Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Leander athletes help GB claim World Cup medals

Leander athletes help GB claim World Cup medals

LEANDER athletes helped the GB rowing team secure two silver medals and a bronze in the final day of the second World Cup in Poznan, Poland, last Sunday.

After narrowly missing out on a podium spot at the European Championships in Lucerne earlier this month, some sensational racing from Leander’s John Collins and Agecroft’s Graeme Thomas saw them move from fifth place just before the 1,000m mark to take the lead in the final 500m of the men’s double sculls. The duo were narrowly beaten to the line by less than two tenths of a second by Barnabe Delarze and Roman Roeoesli of Switzerland, finishing with the silver medal.

Both men’s and women’s eights enjoyed their second podium finish of the season, taking silver and bronze respectively.

The men’s eight included Leander’s Tom Ford, Tom George, Jacob Dawson, Ollie Wynne-Griffith and cox Henry Fieldman that made their move at the 1,000m mark to push past Canada and take their second silver of the season.

Speaking after claiming runners-up spot George said: “There were challenging conditions with a tough headwind in the first half of the race where the course is quite open but it got much better in the second 1,000m when it flattened out and we clicked into our rhythm. There’s definitely work to do back in training but we’re all pretty pleased with how it went today.”

Imperial College’s Zoe Lee was the only non-Leander athlete in the women’s eight that included Fiona Gammond, Jo Wratten, Hattie Taylor, Rowan McKellar, Rebecca Shorten, Karen Bennett, Holly Norton and cox Morgan Baynham-Williams who fought all the way to the line to take bronze over the New Zealand crew.

Speaking after taking third spot Wratten said: “I think we’ve got an amazing thing going on in this crew. Our ultimate goal this season is to qualify the women’s eight boat for the Olympics at World Championships and we’ve all really bought into that with our coach. It feels like we’ve building momentum which is very exciting and means we can deliver our best performance at the World Champs.”

Elsewhere paralympic champion Lauren Rowles claimed silver in the PR2 women’s single sculls while Ben Pritchard took bronze in the PR1 men’s single sculls.

British Rowing director of performance Brendan Purcell said: “This has been a strong weekend in that we now have much more information about where we are in comparison to the rest of the world.

“We went into the weekend aiming for 11 boats to reach the position needed to qualify for the Olympics at this year’s World Championships and we had nine boats in that position. Some of our medal-winning boats from the European Championships stepped up and delivered more strong performances, others didn’t get the performances they would have liked but we can now go back to training and use what we’ve learned in the lead up to World Cup III in Rotterdam.”

Leander’s Annie Withers helped the GBR2 women’s four secure top spot in their B final, taking the win over Germany in a photo finish to finish seventh overall.

Tom Barras came agonisingly close to a spot on the podium in his final, the Leander single sculler finishing in fourth just behind Angel Fournier Rodriguez of Cuba, while clubmate Vicky Thornley finished fifth in the final for the women’s single scull.

Leander captain Thornley said: “This weekend has definitely been a step in the right direction after the Europeans. My coach and I had a clear plan of what we wanted to do and this shows I’ve definitely moved on.

“The margin today was a bit tough to take but finishing fifth after not even making the final in the Europeans means I’m definitely going in the right direction.”

There was disappointment for the GBR1 men’s four that included Leander’s Matt Rossiter and Sholto Carnegie with Ollie Cook and Rory Gibbs who were crowned European champions earlier this month but missed out on a podium spot, finishing in fourth place.

Reflecting on the race afterwards, Carnegie said: “You have to learn from your wins and your losses, it’s all part of elite sport. This is a good crew and we’re excited to keep moving forward and keep on racing.”

The all Leander GBR2 men’s four of Will Satch, Tom Jeffrey, Alan Sinclair and Adam Neill had a tough race, finishing sixth in their B final.

A disappointed Satch said: “It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster over the weekend – the repechage yesterday was a bit better, we had a paddle yesterday and it felt quite good, we’ve been training back home and there’s times when we’re beating the other four, so today’s result is very frustrating. It’s now the classic thing of trying to pick yourself up from this and get back up again”.

The European bronze medal-winning all Leander men’s quad of Pete Lambert, Jack Beaumont, Jonny Walton and Angus Groom failed to make the podium after finishing fifth in a tightly contested final, as did clubmates Harry Glenister and George Rossiter competing in their first A final for the men’s pair.

The B finals for the men’ lightweight double sculls saw Leander’s Sam Mottram and Oxford Brookes University partner Jamie Copus finish fourth in a B final.

The third and final World Rowing Cup will take place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands from July 12-14.

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