STAGING Double gold finale for GB Rowing Team at World Championships - British Rowing

Double gold finale for GB Rowing Team at World Championships

Olympic Champions Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter successfully defended their lightweight men’s double scull World Championships title today in Bled on a day when the men’s four of Alex Gregory, Ric Egington,Tom James and Matt Langridge also won gold.

[newsimage=0]The double gold finale to the GB Rowing Team’s 14-medal performance in Slovenia came on top of a gutsy bronze for Hester Goodsell and Sophie Hosking in the lightweight women’s double scull and a dominating gold for the Paralympic-class mixed adaptive coxed four.

That brought the overall GB tally at the event in the Olympic classes to three golds, three silvers and four bronzes with the international classes and the Paralympic classes also providing two golds apiece.


Today has obviously been completely outstanding. If we wanted cream on our cake here, this was the day”, said GB Rowing Team Performance Director David Tanner.

“But we must not get carried away. Yes, we’ve had a good event with some truly exceptional performances of which we can be justifiably proud but so, too, have Germany and New Zealand. We need to keep our feet on the ground.

“We need to go into the Olympic year with confidence but not thinking somehow we are going to have a gift because it is London”, he added.

Britain won the overall World Championships with a tally of 105 points and topped the medal table.

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The GB Rowing Team won 14 medals in Bled. These were:


Women’s double scull,
[newsimage=1]Men’s four;
Lightweight men’s double scull;
Lightweight men’s pair;
Lightweight women’s quad;
Arms-only single scull;
Mixed adaptive coxed four


Men’s eight;
Men’s pair
Women’s pair


Women’s eight
Men’s single scull
Lightweight men’s four
Lightweight women’s double scull


*SIEMENS is the high performance partner of the GB Rowing Team
(as such they sponsor all the Olympic and Paralympic Class
boats in the senior squad and add value to the GB Rowing
Teams’ Start and High Performance Programme in Clubs Schemes)

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After our race with the Kiwis in the quarters we knew it would be a tough race today”, said Zac Purchase as he sat and reflected on one of the most exciting finales to a World Championships that Britain has ever experienced.

[newsimage=2]To say that the lightweight men’s double World Champions had a “tough” race in today’s final was somewhat of an understatement.

Storm Uru and Peter Taylor of New Zealand were world champions in 2009, were beaten by Hunter and Purchase on their home water in 2010 and were seething with the need to make amends here in Bled.

Britain made the brighter start but the Kiwis were ahead at 1000m.  That signalled the start of a bow-ball to bow-ball phase of the race with both crews leading at different phases but only by the slightest margin.

At the Island it looked as if the British combination had the upper-hand.  By the final five strokes it was clear that the World Champions would not be toppled.  Gold to Great Britain in 6:18.67, silver to NZ and bronze to Italy.

Mark Hunter:  We knew we had to be in touch with the Kiwis. We didn’t worry about where they were. We knew we were in the pack. We said we should stick in our boat for the first km and then we’d move on and start racing from there. We just waited and when we put the hammer down, you saw what happened”.

Matt Langridge, Ric Egington, Tom James and Alex Gregory are justifiably proud of representing GB in this boat category which has such a rich Olympic history.

Today, though, the focus was on the World Championships rather than the Olympic Games. All bar Olympic champion James wished to slay the ghosts of Karapiro in 2010 when the other three were in a boat that led for so long only to be overhauled in the trickiest of conditions and lose their 2009 title.

Off the start, in downtown Bled, the British were in the pack behind the leading Australian quartet which  had the legendary multi-gold medal Olympian Drew Ginn on board.

200m later the British quartet nudged ahead.  At halfway they had half a second over Australia with Greece in third.

At 1500m gone Australia had the overlap on GB, the leaders, but only just.  As GB stretched out the lead and emerged out of the haze into clear focus it was surely certain they would be crowned the world champions in just a few moments.

The Australians were spent, the Greeks launched a sprint but it was GB who took the win in 6:11.55 with Greece in second and Australia in bronze.

Tom James:  “It’s been a really awesome season. To go out and perform like that and without getting too worried or too bogged down in detail has been superb.

Gregory said:  “In terms of pleasure, that is the most pleasurable of all the wins I’m so happy that we managed to keep our unbeaten record this season and win and become world champions”.

Egington said:  “It’s such a pleasure to row with these three guys.  I’m really pleased and I’ve had such an enjoyable year.  It’s a real honour”.

“It feels good to have won.  We got out there and controlled the race and we were where we wanted to be”, said Langridge.

Greece were in a class of their own in the lightweight women’s double scull final.  Christina Giazitzidou and Alexandra Tsiavou led from the outset and won in 6:59.80.

The interesting element for Great Britain was that Sophie Hosking and Hester Goodsell had clearly put yesterday’s sub-par semi-final performance behind them and were in the medals mix from the outset.

Yes, they were overhauled by Canada in the last 500m and yes they had to fight hard in the final 500m to hold off the Americans but this was one of the gutsiest rows from the team this week.

Their coach Paul Reedy, one suspects, had done a fair imitation of a Sir Alex Ferguson hairdryer treatment after yesterday’s semi-final when the duo had been within four hundredths of a second of failing to reach the final.

No wonder the two women were pleased as punch to have made the podium.

“Basically we have worked really hard today and we’re really pleased”, said Goodsell.

“Yesterday was a real shock .We put ourselves under a lot of pressure today.  We wanted to prove ourselves we said we had to win a medal today and we had to perform”, added Hosking.

“Yesterday was a poor performance and today we said we had to go out from the start with the race. We needed to forget every other idea of coming onto a pace. Today was just one pace. Go, go, go.

“World Championships medals are a very special thing. And, OK, we have the lowest colour but we have something to take away in our bags. I’m really proud of Hester and Paul Reedy [coach] and the whole team”.

Britain’s mixed adaptive coxed four of James Roe, Dave Smith, Naomi Riches and the Worlds-debutante Pam Relph with cox Lily van den Broecke went off like a rocket in the final today. By 250m gone they had over a length on the defending world champions, Canada and never looked back to win in 3:27.10. It was a consummate victory marked when the rangy Dave Smith punched both hands in the air followed by strokeman James Roe, normally so undemonstrative but today clearly delighted.

‘Happy days”, said cox van den Broecke.  “It’s all really quite exciting. The four guys have done us proud”.

‘We decided we would do our own race and that’s what we did and it worked. I’m really chuffed as it’s only my second ever international regatta. So go GB”, said Relph.

“I didn’t at any point know where the other crews were but Lily was making”, said Riches.  “I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy and that the whole field here had moved on.  I was just willing to work fight the whole way”.

“That feeling as you cross the line is just indescribable everything from the whole season comes back to you”,  said Roe. “It’s been a really good season and this is the  perfect end to it”.

“Our whole goal this season was to win this race. Now that we’ve done that we will take a little break and then come back and work hard so that we’re ready to do it again in our own back garden”, said Smith whose remarkable year has had a fairytale ending after recovering from a life-threatening tumour which required surgery.

Frances Houghton was down in fourth place quarter-way through today’s women’s single scull B final. Nataliya Mustafayeva of Azerbajan was the early race leader with Estonia and Russia chasing.

With only three places available to qualify this boat category for London, the atmosphere was tense in the GB camp as Houghton dropped back to sixth.

As the crews came past the further tip of the Island, Houghton began the long wind up to the line.  She made up considerable ground but, agonisingly, not quite enough to catch Lithuania’s Donata Vistartaite who took the last  qualifying place behind Mustafayeva and Julia Levina of Russia.

The result means that GB could attempt to qualify this final Olympic place via the last-chance regatta in Lucerne next May.

Houghton, of course, has only been back in the boat for a matter of weeks after battling injury earlier in  the season.

“it wasn’t her burden to qualify our 14th Olympic class boat. That was our burden. Her task today was to set herself up for next year which she has now done after very little time in the boat with an excellent result. 10th in the world in the single scull was an absolute credit to her”, said Tanner.

Houghton said:  I’m still proud that I came here and I raced.  Every race here has been different and I would have liked to qualify the Olympic boat but it didn’t happen”.

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(Events featuring GB Rowing Team crews only. Full results:





1.  Matt Langridge/Ric Egington/Tom James/Alex Gregory
2.  Greece 5:57.20
3.  Australia 5:58.44
4.  USA 6:01.39
5.  Germany 6:01.78
6.  Netherlands 6:11.82



Double scull

1.  Christina Giazitzidou/Alexandra Tsiavou (Greece) 6:59.80
2.  Lindsay Jennerich/Patricia Obree (Canada) 7:03.46
3.  Hester Goodsell/Sophie Hosking (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:04.33
4.  Kirstin Hedstrom/Julie Nichols (USA) 7:04.93
5.  Alice McNamara/Hannah Every-Hall (Australia) 7:05.70
6.  Lucy Strack/Louise Ayling (New Zealand) 7:06.77


Double scull

1.  Zac Purchase/Mark Hunter (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:18.67
2.  Storm Uru/Peter Taylor (New Zealand) 6:19.01
3.  Lorenzo Bertini/Elia Luini (Italy) 6:21.33
4.  Linus Lichtschlag/Lars Hartig (Germany) 6:21.80
5.  Mads Radsmussen/Rasmus Quist (Denmark) 6:24.25
6.  Zhang Fangbing/Wang Teixin (China) 6:30.88


Mixed coxed four

1.  Pam Relph/Naomi Riches/Dave Smith/James Roe/Lily van den
Broecke (GREAT BRITAIN)  3:27.10
2. Canada 3:31.84
3.  Germany 3:33.27
4.  France 3:37.17
5.  Ireland 3:38.13
6.  USA 3:38.16




Single scull

1.  Nataliya Mustafayeva (Azerbajan) 7:43.43
2.  Julia Levina (Russia) 7:45.78
3.  Donata Vistartaite (Lithuania) 7:46.04
4.  Frances Houghton (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:48.80
5.  Genevra Stone (USA) 7:49.01
6.  Kaisa Pajusalu (Estonia) 7:58.41

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2011 World Rowing Championships, sponsored by Samsung
August 28 – September 4, 2011
(listed bow to stroke plus cox)




Helen Glover (Minerva Bath/Penzance/17.06.86)/
Heather Stanning (Army RC/Lossiemouth/26.01.85)

Coach: Robin Williams


Alison Knowles (Thames RC/Bournemouth/27.03.82)/
Jo Cook (Leander Club/Sunbury-on-Thames/22.03.84)/
Jessica Eddie (Univ of London BC/Durham/07.10.84)/
Lindsey Maguire (Wallingford RC/Edinburgh/15.01.82)/
Natasha Page (Gloucester RC/Hartpury/30.04.85)/
Louisa Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)/
Katie Solesbury (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)/
Victoria Thornley (Leander Club/Wrexham/30.11.87)/
Caroline O’Connor (cox) (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Ealing, London/25.04.83)

Coach: Nick Strange

Single scull

Frances Houghton (Leander/Oxford/19.09.80)

Coach: TBC

Double scull

Anna Watkins (Leander Club/Leek, Staffs/13.02.83)/
Katherine Grainger (St. Andrew BC/Aberdeen/12.11.75)

Coach: Paul Thompson

Quadruple scull

Debbie Flood (Leander Club/Guiseley/27.02.80)/
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Gloucester/28.02.82)/
Annabel Vernon (Leander Club/Wadebridge/01.09.82)/
Melanie Wilson (Imperial College BC/London/25.06.84)/

Coach: Ade Roberts


Ro Bradbury (Leander/Banstead, Surrey/17.12.88)
Emily Taylor (Leander/Lincoln/28.06.87)




Pete Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth, Glos/27.07.81)/
Andrew Triggs Hodge (Molesey BC/Hebden, N. Yorks/03.03.79)

Coach: Jürgen Grobler


Matthew Langridge (Leander Club /Northwich/20.05.83)/
Richard Egington (Leander Club/Knutsford/26.02.79)/
Tom James (Molesey BC/Wrexham/11.03.84)/
Alex Gregory (Leander Club /Wormington, Glos/11.03.84)

Coach: John West


Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell (Univ of London BC/Durham/13.04.88)/
Cameron Nichol (Molesey BC/Glastonbury/26.06.87)/
James Foad (Molesey BC/Southampton/20.03.87)/
Alex Partridge (Leander Club /Alton, Hants/25.01.81)/
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)/
Greg Searle (Molesey BC/Marlow/20.03.72)/
Tom Ransley (York City RC/Cambridge/06.09.85)/
Daniel Ritchie (Leander Club/Herne Bay/06.01.87)/
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)

Coach: Christian Felkel

Single scull

Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers/Coleraine/09.05.83)

Coach: Bill Barry

Double scull

Matthew Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.04.79)/
Marcus Bateman (Leander Club/Torquay/16.09.82)

Coach: Mark Earnshaw

Quadruple scull

Tom Solesbury (Leander Club/Petts Wood, Kent/23.09.80)/
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club/Winscombe, Somerset/11.11.81)/
Sam Townsend (Reading Univ BC/Reading/26.11.85)/
Bill Lucas (London RC/Kingswear/13.09.87)/

Coach: Mark Banks


Tom Broadway (Leander Club/Newport Pagnell/21.08.82)
Constantine Louloudis (Isis BC/London/15.09.91)/
George Nash (Cambridge Uni BC/Guildford/02.10.89)



Single scull

Katherine Copeland (Tees RC/Ingelby Barwick, Stockton-on-Tees/01.12.90)

Coach: James Harris

Double scull

Hester Goodsell (Imperial College BC/London/27.06.84)/
Sophie Hosking (London RC/Wimbledon/25.01.86)

Coach: Paul Reedy

Quadruple scull

Steph Cullen (London RC/Bury, Lancs/27.11.80)/
Imogen Walsh (London RC/Inverness/17.01.84)/
Kathryn Twyman (OUWBC/Edmonton, Canada/29.03.87)/
Andrea Dennis (Imperial College BC/Oxford/03.01.82)/

Coach: Ben Reed




Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes Uni BC/Coleraine/14.03.90)/
Kieren Emery (Leander Club/Newcastle-upon-Tyne/01.06.1990)

Coach: Peter Sheppard


Richard Chambers (Leander Club /Coleraine/10.06.85)/
Chris Bartley (Leander/Wrexham/02.02.84)/
Paul Mattick (Leander Club /Frome, Somerset/25.04.78)/
Rob Williams (London RC/Maidenhead/21.01.85)/

Coach: Rob Morgan

Single scull

Adam Freeman-Pask (Imperial College BC/Windsor/19.06.85)

Coach: Darren Whiter

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

Coach: Darren Whiter



Arms & shoulders single scull (ASM1x)

Tom Aggar (Royal Docks RC/London/24.05.84)

Coach: Tom Dyson

Trunk & arms mixed double scull (TAMix2x)

Nick Beighton (Guildford RC/Yateley/29.09.81)/
Sam Scowen (Dorney BC/Wokingham/29.10.87)

Coach: Tom Dyson

Legs, trunk & arms mixed coxed four (LTAMix4+)

Pamela Relph (Birmingham Uni BC/Aylesbury/14.11.89)/
Naomi Riches (Marlow RC/Harrow/15.06.83)/
James Roe (Stratford upon Avon BC/ Stratford upon Avon/28.03.88)/
David Smith (Reading Uni BC/Dunfermline/21.04.78)/
Lily van den Broecke (cox) (Headington School BC/Oxford/08.01.92)

Coach: Mary McLachlan



Team Manager: David Tanner
Chief Coach Men: Jürgen Grobler
Chief Coach Women & Lightweights: Paul Thompson
Assistant Team Manager (Adaptive):  Louise Kingsley

Medical & Sports Science:

Doctor: Ann Redgrave
Lead Physio:  Mark Edgar
Physios:  Liz Arnold, Sally Brown
Psychologist:  Chris Shambrook
Physiologists:  Craig Williams
Nutritionist:  Wendy Martinson


Assistant Team Manager (admin): Maggie Netto
Resources Manager:  Maurice Hayes
Boatman:  John Tetley
Sponsorship Liaison: Fran Bullock
Press Officer: Caroline Searle

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European Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

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