GB’s women’s four, featuring Sara Parfett, Caragh McMurtry, Beccy Girling and Emily Ford, produced stunning form to finish first in their repechage. In one of the closest races of the day, the crew found another gear to take the lead ahead of the Russian boat and qualify for tomorrow’s A final.
This European Championships has been Ford’s debut in the stroke seat for the four. Speaking after the race, she said: “We got our nerves out of the way in yesterday’s race, so today was much better and we had much more control. We’re really pleased that we sat in our rhythm and didn’t let anything faze us.”
The men’s eight, comprised of Tom Ford, James Rudkin, Tom George, Mohamed Sbihi, Jacob Dawson, Ollie Wynne-Griffith, Mat Tarrant, Josh Bugajski and cox Henry Fieldman stamped their authority on the repechage by leading the race from start to finish.
Olympic gold medallist Sbihi said afterwards: “Today was a step in the right direction. We learned a lot from yesterday, where we probably got too involved in the race rather than sticking to our own plan; today we just focused on ourselves. We’re confident going in to tomorrow’s final but still need to make some improvements to give ourselves a chance of making the podium.”
Graeme Thomas and John Collins put in a blistering sprint in the men’s double sculls after sitting in fourth place at the 1,000m mark. They finished the race in second and secured themselves a spot in the A final tomorrow.
Speaking after their race, Thomas said: “We’re pleased with the result but it wasn’t a perfect race – we need to work on our pace at the start to put ourselves in a stronger position so we’re not having to throw the kitchen sink at it in the second half.”
In a thrilling semi-final, GB’s men’s four of Ollie Cook, Matt Rossiter, Rory Gibbs and Sholto Carnegie took the rate up in the final 500m to beat the Polish boat by over a second, seeing them through to tomorrow’s A final as fastest qualifiers.
Reflecting afterwards, Copus said: “I’m so chuffed to be in the A final. I was feeling good, paced myself and then made my move in the last 500m. Before this I’d had six or seven consecutive fourths in A/B semi-finals and I said to myself, ‘no more fourths today’.”
Olympic silver medallist Vicky Thornley was “gutted” to just miss out on the A final in the women’s single sculls. Making her return to international racing, she wasn’t able to break through into the top three qualifying spots and finished the semi-final in fourth.
Speaking afterwards, she said: “I’m gutted to not have made the A final and to not quite be back where I wanted after my break. I’ve learnt a lot from this weekend that I will take back into training and use for the rest of the season.”
The men’s quad of Jack Beaumont, Jonny Walton, Angus Groom and Pete Lambert produced a well timed mid-race effort to push Germany into second place and win their semi-final by more than a second, while in their repechage, the newly formed women’s quad of Jess Leyden, Melissa Wilson, Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne and Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne dug deep to secure third place. Both crews will race again in tomorrow’s A finals.
Speaking afterwards, Courty said: “We’re really looking forward to the final. We’ve learnt a lot from the past two races, so now we have to take that all into tomorrow and just enjoy it.”
There was disappointment for the lightweight men’s double of Zak Lee-Green and Will Fletcher and the young men’s pair of Harry Glenister and George Rossiter, as both finished fifth in their semis and will race the B finals tomorrow.
Speaking afterwards, George Rossiter said: “We had a solid row and a good start, but there were a lot of fast pairs out there today. We’re now going to try and put it right tomorrow by going out there to try and win the B final.”
In a fiercely competitive A/B semi-final which featured the fastest two qualifying times of the day, GB’s lightweight doubles combination of Imogen Grant and Ellie Piggott held their own to finish third and put themselves through to tomorrow’s A final.
Speaking after the race, Grant said: “We’re really pleased with what we executed. Yesterday was the first time we’d done a full 2km race together, so to make it into the A final is a huge achievement. We’re really excited to see what we can deliver tomorrow.”
Speaking afterwards, Craig said: “We’re really pleased with how we raced today. There’s not too much we could have done differently that would have got us into that A final – we did what we set out to do and can’t really ask for much more.”
In the quarter finals for the men’s single sculls, Tom Barras took the third qualifying spot to see himself through to the afternoon’s A/B semi-finals. Following a tough second race of the day he missed out on a spot in the A final by only a second and will now contest tomorrow’s B final.
Jurgen Grobler OBE, Chief Coach for the GB Rowing Team’s men’s and women’s squads, said: “We’re racing in ten medal finals tomorrow of which nine are Olympic events – this is really positive and gives us confidence for the rest of the season.
“A number of crews, such as the men’s and women’s four, have done exceptionally well and made big progress through the winter. In particular, the performance of the women’s pair is a credit to their coaches at Leander Club.”
Men’s single sculls (Quarterfinal)
1. Oliver Zeidler (GER) 7:01.29
2. Damir Martin (CRO) 7:03.07
3. Tom Barras (GBR) 7:03.93
Men’s single sculls (A/B semi-final)
1. Oliver Zeidler (GER) 6:50.76
2. Sverri Nielsen (DEN) 6:50.99
3. Ondrej Synek (CZE) 6:56.16
4. Tom Barras (GBR) 6:57.16
Women’s pair (A/B semi-final)
1. Kiri Tontodonati & Aisha Rocek (ITA) 7:11.91
2. Maria Kyridou & Christina Bourmpou (GRE) 7:12.69
Men’s pair (A/B semi-final)
1. Martin Mackovic & Milos Vasic (SRB) 6:24.41
2. Jaime Canalejo Pazos & Javier Garcia Ordonez (ESP) 6:26.00
3. Lukas Helesic & Jakub Podrazil (FRA) 6:30.58
5. Harry Glenister & George Rossiter (GBR) 6:30.77
Women’s double sculls (A/B semi-final)
1. Leonie Menzel & Carlotta Nwajide (GER) 6:54.52
2. Milda Valciukaite & Ieva Adomaviciute (LTU) 6:55.55
3. Aikaterini Nikolaidou & Anneta Kyridou (GRE) 6:56.49
Men’s double sculls (A/B semi-final)
1. Amos Keijser & Nicolas van Sprang (NED) 6:11.71
3. Hugo Boucheron & Matthieu Androdias (FRA) 6:13.81
Lightweight men’s single sculls (A/B semi-final)
1. Artur Mikolajczewski (POL) 6:57.26
2. Martino Goretti (ITA) 7:00.08
Lightweight women’s double sculls (A/B semi-final)
1. Anastasiia Ianina & Alena Furman (BLR) 6:52.78
2. Laura Tarantola & Claire Bove (FRA) 6:53.38
Lightweight men’s double sculls (A/B semi-final)
1. Stefano Oppo & Pietro Ruta (ITA) 6:17.28
2. Tim Brys & Niels van Zandweghe (BEL) 6:18.06
3. Emil Espensen & Alexander Modest (DEN) 6:20.42
Women’s four (Repechage)
2. Russia 6:33.18
3. Croatia 6:35.39
Men’s four (A/B semi-final)
2. Poland 5:53.94
3. Ukraine 5:55.64
Women’s single sculls (A/B semi-final)
1. Jeannine Gmellin (SUI) 7:27.98
2. Lisa Scheenaard (NED) 7:29.41
3. Magdalena Lobnig (AUT) 7:30.12
4. Vicky Thornley (GBR) 7:37.41
Women’s quadruple sculls (Repechage)
1. Netherlands 6:20.14
2. Ukraine 6:20.66
Men’s quadruple sculls (A/B semi-final)
2. Germany 5:48.11
3. Ukraine 5:49.31
Men’s eight (Repechage)
2. Romania 5:30.51
3. Russia 5:36.13
Picture Credit – Nick Middleton