Haining's gold makes history

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The Independent Online
Britain's Peter Haining became the first man ever to win the lightweight single sculls three times in a row at the World Championships here yesterday.

Haining dropped his asthma inhaler on the way to the start and had to call for a fresh one. "I suck 210 litres of air a minute in the race and the tubes get a little inflamed," the Scot said. "I need a blast 10 minutes before the race or there's real fire in the lungs half-way through." The race was delayed for three minutes until a spare was brought to him at the start.

Haining drew clear after 500 metres and in the stiff head- breeze built up enough of a lead to hold off the strong finish of the Czech, Tomas Kacovsky.

He collapsed after crossing the line and was lifted into a first aid launch and revived with oxygen. Haining was awarded his sixth championship medal in a private ceremony later.

There was another stirring performance in the women's coxless four when Britain won silver with the "Rookie Four", which has emerged from the squad system operated by the chief coach, Bill Mason. It was a fine debut that nearly yielded a gold with a spirited last 500 metres sprint that sliced back into the United States lead.

Jane Hall and Wilma Brownless won silver in the lightweight women's coxless pair, a new event, but there was disappointment when the lightweight eight, champions a year ago and winners for most of this season, fell to the Danes.

Steven Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent today attempt to win the coxless pair for the fifth time in a row. They have not lost a championship race since 1990.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 27