GB Rowing team performance director Sir David Tanner declared himself a happy man as two of his crews kept their 2016 Rio Olympic hopes alive at the World Championships.
Both the open men’s quadruple scull and the men’s four faced a last-chance repechage in order to keep both their World Championship and Rio dreams intact out in France.
And both crews passed the test in flying colours, winning their races and advancing through to Thursday’s semi-finals.
The men’s four of Scott Durant, Alan Sinclair, Tom Ransley and Stewart Innes trailed Argentina in the first part of the race but came through to take the lead just before halfway, building a length over the field by 1500m.
The British quartet stayed firmly in the driving seat to win in 5:54.95 minutes with France, to the chagrin of the home crowd, missing out to Spain at the line.
Next up the men’s quadruple scull of GraemeThomas, Sam Townsend, Charles Cousins and Peter Lambert kept pulses racing as they were fourth for much of their race before pacing a fabulous final 500m to take the verdict on the line by just under a second over Ukraine, the European silver medallists and defending world champions, with Canada in third.
Both crews have more work to do with the top eight boats qualifying for Rio from the men’s quad and the top 11 from the men’s four, but for now Tanner is smiling.
“That was a good performance today and what we would expect of them [the men’s four],” he told British Rowing.
“Their [the men’s quad] second half showed the grit and determination and speed which they are capable of.
“That will give them confidence to go into the next race and show more of the form that we know they can produce.
“Both these races show just how tough the racing is here in the Olympic and Paralympic classes.”
© Sportsbeat 2015