Rowing: Campbell puts Britain on course for five wins

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Alan Campbell led a good opening day for Britain at the World Championships here yesterday. The sculler from Coleraine was the first of five Olympic class boats to win a heat and qualify for the next round – in his case a quarter-final tomorrow.

The coxless four, with Alex Partridge back after missing Henley and the Lucerne final of the World Cup in July, also won. The men's and women's double scullers won, as did the pair of Colin Smith and Matt Langridge.

The beginning of the four's race was nerve-racking as the French charged ahead with the Irish in pursuit, despite a British start at 46 strokes to the minute. Alongside the British were the Canadians, recently strengthened by Barney Williams, a veteran of the 2004 crew who narrowly lost the Olympic final to Matthew Pinsent's British four. The French faded and the Canadians were out of the picture but the Irish kept up the pressure.

"Everyone has moved on in the last six weeks," the four's Peter Reed said. "There was potential for top crews to really go for it today, and I think we saw that from the French."