Great Britain’s men’s eight won bronze on the final day of competition at the 2018 World Rowing Championships, taking GB’s medal tally to four.
From an unfavoured outside lane, GB set their rhythm quickly – pushing pre-race favourites hard through the first half of the race.
As the 2,000m progressed the Germans lived up to their billing by holding onto their lead as GB and Australia battled it out for silver and bronze in the final 500m.
GB, featuring James Rudkin, Alan Sinclair, Tom Ransley, Tom George, Moe Sbihi, Ollie Wynne-Griffith, Matthew Tarrant, Will Satch and Henry Fieldman, pushed hard to hold off the sprinting Australians but were pipped to silver on the line by 0.03 seconds.
British crews took three fourth-place finishes in a tough day of racing, with winds forcing the organisers to reassign the lanes in an attempt to ensure fairness.
Harry Leask put in a phenomenal sprint in the closing metres to overhaul New Zealand’s Robbie Manson into fourth place in a race won by Norway’s Kjetil Borch.
Charlotte Hodgkins Byrne and Anna Thornton took the race to their rivals in their debut women’s double sculls final, leading through 500m and contending for a medal at the halfway point. While Lithuania, USA and New Zealand passed them in the second half, GB
held their nerve to seal fourth place ahead of the Netherlands.
Angus Groom and Jack Beaumont missed out on a medal by just half a length in the men’s double sculls. With France setting an unrelenting pace throughout the race, GB and Switzerland were trading places for silver and bronze. But a fast finish by New Zealand saw Groom and Beaumont edged out of the medal positions.
Andy Houghton finished sixth in the PR1 men’s single sculls heat in challenging conditions in lane one. Erik Horrie set his second World Best Time of the week to sprint past Ukraine’s Roman Polianskyi, with Houghton finishing behind Brazil’s Rene Pereira.
The women’s eight also finished sixth overall as the USA regained the title they lost in 2017 ahead of Canada and Australia.
And Alice Baatz finished her regatta 15th overall in the women’s single sculls.
British Rowing Director of Performance Brendan Purcell said: “It’s always to win a medal to close a regatta and the men’s eight saved one of their best performances for when it was needed to win bronze.
“While we didn’t win as many medals as we would have liked, it was great to see so many of our crews really challenging for podium places this weekend. There are a number of positive performance indicators we take from the week.
“With the Olympic and Paralympic qualification regatta coming in 2019 our focus is on qualifying as many boats as possible to the Games in Tokyo. We’ll assess our performances from the 2018 season over the next few weeks and I know that the coaching team is already planning on how to build on these results next year.”
PR1 men’s single sculls A final
1. Australia, 9:16.90
2. Ukraine, 9:17.36
3. Russia, 9:35.33
6. Great Britain (Andy Houghton), 10:01.82
Men’s single sculls A final
1. Norway, 6:38.31
2. Czech Republic, 6:39.92
3. Lithuania, 6:42.90
4. Great Britain (Harry Leask), 6:45.02
Men’s double sculls A final
1. France, 6:05.16
2. Switzerland, 6:06.49
3. New Zealand, 6:06.71
4. Great Britain (Angus Groom & Jack Beaumont), 6:08.03
Women’s double sculls A final
1. Lithuania, 6:44.15
2. New Zealand, 6:46.28
3. USA, 6:47.75
4. Great Britain (Charlotte Hodgkins Byrne & Anna Thornton), 6:51.59
Women’s eight A final
1. USA, 6:00.97
2. Canada, 6:03.05
3. Australia, 6:03.86
6. Great Britain (Anastasia Chitty, Rebecca Girling, Fiona Gammond, Katherine Douglas, Holly Hill, Holly Norton, Karen Bennett, Rebecca Shorten & Matilda Horn), 6:51.59
Men’s eight A final
1. Germany, 5:24.31
2. Australia, 5:26.11
3. Great Britain (James Rudkin, Alan Sinclair, Tom Ransley, Tom George, Moe Sbihi, Oliver Wynne-Griffith, Matthew Tarrant, Will Satch & Henry Fieldman), 5:26.14
Women’s single sculls C final
1. Russia, 7:34.45
2. Spain, 7:39.10
3. Great Britain (Alice Baatz), 7:47.45