Mat Tarrant could barely contain his delight after he and Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell claimed one of two GB golds at the Rowing World Championships in France.
The lightweight men’s pair Tarrant and Reilly O’Donnell – along with cox Henry Fieldman – were joined on the top step of the podium by fellow lightweight men’s pair Joel Cassells and Sam Scrimgeour as Great Britain had a day to remember.
There were also three silver medals to celebrate while Katherine Grainger and Vicky Thornley not only qualified for Sunday’s double scull final but also secured the boat a quota spot for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
And Tarrant was left beaming after he and Reilly O’Donnell finished on the top step of the podium, while Scrimgeour was left pinching himself in amazement.
“It was awesome and I can’t ask for anything more,” Tarrant said. “We had a solid race and we would not have been happy with anything but gold.
Scrimgeour added: “I am delighted with that. I have had three really good pairs partners this season but this takes the biscuit.”
Their golds were backed by silvers from the women’s four of Rebecca Chin, Karen Bennett, Lucinda Gooderham and Holly Norton, as well as the lightweight women’s quadruple scull of Brianna Stubbs, Ruth Waczak, Emily Craig and Ellie Piggott plus Imogen Walsh in the lightweight women’s single.
GB’s young lightweight men’s quad were fourth in their final and Jamie Kirkwood came home sixth in the lightweight men’s single scull final.
Thornley and Grainger had earlier produced the race of their season so far to produce a close third-placed finish behind both the current and 2013 World champions to move into Sunday’s final.
Grainger said: “We knew both semis would be a fight to the death to get into the top three. We talked with our coach Paul Thompson last night and we knew we would need to bring out our best race.
“It was a really tough race and it was good that we could take advantage of such an exciting race. It brought the best out of both of us and it was great that we could raise our game in that kind of Championships race.”
Elsewhere, there was disappointment for the open men’s double scull of John Collins and Jonny Walton, the lightweight men’s four of Jono Clegg, Mark Aldred, Peter Chambers and Chris Bartley and open single sculler Alan Campbell, who finished outside the top three in their semis and now race Sunday’s B finals in which they must finish in the top five to qualify the boats for Rio.
© Sportsbeat 2015