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Four more British crews reach medal finals at 2018 World Rowing Championships

Great Britain secures four more medal final places in the lightweight women’s single sculls, lightweight women’s double sculls, women’s quadruple sculls and men’s four

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James Johnston, Adam Neill, Jacob Dawson and Tom Ford race to second in their men's four semi-finals at the 2018 World Championships (Naomi Baker)

Great Britain’s rowers set up four more medal finals on a day of mixed fortunes at the 2018 World Rowing Championships.

Imogen Grant sealed her place in Friday’s lightweight single sculls medal final with another confident row – coming from third at the halfway mark to win her semi-final ahead of Michelle Sechser (USA) and Jill Moffatt (Canada).

Ellie Piggott and Emily Craig put in a superb row to qualify for the lightweight women’s double sculls final. This regatta is the first time the two athletes have raced together since World Cup 1 due to injury, but there looks to be no rustiness as they rowed to third in the semi-final, nearly two lengths up on Poland.

GB’s men’s four continued their strong start to the regatta, rowing to second in their semi-final behind reigning silver medallists Italy. Tom Ford, Jacob Dawson, Adam Neill and James Johnston moved up from fourth place at the halfway mark to pass Germany and the Czech Republic.

And the women’s quadruple sculls finished second to China in an exciting semi-final, which sees them through to Saturday’s medal race. Mathilda Hodgkins Byrne, Melissa Wilson, Jess Leyden and Zoe Lee pushed on in the second half of the race to move into a qualifying position, moving past the USA and Romania.

The men’s quad needed to come through a brutal repechage to have a chance of competing for a medal, with Olympic champions Germany, European champions Italy and World Cup medallists Netherlands all vying for the top two places. A strong finish saw the British crew move up into third place but it wasn’t enough to make the medal final. They will return on Saturday for the B final.

Zak Lee-Green and Jamie Copus left everything out on the water in their lightweight double sculls semi-final but finished just outside the three qualification spots in fourth place.

Fellow lightweight Sam Mottram will race in the lightweight single sculls B final on Friday, having rowed to fourth place in a stacked semi-final. World Best Time holder Jason Osborne (Germany) led from start to finish with Andrew Campbell (USA) and Aaron Lattimer (Canada) in hot pursuit either side of him. Mottram, from an outside lane, finished fast but it wasn’t enough to close the gap on the leaders.

Rowan McKellar and Hattie Taylor will also race in a B final having finished fifth in a gruelling women’s pair semi-final. The top five crews were separated by just over a length, with Ireland coming from fifth to first in the final 500m.

GB’s women’s four finished fifth in their semi-final, which featured the world champions Australia and European champions Russia. GB move into Saturday’s B final

With racing starting earlier than scheduled due to Wednesday’s postponements, Ollie Cook and Matt Rossiter dug deep to secure a place in the semi-final – moving from fourth at the halfway point to challenge Romania for the race win.

Harry Leask also progressed from the men’s single sculls quarter-final with a superb win. The Scot rowed down Belarussian Dzianas Mihal in the final 500m to turn a half-length defecit into a one-length win.

And Alice Baatz will contest the women’s single sculls C final after a third-place finish in her C/D semi-final.

Brendan Purcell, British Rowing Director of Performance, said: “We have some delighted athletes who will be competing in A finals at the weekend and we have some understandably disappointed athletes who feel they didn’t deliver the performance levels they know they’re capable of.

“We can’t fault the attitude, determination and application of any of the British crews, racing in such an intense environment against a very high standard of opposition.

“It’s great to have four more crews into medal finals and we’re looking forward to getting those finals underway on Friday. These are the moments we’ve been working towards all season and hopefully the work will pay off with some strong results.”

Racing starts at 06.45 BST with the repechages of the women’s and men’s eights. GB will contest five semi-finals before the finals take place, with three British crews contesting medal races on Friday.

Results

Men’s pair quarter-final (top two to A/B semi-final)

1. Romaina, 6:25.04
2. Great Britain (Matt Rossiter & Ollie Cook), 6:25.24
3. Belarus, 6:26.16

Men’s single sculls quarter-final (top three to A/B semi-final)

1. Great Britain (Harry Leask), 6:53.38
2. Belarus, 6:56.22
3. Hungary, 6:57.81

Lightweight men’s single sculls semi-final (top three to A final)

1. Germany, 6:52.97
2. USA, 6:53.65
3. Canada, 6:55.72
4. Great Britain (Sam Mottram), 6:59.33

Lightweight women’s single sculls semi-final (top three to A final)

1. Great Britain (Imogen Grant), 7:43.01
2. USA, 7:44.84
3. Canada, 7:45.85

Women’s pair semi-final (top three to A final)

1. Ireland, 7:14.67
2. Italy, 7:14.99
3. Spain, 7:15.30

5. Great Britain (Hattie Taylor & Rowan McKellar), 7:17.95

Lightweight women’s double sculls semi-final (top three to A final)

1. Netherlands, 7:05.62
2. Ireland, 7:06.75
3. Great Britain (Ellie Piggott & Emily Craig), 7:07.09

Lightweight men’s double sculls semi-final (top three to A final)

1. Norway, 6:23.70
2. New Zealand, 6:26.53
3. Spain, 6:27.12
4. Great Britain (Zak Lee-Green & Jamie Copus), 6:28.98

Women’s four semi-final (top three to A final)

1. USA, 6:41.10
2. Australia, 6:42.28
3. Russia, 6:44.16

5. Great Britain (Sara Parfett, Caragh McMurtry, Emily Ashford & Jo Wratten ), 6:49.65

Men’s four semi-final (top three to A final)

1. Italy, 6:01.74
2. Great Britain (Tom Ford, Jacob Dawson, Adam Neill & James Johnston), 6:03.40
3. Germany, 6:04.44

Women’s quadruple sculls semi-final (top three to A final)

1. China, 6:26.49
2. Great Britain (Mathilda Hodgkins Byrne, Melissa Wilson, Jess Leyden & Zoe Lee), 6:29.03
3. USA, 6:30.26

Men’s quadruple sculls rep (top two to A final)

1. Netherlands, 5:40.87
2. Italy, 5:42.70
3. Great Britain (Graeme Thomas, Jonny Walton, John Collins & Tom Barras), 5:45.55

Women’s single sculls c/d semi final (Top three to the C final)

1. Spain, 8:00.48
2. Trinidad & Tobago, 8:03.31
3. Great Britain (Alice Baatz), 8:03.45