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Lightweight women’s quad secure place in final on weather-affected day at World Rowing Championships

Four GB crews completed their races before weather intervened on day four of the World Rowing Championships, with the lightweight women’s quad reaching the medal final

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The women's quadruple sculls, stroked by Maddie Arlett, progressed to the final from the repechage (Naomi Baker)

All 20 British crews have now started their 2018 World Rowing Championships campaigns in Plovdiv, with the men’s and women’s eights making their bows on a weather-shortened day of racing on Wednesday.

Both of the crews are facing some formidable competition in Bulgaria and will have to come through the repechages to make the medal finals after tough but promising first races.

The women’s eight needed to win their heat to qualify directly to the final and surged ahead of New Zealand in the final 500m but ran out of water in their pursuit of Australia, who finished just over half a length ahead.

GB’s men’s eight were in touching distance of Australia and the USA at the 1,500m mark but a blistering final quarter from their rivals saw those two crews power away. The USA edged it on the line in a new World Championships Best Time, with GB in third place.

The lightweight women’s quadruple sculls finished third in their repechage to move through to Friday’s medal final. GB finished well to put half a length on Germany, who led at halfway.

Alice Baatz was also in action in the women’s single sculls repechage but found herself up against the experienced duo of Annekatrin Thiele (Germany) and Diana Dymchenko (Ukraine), with only the top two to progress. Baatz couldn’t overcome her rivals, finishing three lengths down in third place. She moves through to challenge for a place in the C final.

Four races into the afternoon session the organisers made the decision to first postpone and subsequently cancel the remaining action due to unfair conditions on the course as the wind picked up.

Just before the cancellation, Zak Lee-Green and Jamie Copus progressed to the lightweight men’s double sculls semi-finals with a confident row. The British crew finished over a length up on Germany to take the third and final place in the next round.

Ollie Cook and Matt Rossiter in the men’s pair and Harry Leask will have to wait until Thursday to undertake their quarter-finals, with racing now starting at 06.45 BST. The first British boat in action will be the men’s pair at 07.17 BST – the first of 12 GB crews on the water that day.

Brendan Purcell, British Rowing Director of Performance, said: “It’s great to see all of our crews now underway in these World Championships and we’ve already witnessed some excellent performances from GB athletes.

“We’re halfway through our campaign now and the intensity of racing is really building up. The athletes are certainly relishing the challenge of racing and as a team we’re aiming to reach as many medal finals as possible.”

Results

Women’s eight heat (winner through to the A final)

1. Australia, 6:02.38
2. Great Britain (Anastasia Chitty, Rebecca Girling, Fiona Gammond, Katherine Douglas, Holly Hill, Holly Norton, Karen Bennett, Rebecca Shorten & Matilda Horn), 6:04.36
3. New Zealand, 6:05.38

Men’s eight heat (top two through to the A final)

1. USA, 5:19.20
2. Australia, 5:19.25
3. Great Britain (James Rudkin, Alan Sinclair, Tom Ransley, Tom George, Moe Sbihi, Oliver Wynne-Griffith, Matthew Tarrant, Will Satch & Henry Fieldman), 5:25.46

Lightweight women’s quadruple sculls (top three through to the A final)

1. Denmark, 6:31.09
2. USA, 6:33.40
3. Great Britain (Gemma Hall, Fran Rawlins, Ellie Lewis & Maddie Arlett), 6:34.48

Women’s single sculls (top two through to the A/B semi-final)

1. Germany, 7:39.86
2. Ukraine, 7:44.91
3. Great Britain (Alice Baatz), 7:54.48

Lightweight men’s double sculls (top three through to the A/B semi-final)

1. Austria, 6:49.04
2. Italy, 6:49.96
3. Great Britain (Zak Lee-Green & Jamie Copus), 6:52.27