Rowing: Partridge's Olympic agony opens the door for Coode

Britain's Olympic team suffered their worst blow yet yesterday when Alex Partridge, the 23-year-old No 3 man in the coxless four, was ruled out of the Athens Games with a collapsed lung. Ed Coode replaced him in the boat for morning and midday outings in preparation for today's final of the Stewards' Challenge Cup here in which Britain's top Olympic hope face an Australian combination from Melbourne and Queensland.

Coode subbed in for James Cracknell in the coxless four in early May in the Poznan round of the World Cup when Cracknell suffered a cracked rib. Matthew Pinsent, stroke of the crew, greeted Coode's reappearance yesterday with the observation that "it's not like we've just got him off the shelf at Tesco's".

Partridge joined the crew after trials in April and was complaining of pain since the World Cup regatta in Munich in late May, remarking to Pinsent after they finished third in Lucerne a fortnight ago that he felt he was breathing on only one lung. Tests revealed no rib or muscle damage and it was not until he was given an ultrasound scan on Friday at the English Institute of Sport medical centre that the true cause of his injury became clear. Richard Budgett, chief medical officer of the British Olympic Medical Centre, ordered no rowing or flying for Partridge for five to six weeks, ending his Athens dream.

Partridge's bilateral lung collapse follows a long list of minor injuries and illnesses that have plagued the flagship boat since its formation - Pinsent's tonsillitis, Cracknell's rib, Williams's gastric flu - and continues to raise the question of over-training in the squad. Six other men have been out of their boats during the last three weeks, including Toby Garbett of the coxless pair which again raced last night with James Livingston subbing for him. As he re-rigged the four's boat at Leander Club yesterday morning, Jürgen Grobler, chief men's coach, said that it was a shock for the wholecrew - Cracknell, Pinsent and Steve Williams.

"I am absolutely confident that it will be a good story in the end," he said. "You are already a loser if you give up on your goal." Coode won world titles in British fours in 1999 and 2001 before injury kept him on the bank for a year. Last year he rowed in the eight who won bronze at the world championships, and until yesterday occupied the key No 7 seat in that boat.

His place in the eight will be taken by Tom Stallard. "I was gutted when I heard," Coode said. "Alex has led star performances and improvements, the Jonny Wilkinson of rowing. He had a big impact."

Budgett said that Partridge's condition was an "extraordinary unpredictable freak accident." He said there would be a full inter-disciplinary wash-up to investigate it.

Cracknell made a moving tribute to Partridge, saying that "he was a breath of fresh air. He really helped me concentrate on my technique and took the weight off me giving directions to the crew."

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Year 5 Teacher

£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...

Software Developer

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...

Systems Analyst / Business Analyst - Central London

£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...

Senior Change Engineer (Network, Cisco, Juniper) £30k

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album