Great Britain top medal table with best-ever performance at World U23 Rowing Championships

Great Britain claimed five medals on the final day of the World U23 Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Florida to finish top of the medal table with a best-ever performance of six golds and two silvers


GB U23 men's eight win World Champs gold. Credit Lucinda Douse/All Mark One

Gold medals in the men’s and women’s quadruple sculls, lightweight women’s single sculls, women’s and men’s four and men’s eight, combined with silver medals from the men’s coxed four and women’s eight placed GB at the top of the U23 World Champs medal table for the first time ever.

In the first A final of the day Susannah Duncan, coached by Nicola Benevente of World Class Start Nottingham, became the U23 lightweight single sculls World Champion after a brilliantly timed race that saw her win by half a length. It was the first international gold medal for the Beckenham sculler, who took U23 bronze in the lightweight double last year.

The GB team didn’t have long to wait for their second podium finish as the women’s four of Lydia Currie, Hope Cessford, Lauren Irwin and Alex Rankin, coached by John Higson of Edinburgh University BC, crossed the line half a length ahead of the Irish crew to claim the second gold medal of the day.

The men’s four of David Ambler, Thomas Digby, Freddie Davidson and Charles Elwes continued the gold rush for GB after leading their race from start to finish. The crew, coached by Richard Chambers of Cambridge University BC, were all world silver medallists in 2018; Ambler and Elwes in the men’s four and Digby and Davidson in the men’s eight.

The men’s eight, of Henry Blois-Brooke, Harvey Kay, Callum Sullivan, Matthew Rowe, David Bewicke-Copley, Leonard Jenkins, William Stewart, Felix Drinkall and Vlad Saigau led their race from start to finish to take GB’s sixth gold medal of the competition.  The crew, coached by Brian Young of University of London BC, contained four of last year’s silver medallists from the men’s eight in Bewicke-Copley, Jenkins, Stewart and Kay.

In the final race of the day Megan Slabbert, Sophie Paine, Hannah Scott, Holly Dunford, Lucy Edmunds, Alexandra Watson, Margaret Saunders, Johanna Gannon and Autumn Mackay, coached by Lauren Fisher of the GB Rowing Team, took a fantastic silver medal in the women’s eight.

British Rowing Director of Performance Brendan Purcell said: “To come away from the U23 World Championships with six gold medals and two silver medals is incredible. As Chief Coach for the U23s, Pete Sheppard has brought these athletes and coaches together to deliver a truly outstanding team performance.

“Everyone has stepped up over the past six weeks and then delivered their best performances on race day. In every event we were extremely competitive and it’s fantastic to have so much strength and depth for the future. A lot of these athletes will step onto the senior world stage in the coming years and keep British Rowing at the forefront of world performance.”

Sunday results

Lightweight women’s single sculls (A final)

1. Susannah Duncan (GBR) 7:58.28

2. Johanna Reichardt (GER) 7:59.98

3. Lara Tiefenthaler (AUT) 8:03.32

Women’s four (A final)

1. Great Britain (Lydia Currie, Hope Cessford, Lauren Irwin and Alex Rankin) 06:34.22

2. Ireland 06:35.68

3. USA 06:39.89

Men’s four (A final)

1. Great Britain (David Ambler, Thomas Digby, Freddie Davidson and Charles Elwes) 05:51.58

2. New Zealand 05:52.26

3. Italy 05:55.56

Men’s eight (A final)

1. Great Britain (Henry Blois-Brooke, Harvey Kay, Callum Sullivan, Matthew Rowe, David Bewicke-Copley, Leonard Jenkins, William Stewart, Felix Drinkall and Vlad Saigau) 05:34.30

2. USA 05:36.21

3. Netherlands 05:36.36

Women’s eight (A final)

1. Netherlands 06:17.93

2. Great Britain 06:22.52

3. USA 06:23.47

Men’s double sculls (B final)

1. Victor Kleshnev and James Cartwright (GBR) 06:35.87

2. Christian Hagemann and Oliver Tolstrup Christensen (DEN) 06:37.96

3. Dominic Condrau and Valentin Huehn (SUI) 06:43.84

Women’s single sculls (B final)

1. Alicia Bohn (GER) 07:54.32

2. Megan Hancock (RSA) 07:59.35

3. Georgie Robinson Ranger (GBR) 08:01.53

Lightweight men’s single sculls (B final)

1. Gavin Horsburgh (GBR) 07:15.98

2. Corentin Amet (FRA) 07:17.95

3. Lars Benske (NOR) 07:19.54

Lightweight women’s double sculls (B final)

1. Xiaoyue Fu and Jiawang Zou (CHN) 07:18.54

2. Fiona Chestnutt and Chloe Knight (GBR) 07:21.62

3. Mao Kadoya and Miharu Takashima (JPN) 07:22.59