Sunday, 15 December 2019

Leander athletes strike gold at U23 championships

Leander athletes strike gold at U23 championships

LEANDER athletes helped Great Britain win gold medals in both the men’s eights and coxless fours on the final day of the World U23 Championships in Sarasota, Florida.

The wins were part of a six gold and two medal haul for GB crews overall that saw them top the medal table with their best ever performance at the championships.

Gold medals were also secured in the women’s and men’s quadruple sculls, lightweight women’s single sculls and women’s four while silver medals came in the men’s coxed four and women’s eights as Great Britain topped the medal table for the first time ever.

The men’s coxless four of Leander’s Charles Elwes and Greys Green’s Thomas Digby — a member of Griffen Boat Club — along with David Ambler and Freddie Davidson won their event in a time of five minutes, 51.58 seconds with New Zealand runners-up in five minutes, 52.26 and Italy third in five minutes 55.56.

The crew, who led their race from start to finish, were all world silver medallists last year — Ambler and Elwes in the men’s four and Digby and Davidson in the men’s eight.

The men’s eight, that included the Leander trio of David Bewicke-Copley, Leonard Jenkins and Harvey Kay along with Henry Blois-Brooke, Callum Sullivan, Matthew Rowe, William Stewart, Felix Drinkall and Vlad Saigau led their race from start to finish first in a time of five minutes, 34.40 seconds with USA runners-up in five minutes, 36.21 and Netherlands third in five minutes 36.36 seconds.

The winning eight contained four of last year’s silver medallists from the men’s eight in Bewicke-Copley, Jenkins, Stewart and Kay. British rowing director of performance Brendan Purcell said: “To come away from the U23 World Championships with six gold medals and two silver medals is incredible.

“As chief coach for the U23s, Pete Sheppard has brought these athletes and coaches together to deliver a truly outstanding team performance. Everyone has stepped up over the past six weeks and then delivered their best performances on race day. In every event we were extremely competitive and it’s fantastic to have so much strength and depth for the future. A lot of these athletes will step onto the senior world stage.”

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