European Rowing Championships 2015: British eight 'wake up' to reach final

The team had a shaky heats performance but bounced back strongly

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The Independent Online

Great Britain’s world champion men’s eight turned round their fortunes on day two of the European Championships to make Sunday’s Poznan final.

Britain suffered a shaky heats performance on Friday before coming third, but bounced back with a strong showing as the team, stroked by Will Satch, blasted off from the start before driving on to win their repechage.

The GB eight have won the last two World Championships and team member Pete Reed was delighted they made it through to the final: “That was more like it. We were more awake and ‘on it’. But we will have to be better tomorrow.”

Team-mate Moe Sbihi added: “There is still work to do, it wasn’t the perfect race, but you want to improve as the event goes on.”

London 2012 gold medallist Katherine Grainger returned after two years out, competing in the double sculls with Vicky Thornley, and made the European final.

Both women felt yesterday’s performance was a “step on” from Friday’s heat as they came home second to Lithuania’s 2013 world champions Donata Vistartaite and Milda Valciukaite.

GB lightweight men’s doubles Richard Chambers and Will Fletcher were among the stand-out British performers on day two, winning their semi-final from Norway, while Olympic and world champions Helen Glover and Heather Stanning looked comfortable winning their women’s pair semi-final despite the choppy conditions.