08:10.76

Lightweight men’s single scull (Semi-final)

1. Sean Murphy (AUS) 07:13.94

2. Lucas Schaefer (GER) 07:16.23

3. Zak Lee-Green (GBR) 07:19.07

Women’s pair (Semi-final 1)

1. Cristina-Georgiana Popescu and Amalia Beres (ROU 1) 07:34.61

2. Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska (IRL) 07:37.87

3. Aina Cid and Virginia Diaz Rivas (ESP) 07:39.49

5. Sam Courty and Annie Withers (GBR 1) 07:52.26

Women’s pair (Semi-final 2)

1. Jessica Morrison and Annabelle McIntyre (AUS 1) 07:26.26

2. Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler (NZL 1) 07:29.06

3. Polly Swann and Holly Hill (GBR 2) 07:41.96

Men’s pair (Semi-final 1)

1. Thomas Murray and Michael Brake (NZL 1) 06:46.80

2. Lukas Helesic and Jakub Podrazil (CZE) 06:53.67

3. Morgan Bolding and Tom Jeffery (GBR 2) 06:55.74

Men’s pair (Semi-final 2)

1. Spencer Turrin and Alexander Hill (AUS 1) 06:50.99

2. Marius-Vasile Cozmiuc and Ciprian Tudosa (ROU) 06:53.35

3. Harry Glenister and George Rossiter (GBR 1) 06:58.79

Women’s double sculls (Repechage)

1. Gabrielle Smith and Andrea Proske (CAN) 07:25.68

2. Leonie Menzel and Carlotta Nwajide (GER 1) 07:25.72

3. Martyna Radosz and Krystyna Lemanczyk-Dobrzelak (POL) 07:31.11

4. Kyra Edwards and Ruth Siddorn (GBR 1) 07:37.20

Men’s double sculls (Semi-final)

1. Melvin Twellaar and Stef Broenink (NED 2) 06:32.94

2. Barnabe Delarze and Roman Roeoesli (SUI) 06:33.21

3. John Collins and Graeme Thomas (GBR) 06:37.46

Women’s four (Repechage)

1. Netherlands 1 06:51.94

2. Canada 1 06:54.60

3. Great Britain (Sara Parfett, Caragh McMurtry, Emily Ford and Beccy Girling) 07:00.36

Men’s four (Repechage)

1. Poland 06:11.92

2. Romania 1 06:14.27

3. Great Britain 2 (James Johnston, Adam Neill, Will Satch and Alan Sinclair) 06:16.16

Women’s single scull (Semi-final)

1. Emma Twigg (NZL) 07:53.54

2. Vicky Thornley (GBR) 07:58.85

3. Annekatrin Thiele (GER 1) 08:06.62

Men’s single scull (Semi-final)

1. Kjetil Borch (NOR) 07:14.73

2. Robert Manson (NZL 1) 07:17.20

3. Ondrej Synek (CZE) 07:19.24

4. Harry Leask (GBR 2) 07:21.78

Lightweight women’s double sculls (Semi-final)

1. Zoe McBride and Jackie Kiddle (NZL) 07:20.43

2. Wenyi Huang and Dandan Pan (CHN) 07:28.92

3. Ellie Piggott and Emily Craig (GBR) 07:32.27

Lightweight men’s double sculls (Semi-final)

1. Kristoffer Brun and Are Strandli (NOR) 06:40.92

2. Matthew Dunham and Harrison Somerville (NZL) 06:43.59

3. Tim Brys and Niels van Zandweghe (BEL) 06:44.98

5. Jamie Copus and Sam Mottram (GBR) 06:54.06

Women’s quadruple sculls (Repechage)

1. Australia 06:45.94

2. Great Britain (Jess Leyden, Melissa Wilson, Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne and Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne) 06:49.69

3. Netherlands 1 06:51.77

Men’s quadruple sculls (Repechage)

1. Netherlands 06:00.40

2. Great Britain (Jonny Walton, Angus Groom, Jack Beaumont and Pete Lambert) 06:05.48

3. New Zealand 06:08.59

Women’s eight (Repechage)

1. Great Britain 1 (Fiona Gammond, Zoë Lee, Jo Wratten, Hattie Taylor, Rowan McKellar, Rebecca Shorten, Karen Bennett, Holly Norton and Matilda Horn) 06:32.48

2. Romania 06:35.62

3. China 06:36.77

4. Great Britain 2 (Natasha Harris-White, Susie Dear, Heidi Long, Oonagh Cousins, Fiona Bell, Alice Davies, Rebecca Edwards, Nicole Lamb and Morgan Baynham-Williams) 06:37.85

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