Rowing: Grainger shines in World Cup victory

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The Independent Online

The British team yesterday retained the rowing World Cup and 11 of the 13 finalists won medals, including all six of the men's heavyweight crews. Golds came for the men's heavy and lightweight coxless fours, and Anna Watkins and Katherine Grainger won two, one for the double sculls at the start of the day and the other for the quadruple sculls at the end of it, for which they were joined by Annie Vernon and Beth Rodford.

The weekend put a broad smile on the face of the men's chief coach, Jürgen Grobler, whose crews' showing at Henley last week left much to be desired. The women's team is also bubbling, with the eight adding bronze to the scullers' golds, and the Olympic medallist Debbie Flood showing a fighting spirit while playing catch-up in the single scull after returning to the team this year. She finished fifth.

The men's pair and lightweight women's double scull hoped to do better than the silvers they won. Marcus Bateman and Matt Wells, in the double scull, lost out to their French rivals to take silver. However, Alan Campbell returned from injury to finished second in the singles sculls.

"It was a good fight in the double and we wanted to put a really good race together here in the quad," said Watkins. "The days don't get much better than these."

Performance director David Tanner added: "This is our best World Cup season ever. All the world was here in Lucerne so to come away with so many medals has been an exceptional whole team performance. I'm very proud of our rowers, coaches, and the back-up team that has helped us produce this level of results."

Grobler added:"It's like a dream to win so many medals at Lucerne."

The team have 10 days off before the second half of their long season in preparation for November's world championships in New Zealand.

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