Women’s Quadruple Scull into Final

Katherine Grainger stroked the women’s quadruple scull to an impressive victory in the second day’s heats at the BearingPoint World Cup in Gifu, Japan, today to make the Camelot-backed crew the first GB boat to qualify for a final here.

Grainger, Sarah Winckless, Fran Houghton and Rebecca Romero had over a length on the rest of the field from early in the race and secured victory in 6:23.19.  Germany, equally as impressive, won the opposing heat.  Russia, the other threat, will now need to qualify through the repechages.

The lightweight men’s pair and four and the open weight men’s quadruple scull also progressed, giving GB nine semi finalists already.

An additional seven crews have a second chance, including the men’s and women’s eights who both missed out today, in tomorrow’s repechages with the two elite adaptive (disability) crews not racing until Friday.

"It’s been a mixed day with a great result for the women’s quad but tomorrow’s repechages will be particularly significant, especially for our women’s double and both eights for whom final places are at stake", said GB Team Manager David Tanner of the team’s second day performance.

The semi-finals are on Thursday and Friday with finals on both Saturday and Sunday.

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Britain’s flagship women’s crew won their heat of the quadruple scull in style today to move into Sunday’s final. Germany won the opposite heat in similar fashion ahead of Russia.

Both crews started strongly and moved to a considerable lead  from the very early stages. Neither looked challenged at any time on an overcast day.

Whilst Russia beat Britain in this event in Lucerne, the Camelot-sponsored British combination raced there without Rebecca Romero who was carrying a back injury.

Germany have long been "top dogs" in this event – a position which they jealously guard and one which has caused them to re-juggle and strengthen their crew since the World Cup finals in Lucerne.  Sunday’s final could well turn into a tussle between the British and the Germans with the Russians remaining a threat.

"It took a while for this place to feel like a World Championships", said twice Olympic silver medallist and stroke, Katherine Grainger. "We’ve been here a while just training.  Today’s result was the best we could have hoped for at this stage.  I don’t think the final will be that easy, though!"

Rebecca Romero, in the bow seat, makes most of the calls in the boat. "My role is simple – to shout and scream at the others to work harder and get more distance on the field. That’s what I was yelling at them today". It will also be what she yells on Sunday.

Even though the equivalent men’s boat also progressed today – in their case to a semi-final – Matt Langridge, Matt Wells, Stephen Rowbotham and Alan Campbell were not best pleased.

As Stephen Rowbotham explained:  ""Yes, we booked our place in the next stage but that today wasn’t really the standard we set ourselves.  We’re disappointed we didn’t produce what we could.  In the past we’ve had a bad race in the first heat and gone on to do pretty well so we’re still quite confident but we didn’t have the flow and rhythm today we know we can do a lot better than that. There are times in a race when we can take big chunks out of other crews and that didn’t happen today".

Despite "not exactly the best first ten strokes we’ve done in a race", according to Nick English, the lightweight men’s four acquitted themselves well to finish second in their heat and book passage to the semi-finals in a race won by the French with the USA in third.

"It felt like a long time since we raced in Lucerne and there was some apprehension in the boat. We’ve made lots of changes and it felt like starting afresh.  But we’ve moved on since Lucerne and it felt really light", said Dave Currie.

Right at the start of the morning, the lightweight men’s pair of Paul Mattick and Daniel Harte opened the programme for Great Britain and qualified for the semi-finals.

In a race where the Italians got off to a very quick start, holding on to their lead to the end, the British duo were third at 500m, found the pace to go through Serbia and Montenegro at 1500m but suffered the reverse fate at the
line to finish third in 6:29.06. The Italian’s winning time of 6:27.11 set a new world best mark although the course here has a helpful stream.  Britain’s time in the race was also below the previous world best.

"We didn’t get off to the best start", said Harte afterwards. "The start is normally a good part for us", added Mattick, "so I was surprised where we were in the early part of the race. "But we put in a big push at 1000m, that made a significant impact", said Harte.

In their first ever race together, Britain’s lightweight women’s quadruple scull were led by a fast-starting Canadian crew but were well clear of the rest of the field finishing in a creditable second place. The British quartet now have the chance to qualify for the final through tomorrow’s repechage.

There were times when the British combination of Tanya Brady, Lorna Norris, Naomi Hoogesteger and Hester Goodsell seemed capable of breaking down the Canadians’ lead but it was not to be. The Dutch, in third, pushed Britain in the closing stages.

Helen Casey and Jennifer Goldsack, of Wallingford Club, were fourth in the lightweight women’s double scull heat. They also face a repechage tomorrow.

Casey, world championships bronze medallist three years ago, and Goldsack were slightly off the pace of the leading pack featuring Australia, Finland and Greece but they were close enough to feel positive about tomorrow’s repechage.

"We have got better since the Lucerne world cup finals and whilst today was disappointing, we were close enough to the front three to feel inspired for the repechage", said Casey afterwards.

The men’s lightweight double scull of James Lindsey-Fynn and Mark Hunter got off to an excellent start in their heat. They were in contention with Germany and Japan, both world cup medallists this season, for the early stages but dropped back just marginally in the second half of the course.  Only one semi-final place was on offer in this event, though, and that went to Germany in 6:17.12 with Japan in second. The British held off a South African push at the line.

Both men’s and women’s eights will face repechages tomorrow.  The contrast in reaction of the two crews was quite marked.  Britain’s men were clearly disappointed by a performance in which they showed well in the first half of the race but slipped into fourth place between the 1000m and 1500m mark.  They can raise their game for tomorrow’s repechage. Olympic champions, USA,  won the heat in 5:31.16.

From the GB women, there was a sense of enjoyment of their first race at this level together – one in which they were also in contention in the first half after what Natasha Howard described as "a stonking start" –  with the determination to show they had more to give in the repechage.  This is the first time in five years that Britain has fielded a women’s eight at the world championships and the crew has come largely from the U23 stables.

"Our start was really good. It’s something we’ve been working on", said Carla Ashford. "But I think we’ve got more to give particularly in the last 250m".

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(Races involving British crews only)



Quadruple scull

Heat 2
1.  Rebecca Romero/SArah Winckless/Frances
     Houghton/Katherine Grainger (GREAT BRITAIN)  6:23.19
2.  Ukraine 6:26.86
3.  France 6;28.64
4.  Romania 6:35.22

1.  Romania 6:10.32
2.  USA 6:11.32
3.  Belarus 6:15.25
4.  Beth Rodford/Natasha Page/Anna Bebington/Carla
     Ashford/Natasha Howard/Jessica Eddie/Katie Greves/
     Alison Knowles/Caroline O’Connor (cox)  (GREAT BRITAIN)




Heat 2
1.  USA 5:31.16
2.  Italy 5:31.75
3.  Poland 5:36.65
4.  Simon Fieldhouse/Tom Stallard/Jonno Devlin/Richard
     Egington/Josh West/Henry Bailhache-Webb/Tom Parker/
     Kieran West/Acer Nethercott (cox)  GREAT BRITAIN   
5.  France 5:41.88
6.  5:48.73

Quadruple scull

Heat 2
1.  Slovenia 5:45.86
2.  France 5:47.22
3.  Matthew Wells/Stephen Rowbotham/Alan Campbell
     Matthew Langridge (GREAT BRITAIN)  5:51.03
4.  Ukraine 6:07.04
5.  Japan 6:23.74



Double scull

Heat 1
1.  Kirsty Fleming/Marguerite Houston (Australia)  6:55.86
2.  Sanna Sten/Minna Nieminen (Finland)  6:56.92
3.  Maria Sakellaridou/Alexandra Tsiavou (Greece)  6:58.85
4.  Helen Casey/Jennifer Goldsack (GREAT BRITAIN)  7:01.28
5.  Sevara & Zarrina Ganieva (Uzbekistan)  7:25.05

Quadruple scull

Heat 1
1.  Canada 6:21.97
2.  Tanya Brady/Lorna Norris/Hester Goodsell/Naomi Hoogesteger
     (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:25.36
3.  Netherlands 6:27.73
4.  USA 6:37.62



Heat 1
1.  Salvatore Amitrano/Catello Amarante (Italy)  6:27.11
2.  Luka Dordevic/Milos Tomic (Serbia & Montenegro)  6:28.77
3.  Paul Mattick/Daniel Harte (GREAT BRITAIN)  6:29.06
4.  George Roberts/Ross Brown (Australia)  6:37.98
5.  Siaghal Mac Colgain/Richard Coakley (Ireland)  6:40.24 


Heat 3
1.  France 6:01.54
2.  Nick English/Dave Currie/Mike Hennessy/Simon Jones
     (GREAT BRITAIN)  6:05.04
3.  USA 6:06.35
4.  Netherlands 6:08.04
5.  India 6:24.41

Double scull

Heat 4
1.  Joerg Lehnik/Manuel Brehmer (Germany)  6:17.12
2.  Takhiro Suda/Daisaku Takeda (Japan)  6:19.12
3.  Mark Hunter/James Lindsey-Fynn (GREAT BRITAIN)  6:27.85
4.  Richard Gaddi/Warren Wellbeloved (South Africa)  6:37.19
5.  Christian Cortez Arevalo/Alfredo Santamaria Montoya
     (El Salvador)  6:38.03
6.  Nestor Cordova/Alvin Amposta (The Phillipines) 6:49.28

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