Eight and double join quad in finals

Men's Eight Monday

TeamGB’s men’s eight became the second GB boat, after yesterday’s heat success from the women’s quadruple scull, to qualify for Sunday’s finals with a stunning win in their heat over the USA and China.

They were joined, later in the afternoon, by the women’s double scull of Elise Laverick and Anna Bebington who overhauled Germany in the final few metres of today’s repechage to win.

The GB women’s eight almost joined them but now face a repechage on Wednesday after coming a close second to world champions, the USA.

Alan Campbell, meanwhile, continues his battle back from an infection which required surgery, finishing second in his quarter-final to qualify for Wednesday’s semi-finals.

"The two eights produced exceptional performances today. I believe that we have never qualified the men direct to an Olympic eight final and our women now have all to play for after showing a great improvement since the last world cup", said David Tanner, TeamGB Rowing Team Leader.

"Our women’s double, after not the best of heats, have come from behind to beat the Germans and that will give them great confidence. Alan Campbell is taking every step at a time and now faces his sternest test yet in the semi-finals. Today will have given him real encouragement that he’s on the way back".

There was heartbreak, though, for Tom Solesbury and Robin Bourne-Taylor who went out of the men’s pair event here today after finishing fourth in their repechage.

GB now has three boats in finals, five in semi-finals and three stlll to race repechages.

Tomorrow’s race programme features just two British races – the repechages of the lightweight women’s double scull and the women’s pair. Semi-finals begin on Wednesday and continue into Thursday.

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Like paper boats sliding across a summer’s paddling pool the bows of the men’s eight race boats sliced backwards and forwards through the TV camera shot at the start of their heat today hiding the sheer effort of the first 25 strokes.

Less than half a second split the top three boats at the 500m with the USA and China barely ahead of the British eight. Only world silver medallists, Germany, were trailing partially. Then with 650m gone the British flew out of the pack and moved to lead the USA by three-quarters of a length with China in third and Germany still fourth.

The blonde head of Alex Partridge seemed to spearhead the GB attack in the bow seat and, in the stroke seat, Colin Smith’s relatively small frame set the pace. Between them sat Tom Stallard (soon to start work with McClaren at F1), Tom Lucy, Richard Egington, Josh West, Alastair Heathcote, and Matt Langridge. All of them listening to the commands of Acer Nethercott, the cox.

With three-quarters of the race behind them this crew, coached jointly by Mark Banks and John West, seemed to have the race track to themselves and they won by over a length from the USA with China in third.

In contrast to the excited hubbub all around them the crew subsequently remained totally toned-down.

"It was a good, solid row", said Nethercott. "Our coaches have done a fantastic job with this crew since the Lucerne world cup in June. That was our last true test against the rest of the world and we knew we weren’t up to speed so they have been taking us forward technically".

Only Partridge, who missed the Olympic Games four years ago through illness, permitted himself a moment of excitement. "It’s brilliant fun being here. It’s like an experience you would never get anywhere else. When you are a length up on a crew like the USA and you are looking back at them it seems like an awful long way".

Stallard, whilst pleased with today, rightly raised a note of caution. "I’m sure that people will raise their games in the final", he said.

The women’s double scull of Elise Laverick and Anna Bebington recovered from a relatively poor heat, by their standards, to win today’s repechage from Germany. There were never more than these two crews in the running to qualify with Romania and Italy soon flagging.

Germany led through the first three markers and, with 300m left of the race, it looked as if the British duo had left it to late.

"But that’s the bit we are good at" said Bebington afterwards as she relished the thought of her first Olympic final on Saturday. "We got our mid-race pace right so we could let go in the final 250m", she explained.

"It’s been a really tough few days since the heats", said Laverick. ‘But we’re in an Olympic final now and we can start thinking about Saturday".

Before it started you might have predicted that Alan Campbell, Andre Vonarburg of Switzerland and Marcel Hacker of Germany might be the main contestants in their quarter final of the men’s single scull today. On cue, all three headed the field almost in unison by the 250m mark. From there they jockeyed for a while before Campbell settled into a comfortable mid-race pace whilst Vonarburg made his move with Hacker following.

By 1500m Hacker was out in front and Campbell began to overhaul Vonarburg before putting in a finishing sprint which put him him back on Hacker’s coat-tails to take a solid second place behind the German.

"I planned to race in a considered way once more", said Campbell afterwards. "I let Marcel (Hacker) get too far ahead really and so I’m little bit disappointed to finish second but the important thing is that the knee held up once more. I’m one step nearer now. The next goal is to reach the top three of the semi-final and get into the final".

Vonarburg made his move and Hacker followed. Campbell, still returning from recent knee surgery, battled to stay with them. With 1500m gone Campbell appeared to be content with the third qualifying slot.

After a lightning-produced delay overnight GB’s women seemed to use their pent up energy to blast away from the start, making the first 20 strokes count to put themselves in contention from the outset in today’s heats at Shunyi. Or, perhaps it was just all the work they have done on their starts over the past six weeks.

"We’ve certainly been doing some work out of the blocks ", said Carla Ashford who was relatively pleased with their showing today in finishing second to world champions, the USA, but considered that there was "still a lot of room for improvement" before Wednesday’s repechages.

Alison Knowles agreed: "It was a good start. We would have liked to take the USA but we’re looking forward to Wednesday now".

With 300m gone of today’s race, the Americans drove forward to lead over Germany by two seconds with GB just behind.

With Katie Greves beating out a relentless rhythm in the stroke seat, backed by Beth Rodford, Natasha Page, Natasha Howard, Jess Eddie, Sarah Winckless, Alison Knowles and working in tandem with cox Caroline O’Connor, GB regained territory in the second 500m and were second behind the USA at the midway point.

In much flatter and calmer conditions than yesterday, the GB eight appeared to have an overlap over the USA at 1500m whilst Germany continued to threaten as did Canada. Perhaps buoyed by the roar from the 500-strong GB supporters group in the crowd the GB eight held onto their position and came back to within two-thirds of a length of the USA at the finish.

The men’s pair of Robin Bourne-Taylor and Tom Solesbury – an army officer and trained solictor – were fighting to stay in the men’s pair event here this afternoon. They needed to claim a top three place but had serious opposition at close quarters of the ilk of the Skelin brothers of Croatia.

This duo, part of the men’s eight training group, have had just a short time as a unit and, in today’s final 500m, having stayed in reasonable contention until then blasted with the biggest weaponry at their disposal but it was not quite enough. They were fourth and their Olympic dream ended.

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Heat 1
1. USA 6:06.53
2. Carla Ashford/Beth Rodford/Natasha Page/Natasha
Howard/Jessica Eddie/Sarah Winckless/Alison Knowles/
Katie Greves/Caroline O’Connor (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:08.68
3. Canada 6:12.68
4. Germany 6:14.42



Heat 2
1. Alex Partridge/Tom Stallard/Tom Lucy/Richard Egington/Josh
West/Alastair Heathcote/Matt Langridge/Colin Smith/
Acer Nethercott (cox) 5:25.89
2. USA 5:29.60
3. China 5:35.09
4. Germany 5:37.56




Single scull

Quarter-final 1

1. Marcel Hacker (Germany) 6:48.85
2. Alan Campbell (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:52.74
3. Andre Vonarburg (Swizterland) 7:02.29
4. Oscar Vazquez (China) 7:06.61
5. Mathias Raymond (Monaco) 7:11.66
6. Aly Ibrahim (Egypt) 7:24.77




Double scull

1. Elise Laverick/Anna Bebington (GREAT BRITAIN) 654.92
2. Annekatrin Thiele/Christiane Huth (Germany) 6:55.96
3. Ionelia Neacsu/Roxana Cogianu (Romania) 7:01.69
4. Laura Schiavone/Elisabetta Sancassani (Italy) 7:08.00




1. Tyler & Cameron Wincklevoss (USA) 6:36.87
2. Niksa & Sinisa Skelin (Croatia) 6:38.30
3. Morten Nielsen/Thomas Larsen (Denmark) 6:38.33
4. Robin Bourne-Taylor/Tom Solesbury (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:41.43
5. Piotr Hojka/Jaroslaw Godek (Poland) 6:44.19

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Tuesday 12

Lightweight men’s and women’s double and men’s four,
Men’s and women’s quadruple sculls and men’s eights
Women’s pair

Wednesday 13
Men’s single, double, pair and four
Women’s single

Women’s eight

Thursday 14
Lightweight men’s double and four
Lightweight women’s double
Men’s quadruple scull

B Finals:
Men’s and women’s single and double and men’s four

Friday 15 August
Reserve day

Saturday 16 August:

Men’s and women’s single, double and pair and men’s four

B Finals:
Lightweight men’s double and four
Lightweight women’s double
Men’s and women’s quadruple scull
Men’s eight

Sunday 17 August:

Lightweight men’s double and four
Lightweight women’s double
Men’s and women’s quadruple scull and eight
Women’s eight

NB – subject to change. Please see Beijing 2008 website
for up to date information.

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Olympic Games 2008, Beijing
(with clubs/home towns/dates of birth)
(listed from bow to stroke as at 7 August)




Carla Ashford (Oxford Brookes BC/Northallerton/13.03.79)
Beth Rodford (Thames RC/Burton-on-Trent/ 28.12.82)
Natasha Page (Reading Uni/Hartpury/30.04.85)
Natasha Howard (Tideway Scullers/West Runton/3.9.80)
Jess Eddie (Uni of London/Durham/07.10.84)
Sarah Winckless (Walbrook & Royal/Henley/18.10.73)
Alison Knowles (Thames RC/ Bournemouth/27.3.82)
Katie Greves (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)
Caroline O’Connor (Oxford Brookes/Ealing/25.04.83) (cox)

Coach: John Keogh


Louisa Reeve (Leander/London/16.05.84)/
Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft/Warrington 16.09.85)

Coach: Rob Morgan

Quad Scull

Annie Vernon (Marlow RC/Wadebridge/01.09.82)/Debbie Flood
(Leander Club/Leeds/27.02.80)/Frances Houghton
(Tyrian Club (Uni of London)/Oxford/19.09.80)/Katherine
Grainger (St Andrew BC/Aberdeen/12.11.75)

Coach: Paul Thompson

Double scull

Elise Laverick (Thames RC/Poling, W.Sussex/27.07.75)/
Anna Bebington (Leander Club/Leek, Staffs/13.2.83)

Coach: Miles Forbes Thomas


Tina Stiller (Nottingham RC/Yarm, N.Yorks/23.6.87)
Alice Freeman (Wallingford RC/Oxford/6.9.78)



Robin Bourne-Taylor (Army RC/Oxford/22.07.81)/Tom Solesbury
(Molesey BC/Petts Wood, Kent/23.09.80)

Coach: Peter Sheppard


Tom James (Molesey/Wrexham/11.3.84)/Steve Williams
(Leander Club/Cheltenham/15.04.76)/Peter Reed (Leander Club/
Nailsworth, Glos/27.07.81)/Andy Triggs Hodge (Molesey BC/Hebden,

Coach: Jurgen Grobler


Alex Partridge (Leander Club/Alton, Hants/25.01.81)/
Tom Stallard (Leander/Welwyn, Herts/11.09.78)/
Tom Lucy (Oxford Brookes/Monmouth/01.05.88)/
Richard Egington (Leander/Knutsford/26.02.79)/
Josh West (Leander/Santa Fe, USA/25.03.77)/
Alastair Heathcote (Army RC/London/18.8.77)/
Matt Langridge(Leander Club/Northwich/20.05.83)/
Colin Smith (Leander/Henley on Thames/23.09.83)/
Acer Nethercott (University College Oxford BC/Harlow/28.11.77)

Coaches: Mark Banks, John West

Single Scull

Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers/Coleraine/9.5.83)

Coach: Bill Barry

Double Scull

Matt Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.4.79)/
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club/Winscombe, Somerset/11.11.81)

Coach: Mark Earnshaw

Men’s Alternates*

Tom Parker (Oxford Brookes/Winchester/24.10.82)
Alex Gregory (Reading Uni/Wormington/11.03.84)



Double scull

Hester Goodsell (Reading Uni/Cambridge/27.06.84)
Helen Casey (Wallingford RC/Oxford/06.02.74)/

Coach: Rob Morgan



Richard Chambers (Oxford Brookes/Coleraine/10.06.85)/
James Lindsay-Fynn (London/Trim/29.09.75)/Paul Mattick
(Wallingford/Oxford/25.04.78)/James Clarke (London RC/

Coach: Robin Williams

Double scull

Zac Purchase (Marlow RC/Tewkesbury, Glos/02.05.86)/
Mark Hunter (Leander Club/Romford, Essex/01.07.78)

Coach: Darren Whiter

Lightweight Men’s Alternate*

Rob Williams (London RC/Maidenhead/21.01.1985)

* Alternate=Reserve



Team Leader:
David Tanner

Chief Coaches:
Jurgen Grobler, Paul Thompson

Miles Forbes-Thomas, John Keogh, Robin Williams, Darren Whiter,
Rob Morgan, Bill Barry, Mark Earnshaw, Mark Banks, John West, Peter Sheppard

Support staff:
Maggie Netto, Maurice Hayes.

Medical staff:
Ali Sanders, Mark Edgar

Press officer:
Caroline Searle


All medical/sports science:

Pam Gardner, Gill Edmonson, Ryan Bathurst, Al Smith, Mark Homer,
Chris Shambrook


Jennifer Song

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