Rowing: Campbell confirms quality by setting fastest time

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The Independent Online

The British sculler Alan Campbell, an unbeaten victor in the first round of the World Cup three weeks ago in Munich, set the fastest time of the day here yesterday in winning his heat of the second round. The other heat winners were the world champion, Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand, the Olympic champion, Olaf Tuft of Norway, and the world record holder, Marcel Hacker of Germany.

Campbell took the race from the front and showed that his performance in Munich, where he also beat Tufte and Hacker, was no flash in the pan. His friend and winter training partner Drysdale, however, may prove a difficult customer at the weekend. The single sculls is a treacherous event, the only place in rowing where wily individualism can win out.

Britain's coxless four won with authority after having looked vulnerable in their previous competition. They used a new seating order placing partners in the country's fastest two pairs together in the boat - Alex Partridge and Steve Williams at bow and 2, and Peter Reed at 3 behind Andy Triggs Hodge at stroke.

The world champion women's quadruple scullers had a wake-up call when tnarrowly defeated by China, but there were first-day wins by the double scullers Steve Rowbotham and Matt Wells and by the men's lightweight four.

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