Rowing: Germans await Pinsent's uncertain coxless four

Six British crews take part in today's finals at the World Cup, including the coxless four stroked by Matthew Pinsent which has undergone two changes of personnel, not to mention seating order, before reaching the start line of a regatta.

Six British crews take part in today's finals at the World Cup, including the coxless four stroked by Matthew Pinsent which has undergone two changes of personnel, not to mention seating order, before reaching the start line of a regatta.

The flagship of the fleet has been unsettled, 14 weeks before the Olympic regatta in Athens, first by the inclusion of Alex Partridge instead of Josh West and then by a relay of illness and injury which kept out first Pinsent, then Steve Williams and currently James Cracknell, who has a stress fracture of a rib.

The advantage of this is that whatever they achieve in Poznan, with Ed Coode subbing for Cracknell, their Olympic opponents cannot learn much. The disadvantage is that neither can coach Jürgen Grobler.

The line-up is not necessarily the final one for the Olympics, but Grobler hoped to come out of this weekend with more of a clue about potential speed than he probably will.

The coxless fours was tight in Sydney in 2000, when Pinsent, Cracknell, Steve Redgrave and Tim Foster won gold, and it is faster and just as tight now. Today will be a dust-up between the British and the Germans, who won bronze at the world championships last year when they were beaten by the winning Canadians and the old British four, from which Williams is the only survivor.

The other finalists are Denmark, Russia, Slovenia and Holland, but the big threats are absent, namely the Canadians, Australians, Americans and Italians. If this rough and ready British combination manage to beat the Germans today - and as far as one can tell, they are pretty evenly matched - then it will be the German selectors who have the bigger head-ache. But Grobler and his squad are also living in a more uncertain situation than they have been accustomed to for some years.

It is not just nail-biting time for the four, either. The eight have had Josh West and Tom Stallard included in place of Coode and Partridge and look as if they will struggle to be in the medals today, although it is looking good on the water. The new double sculling combination of Matt Wells and Matt Langridge are moving well, but the quadruple scullers, with two changes from last year, are at present lacking lustre and failed to reach the Poznan final.

The other World Cup finalists are Elise Laverick and Sarah Winckless in the double sculls, while the women's quadruple scullers and the world champion pair of Katherine Grainger and Cath Bishop are in straight finals. The lack of competition is disappointing for them, and raises the question of just what is going on when at the first important regatta of an Olympic season, four important Olympic women's events cannot muster enough entries to hold a heat. The women's single sculls, quads and eights have only four entries apiece, and the pairs six.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions