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Thursday
Sep012016

More medal success for London's athletes in Rotterdam

Following soon after the medals won by Phelan Hill and Jess Eddie at the Rio Olympics, there was more medal success for London's athletes at the 2016 World Rowing Championships in Rotterdam, which finished on 28 August.  Pride of place went to Imogen Walsh, who won Gold with the British Lightweight Women's Quad.  Tim Livingstone won a Silver medal rowing in the GB Under 23 Men's Eight. 

We congratulate them on their success.  Here are extracts from the British Rowing report:

Each member of the lightweight women’s quad had won silver at the 2015 World Championships – Brianna Stubbs, Emily Craig and Ellie Piggott in the quad and Imogen Walsh in the single. All were determined to upgrade on that and, having laid down a marker with a confident win in their preliminary race, they produced another fantastic performance to take the World crown.

Defending champions Germany promised to be their main challengers once again and so it proved as they made the early running but they couldn’t shake off the Brits, who were looking cool and composed in second.  Just before the halfway mark, Piggott – an U23 World Champion with Stubbs in the lightweight double in 2013 – called for a push and her crew-mates responded. They pulled ahead of the Germans and then moved away with every stroke to secure an impressive victory.

It is a second World title in the lightweight quad for 2011 champion Walsh, who said: “It was a long race but we knew if we kept our cool, stuck to our rhythm and rowed well that we would come through in the end.  I have so much trust and respect for these girls and I never doubted we could do it. This is a fitting end to what has been a really fun and exciting project.”

The men’s eight of Calum Irvine, Oliver Wynne-Griffith, Matthew Benstead, Timothy Livingstone, David Bewicke-Copley, Sholto Carnegie, Robert Hurn, Arthur Doyle and cox Ian Middleton had produced a storming performance in their semi-final to go into today’s medal showdown in confident mood.

They knew their biggest challenge was likely to come from the Netherlands and so it proved as the home favourites stormed out of the blocks, moving a length up on the field inside the opening 500m.  The British found themselves in fourth at that point but began to find their rhythm and pushed through the field, taking second spot with 750m to go. The Dutch had maintained their clear advantage, though, and it was only in the latter stages that GB began to create an overlap.

They were now the quickest boat on the water but had left it too late to challenge for gold, meaning the self-styled ‘Shep’s Army’ – named in honour of their coach, Pete Sheppard – emulated the silver medal won by the GB women.

Cox Middleton said: “It was a tough race and we gave it a good crack. The Dutch had a really strong race and managed to get off to a great start. We were quick but never really had quite enough to overturn them after that, so all credit to them.”

It was the first U23 medal for a GB men’s eight since 2011, when a crew featuring future Rio 2016 Olympic Champion Will Satch won bronze.