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First ever World Championship gold for men's eight

September 1, 2013 12:06 pm

Britain secured a historic World Rowing Championship gold in the men’s eight and performance director Sir David Tanner claims it was the perfect conclusion to events in Korea.

Three Olympic champions from the London 2012 four – Alex Gregory, Andrew Triggs Hodge and Pete Reed – were joined by world medallists Dan Ritchie, Tom Ransley and Mohamed Sbihi as well as Will Satch and George Nash on Lake Tangeum and they didn’t disappoint.

Reigning world and Olympic champions Germany showed their hand first within the first 15 strokes to get a marginal lead.

But in a sensational performance Britain fought back to secure their first gold in the men's eight in a time of 5:30.35minutes.

Earlier in the day the lightweight men's four took bronze to bring Britain's tally from the weekend's finals to two golds and five bronzes with the para-rowing mixed coxed four also winning gold last Wednesday.

And Tanner admits preparations ahead of the next Olympics in Rio couldn’t be going better.

“I am very proud of our rowers. The men's eight gold was the perfect conclusion to the first Championships of the Rio Olympiad,” he said.

“Well done also on a superb bronze for the lightweight men's four, a massive step up in the past few weeks for three new rowers and the experienced Chris Bartley.

“The men's eight has been an exciting project, with its challenges for our top guns, and this came together in the last six weeks under Jurgen Grobler's excellent coaching.  

“Overall we had 41 rowers in the Olympic class A finals and both of our para-boats in their A finals.

“There was an exceptional spread of medal winning countries, here in Chungju, which is great for our sport and we now have a strong platform to build towards Olympic and Paralympic qualification in two years time on the Road to Rio.”

Despite the medal success there were a couple of agonising misses for Britain, namely the women’s eight who came fourth.

The women's double scull of twice Olympic silver medallist Frances Houghton and Victoria Meyer-Laker also missed out by one place but Olivia Carnegie-Brown, on the eight, said: “We came into the regatta looking for a medal even though we were ranked fifth.

“We had a poor heat and then redeemed ourselves in the repechage.

“We went for it, changed the seat order, changed the plan and went out there and gave it everything and we didn't' win a medal but we did move up a place on the rankings.”

© Sportsbeat 2013