Rowing: Campbell beats champion with sprint finish in sculls
Monday 29 May 2006
Alan Campbell succeeded beyond his dreams in the first round of the World Cup by winning his event against the Olympic champion, Olaf Tufte, of Norway, and the world fastest time holder, Marcel Hacker, of Germany.
It is the first time a British sculler has won an international event in living memory, the last great performer being Greg Searle in 1997 whose best result was a world bronze. Campbell, like a young Steve Redgrave when he set out in 1980, is driven by an ambition to win the Olympic single sculling title and at 23 the man from Coleraine put down his marker this weekend on the 1972 Olympic course here. His confident lead of the pack and his devastating finishing burn - "the sprint at the end just comes to me. I don't know from where" - is the pay-off for hard physical and mental work at his club, Tideway Scullers, where he trains for half the year alongside the world champion, Mahe Drysdale, of New Zealand.
Drysdale is due to meet Campbell in three weeks at the second round of the cup in Poznan and the friends intend to compete in the Henley Diamonds.
The Munich regatta was excellent for the British team. The flagships, the Camelot-sponsored women's quad and men's coxless four, won with ease in the former's case and with nail-biting panache in the latter's.
The 23-year-old double scullers, Annie Vernon and Anna Bebington, won in their first regatta. The new men's double, Matt Wells and Steve Rowbotham, missed a medal by less than a second. Mark Hunter's bronze in the lightweight single and Nick English and Dave Currie's in the lightweight pairs, was backed up by a good performance by the men's lightweight four, who just missed a bronze.
World Cup (Munich): Finals: Leading results: Men: Single sculls: 1 A Campbell (GB) 6min 54.05sec. Double sculls: 1 Germany (R Bertram and R Sens) 6:22.88. Selected: 4 Great Britain (M Wells and S Rowbotham) 6:24.55. Lightweight double sculls: 1 Italy (M Miaani and E Luini) 6:20.60. Selected: 9 Great Britain (T Male and J Lindsay-Fynn) 6:38.22. Quadruple sculls: 1 Czech Rep 5:53.56. Coxless pairs: 1 Serbia and Montenegro 6:37.43. Coxless fours: 1 Great Britain (S Williams, P Reed, A Partridge, A Triggs Hodge) 6:00.25. Lightweight coxless fours: 1 Germany 6:06.88; 2 Ireland (G Towey, E Coakley, R Archibald, P Griffin) 6:07.35. Selected: 4 Great Britain (M Beechey, D Harte, P Mattick, J Clarke) 6:10.46. Eights: 1 Germany 5:32.79.Selected: 5 Great Britain (T Stallard, T Garbett, T Solesbury, J Devlin, H Lee, J West, K West, M Langridge (str), A Nethercott (cox)) 5:37.87. Women: Single sculls: 1 E Karsten-Khodotovich (Bela) 7:30.40. Double sculls: 1 Great Britain (A Vernon, A Bebington) 7:02.28. Lightweight doubles sculls: 1 China I (D Xu and H Yu) 7:11.36. Selected: 7 Great Britain (J Hall and H Casey) 7:19.52. Quadruple sculls: 1 Great Britain (D Flood, S Winckless, F Houghton, K Grainger) 6:32.00. Coxless pairs: 1 Canada 7:17.36. Eights: 1 Germany 6:14.80. Selected: 6 Great Britain (B Moffat, J-J Eddie, B Etiebet, C Ashford, N Howard, N Page, K Greves, E Laverick (str), C O'Connor (cox) 6:20.55.
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