Britain has high hopes for Olympics



reports from Tampere, Finland

The British team at the World Championships here won two gold medals and four silver medals and, almost more importantly, pre-qualified in six events for the Olympic Games in Atlanta next year.

The men's team, led by the enduring champion Steven Redgrave who, with his partner on the water Matthew Pinsent, won his fifth championship in five years, has four boats qualified.

The young double scull of James Cracknell and Robert Thatcher came in 10th overall and have great scope for improvement in a event which rewards age and experience. However, great doubles are made in heaven in that natural compatibility outweighs brute strength and clever movement. Peter Haining who, on Friday became the first man to win the lightweight single scull three times in succession, might try for an Olympic place in the double.

In October, trials will be held for the heavyweight group and successful athletes will then be split into rowing and sculling, without the possibility of switching. If Haining makes the sculling group at that point he will challenge hard for a place in the only crew likely to go to Atlanta.

The women's eight was desperately disappointed in failing to make the final after a brave row in the toughest semi-final, but they were compensated with a fine win in the small final to finish seventh overall. The eight showed precisely the grit that converts the ordinary into something better. They must resist the temptation to break the crew into small boats and go for qualification in Lucerne.

The men's eight was unlucky to draw lane one, where the cross headwind was strongest, and they were forced to spend too much to stay within a length of the leaders Germany in the first 1,000 metres. Sean Bowden, the coach who took over the crew in June, said that after half-way Garry Herbert was struggling to keep the boat in the lane as the course became more exposed to the gale.

Bowden said that the crew must gain four seconds over the winter to be within reach of a medal next year. It is a young crew which can still gain horsepower from heavyweights in the next six months." He may also gain one or two more big athletes to choose from at the October trials.

The heavy men's coxless four took a silver medal on what is, by modern standards a part-time programme. The two Searle Brothers will work part- time this winter and will then take next summer off. Provided that the dean of Charing Cross hospital allows Rupert Obholzer, a fourth year medical student, some time off and that Tim Foster is unable to find a job there is hope that the crew will go better in 11 months' time.

The lightweight men's coxless four was selected as the top boat, with the Olympics in mind, but a bronze was the summit of their expectation here with the event crowded with all the best athletes. They were off the pace throughout the race and finished a disappointing fifth. Here again, although the crew was well selected for individual strength, the vital compatibility was missing.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 15

More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Commercial Litigation NQ+

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE NQ to MID LEVEL - An e...


Highly Attractive Pakage: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - A highly attractive oppor...

Senior Marketing Manager - Central London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

Day In a Page

Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?