Rowing: Coxless four go from strength to strength

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The Independent Online

The coxless four of Steve Williams, Peter Reed, Alex Partridge and Andy Hodge completed their fourth race together unbeaten yesterday, and enter their fifth today as favourites for the World Cup.

The coxless four of Steve Williams, Peter Reed, Alex Partridge and Andy Hodge completed their fourth race together unbeaten yesterday, and enter their fifth today as favourites for the World Cup.

The men's quadruple scullers also found form, powering into their final close behind Ukraine. The women's quad are strong contenders for the gold medal in a straight final today.

The coxless pair of Josh and Kieran West look better every time they race, and a strong performance put them among the seven World Cup finalists from the British team.

Debbie Flood sculled a brilliant tactical race in the single sculls. Flood made a good start to hold off the Russian Yulya Levina who challenged her continuously. She answered every move to earn a place in today's final and the praise of coach Mark Banks who said: "She did what she had to do which was to put the Russian under pressure without emptying the tank too soon."

Britain's lightweights, in the doldrums for some years, found the way out yesterday when the double scullers Mark Hunter and James Lindsay-Finn qualified by a fraction of a second. The men's light four also reached the final in a well-calculated race.

The scullers Jennifer Goldsack and Zac Purchase and the light pair of Paul Mattick and Daniel Harte also appear in finals in non-Olympic events.

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