GB crews win gold, silver and bronze at European Under 23 Championships
The Women’s four took gold, the Men’s eight silver and the Men’s four bronze, while all six GB crews reached their finals last weekend in Krefeld, Germany
With only three entries in the Women’s fours, the first round of this event was a race for lanes, which revealed that the crews were very similar in speed; the GB four of Evelyna Davies (Durham University BC), Della Luke (Marlow RC/University of California, Berkeley), Jemima Furness (Oxford Brookes University BC) and Angharad Broughton (Molesey BC) finished just 0.33 seconds behind Romania and 1.2 seconds ahead of Poland. Keeping cool heads under pressure they overtook first Poland and then Romania in the last 500m of Sunday’s final to win in wonderful style by 0.81 seconds.
The Men’s eight had a straight final as well after a preliminary race for the five entries, which also saw them finish second to Romania – by 2.86 seconds in a slightly more spread out field. In the final, the GB crew of Jack Cooper (Oxford Brookes University BC), George Reed (Durham University BC/Phoenix BC), Freddy Orpin (Oxford University BC), Matt Fielding (Leander Club), Ben Brockway (Newcastle University BC), Gus John (Durham University BC), Brett Taylor (Cambridge University BC), Dan Bradbery (Leander Club/University of California, Berkeley) and cox James Deardon (Edinburgh University BC) closed the gap to Romania fractionally to 2.81 seconds, taking an excellent silver medal.
Harry Stevens (Imperial College BC), Toby Lassen (Oxford Brookes University BC), Odhran Donaghy (Oxford Brookes University BC) and George Shaw (Imperial College BC) in the Men’s four qualified for their final by coming second in their heat, 1.53 seconds behind Poland. The gold and silver medals went to the two heat winners, Romania – who topped the overall medal table at the Championships – and Poland, but the GB crew raised their game impressively to push the Polish hard, crossing the line a mere 0.14 seconds down in bronze medal position, well clear of fourth-placed Germany.
The Women’s quad of Hannah Supple (Edinburgh University BC), Ellie Cooke (Reading University BC), Amy Furlonger (Marlow RC) and Lily Abbott (Molesey BC) finished third in their three-boat event.
Finnola Stratton (Reading University BC/Avon County RC) won her heat in the 13-boat Women’s single sculls by over five seconds. Third place in her semi-final secured her a place in the A final, where she finished an extremely creditable fifth in her first championships.
The Men’s quad of Louis Powell (Reading University BC/Lea RC), Josh Matthews (Edinburgh University BC/Strathclyde Park RC), Matt Hansen (Tideway Scullers School/Yale University) and Sol Hewitt (Reading University BC) also finished fifth, having come third in their heat of their eight-boat event.
Peter Sheppard, Head Coach Olympic Pathway, said: “GB has always used the European Rowing U23 Championships as a development opportunity for U23s, and once again the team performed at a high level within expectations. Many of the athletes were experiencing their first championships at any level and all stepped up during the regatta with their best performances in their respective finals, which was pleasing to see. Thanks also to the coaches, their clubs and the support staff who helped facilitate these athletes being able to perform.”
Julian Egan-Shuttler (Newcastle University BC) coached the Men’s eight, while the other crews were coached by Peter Sheppard (GBRT) and Chris Bartley (Reading University BC).
The team was supported by:
Team Manager: Anna Liddell
Assistant Coach: George Nottidge (Kingston RC)
Physiotherapist: Becky Davison