One medal and two more boats heading to the Olympics after final day of World Rowing Championships
Great Britain claimed one medal and had two more boats gain Olympic qualification spots on the final day of the 2019 World Rowing Championships in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria
The results mean the GB team goes home from the Championships with 10 boats qualified for next year’s Olympic Games – a result equalled by only the Netherlands – and three boats qualified for the Paralympic Games.
Director of Performance Brendan Purcell reflected on the Championships: “Our goal coming out to this World Championships was always Olympic and Paralympic qualification and the team has delivered.
“We have now qualified ten of our Olympic boats and to have both our eights heading to the Games is an important marker for a big rowing nation. I would like to thank Jurgen for his passion, commitment to the role and the challenge he provides to ensure we continue to look for ways to be the best.
“For the Para-rowing squad, having two World Champion crews and all three boats qualified for the Paralympic Games is an outstanding achievement and credit should go to Tom Dyson and his team.
“A huge thank you to all the coaches and support team for the dedication and time they invest to enable the athletes to reach the start line, ready to compete for medals and qualification.
“We now need to go away and prioritise our boats, focus on converting the opportunities into medals and look to seek additional qualifications. We have a lot of momentum to build on going into next season.”
The men’s eight, coached by Jurgen Grobler, pushed through to take a bronze medal and an Olympic qualification spot in an A final which saw each boat separated by the narrowest of margins. The crew, of Tom George, James Rudkin, Josh Bugajski, Moe Sbihi, Jacob Dawson, Ollie Wynne-Griffith, Mat Tarrant, Tom Ford and cox Henry Fieldman were overall 2019 World Cup series winners this year after claiming their first gold medal of the Olympiad in July in Rotterdam.
Fieldman said after the race: “Huge credit to the guys – everyone in our boat left everything out there. We wanted a higher result so it hurts a bit, but credit to the guys for delivering on everything we said. Well done to the Dutch and the Germans and we’ll be coming back with more next time.”
The women’s eight of Fiona Gammond, Zoe Lee, Jo Wratten, Hattie Taylor, Rowan McKellar, Rebecca Shorten, Karen Bennett, Holly Norton and cox Matilda Horn gave it all in their A final to take the fifth and final Olympic qualification spot. The crew, coached by James Harris, held off the fight from European champions Romania to beat them over the line.
Horn said: “We got the job done. It wasn’t our prettiest row but it was all about getting that qualification spot; next year will be the big one.”
Vicky Thornley may have missed out on the podium by a fine margin in her A final for the women’s single sculls but the Olympic silver medallist, coached by Paul Reedy, heads home from the World Championships as GB’s first single sculler to gain Olympic qualification for 20 years.
In an event which has seen heated A finals all season, Graeme Thomas and John Collins left it all on the line in the men’s double sculls, just missing out on the medals in fourth place. The duo, coached by Dan Moore, have been one of the world’s best partnerships this season, claiming silver at World Cup II and bronze at World Cup III.
At his first ever World Championships, Benjamin Pritchard, coached by Tom Dyson, missed out on the medals by just a second in an incredible A final for the PR1 men’s single sculls. The race saw the Swansea sculler take a huge 20 seconds off his personal best.
Women’s double sculls (C final)
1. Martyna Radosz and Krystyna Lemanczyk-Dobrzelak (POL) 7:00.05
3. Leonie Menzel and Pia Greiten (GER) 7:02.10
Men’s single sculls (C final)
1. Kristian Vasilev (BUL) 06:59.06
2. Tom Barras (GBR) 06:59.45
3. Dani Fridman (ISR) 07:02.06
PR1 men’s single sculls (A final)
1. Roman Polianskyi (UKR) 09:12.99
2. Alexey Chuvashev (RUS) 09:19.43
3. Erik Horrie (AUS) 09:23.86
4. Benjamin Pritchard (GBR) 09:24.80
Men’s double sculls (A final)
1. Zhiyu Liu and Liang Zhang (CHN) 06:05.68
2. Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne (IRL) 06:06.25
3. Miroslaw Zietarski and Mateusz Biskup (POL) 06:07.87
Men’s eight (A final)
1. Germany 05:19.41
2. Netherlands 05:19.96
Women’s single sculls (A final)
1. Sanita Puspure (IRL) 07:17.14
2. Emma Twigg (NZL) 07:20.56
3. Kara Koehler (USA) 07:22.21
Women’s eight (A final)
1. New Zealand 05:56.91
2. Australia 05:59.63
3. USA 06:01.93