Tough Day at World Champs for GB

Today was always going to be the most difficult phase of Britain’s campaign at the BearingPoint World Championships in Gifu, Japan, and so it proved.
From five semi-final starters four crews were fourth – just one place away from a spot in the finals – and the lightweight men’s four were fifth.  All were close and tough races.

Later in a hot and oppressively humid day the British adaptive (disability) four showed well in the heats and will race in the prime lane in tomorrow’s final.  Adaptive single sculler Rob Holliday had a much tougher time.

Britain’s total of eight finalists are now evenly split between the two finals days. The men’s four, women’s double and both lightweight single scullers will race tomorrow (Saturday) with the men’s and women’s eights and the women’s open weight and lightweight quadruple sculls following on Sunday.

"I think today has been a little disappointing but our people have done their best – particularly the men’s quad who had a tough semi.  We are now looking for a strong B Final from the other boats. If this were the year before the Olympics the B finals would count towards qualifying places and we want to see some good performances. Overall we didn’t come here expecting everyone to make the final. We have to be realistic", said David Tanner, GB Team Manager.

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On a flat day for Britain at the World Championships in Gifu perhaps the biggest weight of disappointment fell on the open weight men’s quadruple scull.  This is a boat full of promise but today it missed out by mere inches on a place in Sunday’s finals.

As coach Tim Foster said of his charges, Matthews Wells and Langridge, Stephen Rowbotham and Alan Campbell:  "That was so close and you can’t fault them for effort".

Britain stayed in the main fight in the early part of this race.  Around the 400m mark they were third but then slipped marginally behind. For the remainder of the course this developed into a three part race. Poland and Slovenia battled it out for the first two places, Britain took on Germany a length behind and the USA and Ukraine brought up the rear.

At 1250m there can have been no more than a credit card thickness between the bows of the German and British boats. "But at the end we had nothing left to give and that’s normally the best bit of our race", said Matthew Langridge, the stroke, afterwards.

Earlier the two lightweight doubles had raced and both finished fourth. For each boat there was a marked improvement on the heats and repechages.  Neither had quite enough under the accelerator to surge back in the second half of the course.

James Lindsay-Fynn said of his effort with Mark Hunter:  "I suppose you could say it was a positive start to the Olympiad.  We were competitive today against much more established crews".

"We knew we had sculled at our best today. Actually, I’m pretty proud of us. Now we’re set up for the B Final", said Helen Casey.

"Jennifer Goldsack her crew-mate agreed:  "We know we did the best we could today. Now we’ve got to go for it in the B Final and then  put a lot of work in over the winter".

The lightweight men’s four were also competitive in the first half of their race, holdling third position at 500m as very much part of the racing pack.  Even at 1000m they were only 2.19 seconds off the lead.  By the close, though, they had dropped back to fifth and were clearly heavily disappointed.

"We needed to row our best race today to qualify and it was almost there but there were still just bits here and there that weren’t quite good enough.  You can’t have those moments against crews as those here", explained Mike Hennessy afterwards.

Britain’s Paul Mattick and Daniel Harte missed a place in the final of the lightweight men’s pair today when they were fourth in the semi-final in a time of 6:43.66.

Egypt took the early lead in the race but were caught half way by Chile, the eventual winners and Italy who finished second.

The British duo were able to put in a push at 1750m but by then the gap on the first three qualifying slots was too great.  The only consolation was that they rowed through Russia at the line to take fourth in 6:43.66.

Britain’s mixed adaptive (disability) four took their race for lanes by the scruff of the neck today to win in difficult and bouncy conditions which sprung up towards the end of the morning.

Rob Holliday was not as lucky in his single scull race and will now have to battle it out from an outside lane in the final. However, a discrepancy in interpretation of the classification rules amongst the countries may well make the task more difficult here for the former world silver medallist in tomorrow’s final.

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(Races involving British crews only)




Quadruple scull

Semi-final 2
1.  Poland 5:48.72
2.  Slovenia 5:49.34
3.  Germany 5:50.94
4.  Matthew Wells/Stephen Rowbotham/Alan
Campbell/Matthew Langridge (GREAT BRITAIN)  5:52.09
5.  USA 6:02.35
6.  Ukraine 6:10.33



Double scull

Semi-final 2
1.  Sten Sanna/Minna Niemminen (Finland)  7:09.27
2.  Magdalena Kemnitz/Ilona Mokronowska (Poland)  7:09.69
3.  Renee Hykel/Julia Nichols (USA)  7:11.49
4.  Helen Casey/Jennifer Goldsack (GREAT BRITAIN)  7:16.42
5.  Elena Lyakisheva/Ksenia Potapova (Russia)  7:20.46
6.  Kyoko Aoyama/Maho Fukuda (Japan)  7:31.74



Semi-final 1
1. Miguel Cerda Silva/Felipe Leal Atero (Chile) 6:34.47
2. Salvatore Amitrano/Catello Amarante (Italy)  6:37.89
3. Ahmed Gad/Hossam Azouz (Egypt)  6:39.57
4. Paul Mattick/Daniel Harte (GREAT BRITAIN)  6:43.66
5.  Ilia Ashchin/Andreij Shevel (Russia)  6:43.85
6.  George Roberts/Ross Brown (Australia)  6:50.32


1.  Ireland 6:05.84
2.  Germany 6:07.42
3.  Australia 6:08.35
4.  Russia 6:11.84
5.  Nick English/Dave Currie/Mike Hennessy/Simon Jones
(GREAT BRITAIN)  6:13.01
6. Japan 6:18.44

Double scull

1. Mads Rasmussen/Rasmus Quist (Denmark)  6:22.45
2. Joerg Lehnigk/Manuel Brehmer (Germany)  6:25.78
3.  Frederic Dufour/Arnoud Pornin (France)  6:27.19
4. Takhiro Suda/Daisaku Takeda (Japan)  6:27.24
5.  Mark Hunter/James Lindsay-Fynn (GREAT BRITAIN)  6:32.12
6.  Maros Sloboda/Lubos Podstupka (Slovakia)  6:39.80



Single scull

1.  Dominic Monypenny (Australia)  7:09.72
2.  Marco re Calegari (Italy)  7:21.80
3.  Ron Harvey (USA)  8:18.22
4.  Jaroslav Helleband (Czech Republic)  8:35.16
5.  Rob Holliday (GREAT BRITAIN)  8:47.14
6.  Vassilios Exarhos (Greece)  13.42.60

Mixed coxed four

1.  Alastair Mckean/Naomi Riches/Katie-George Dunlevy/
Alan Crowther/Loretta Williams (GREAT BRITAIN)  8:33.26
2.  Netherlands 8:46.64
3.  Portugal 8:51.32
4.  Germany 9:01.52
5.  Hong Kong 9:25.08
6.  Italy 9:47.23

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