Great Britain star in World Rowing Cup I with 11 medals in Belgrade

Great Britain star in World Rowing Cup I with 11 medals in Belgrade

07 May 2017 / 18:56

Great Britain have opened up an impressive World Rowing Cup I lead after a phenomenal day on the water saw them take home 11 medals and start their season on a perfect note in Belgrade.

The men’s and women’s pairs were among those winning gold, while the men’s four and men’s lightweight double sculls teams also found themselves top of the podium.

But that wasn’t it for the success in the first international regatta this campaign, with the men’s eight, women’s lightweight double and women’s single winning silver.

There was also time for the men’s and women’s quad sculls, lightweight men’s double and lightweight double sculls to take bronze in Belgrade – with their 11-medal haul enough to go top of the nascent medal table.

Will Satch, Moe Sbihi, Matthew Tarrant and Callum McBrierty continued Great Britain’s strong pedigree in the four, though they had trailed at the 500m mark to the Spanish boat.

But the quartet continued their strong pace and led by halfway, edging away from the Dutch crew at the third quarter prior to moving out and taking the win.

“It's still early days, but it's nice to be back on the circuit. It has been quite a long winter,” said Satch.

“After London 2012 I came back and had a hip operation, which cut the winter short, and then we had three consecutive years of winning [the final race].

“It's been a gruelling winter, and having three months off [after Rio 2016] isn't the greatest for fitness.

But that was far from it for success in Serbia, with Vicky Thornley among those celebrating silver – left delighted at a strong showing ahead of what is expected to be a busy year.

An impressive sprint for the line in the women’s single was enough for her to take second place despite this being her first race in the event since 2014.

She was not without her challenges in the closing stages over, with Magdalena Lobnig of Austria among those putting pressure on the 29-year-old, only for her to close out a runner-up spot behind Switzlerand’s Jeannine Gmelin.

And Thornley was more than pleased with her impressive display, surprising even herself when stopping the clock at 7:32.19.

She said: “I had a really good race and did everything that I planned to do.

“The Swiss girl [Jeannine Gmelin] was a bit too fast for me today, but I'm pleased with how I worked the race in the third 500 and then my sprint to the line.

“Generally the finish has been the weaker part of my race, so I knew it was something I had to work on. Today we put in some processes about how to get the most out of it and it actually worked better than I thought it would.

“I'm a totally different athlete [to when I last raced in a single in 2014]. I've raced [Magdalena] Lobnig before, but never beaten her, so it's nice to do it here.”

Jacob Dawson and Matt Rossiter surprised the field with their men’s pair gold, with the latter competing in his first international event for seven years.

Dawson meanwhile came into the race as a rookie, but that didn’t stop them upsetting home favourites Serbia to win by just over a length in a time of 7:00.25.

The other British gold went to Peter Chambers and Will Fletcher, taking the lightweight men’s doubles crown, though just a second separated them from fellow podium riders Czech Republic and Poland.

Sportsbeat 2017

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