Rowers return is best ever

16 September 2012 / 18:39

Great Britain's development crews have built on a summer of Olympic and Paralympic rowing success by winning a best-ever haul of five medals at the European Championships in Italy.

Caragh McMurtry and Olivia Carnegie-Brown, both 21, won silver in the women's pair before doubling up in the eight to win a dramatic last-gasp bronze medal.

"I see it as the beginning of the next four years (to the Rio Olympics)," Carnegie-Brown said.

"It's great to carry on the women's results from the Olympics and we kept it really exciting with several close races."

The lightweight men's four, featuring Olympic reserve Adam Freeman-Pask and stroked by 23-year-old Jonathan Clegg, also won silver in beautiful conditions.

Two more British lightweight crews made the medal podium with the women's double scull of Imogen Walsh and Ruth Walczak and the men's double of Chris Boddy and Mikey Mottram both taking bronze.

Graeme Thomas, 23, finished fourth in the single scull, as did the Under-23 world champions Kieren Emery and Matthew Tarrant in the men's pair.

None of the GB Olympic rowing squad raced in Varese, with the European Championships again reserved as an opportunity for younger members of the GB Rowing Team to gain competition experience against a field from a record 36 countries, many of whom raced at London 2012.

"These are a very strong set of results, better than we have ever done before," said Pete Sheppard, team manager and lead coach of the GB team in Varese.

"It shows the strength of the development squad going forwards towards Rio."