New pairing impress

Rowing

With the selected World Championship crews absent from the National Championships, the field was open for the clubs to shine with a few trials for late national selection being run in disguise.

Carl Smith and Andy Sinton impressed in winning the open and the lightweight double sculls. By the close of racing they had completed nine sessions together since the break-up of Smith's partnership with Peter Haining.

"The break-up was no criticism of Smith's ability and the new pairing is going very well," said Terry O'Neill, the chief coach. O'Neill is considering other possible changes for next month's championships.

The new crew looked more comfortable and flexible than the old one, although Sinton's sixth place, in a different double in 1994, hardly matched Haining's second gold medal in single sculls.

But double sculls are much more about compatibility than gross strength, and Smith was quick to say: "It has more rhythm and potential. We won't want selection until we have done some time pieces and can prove to ourselves that we are of finalist standard."

The emergence of the new Smith double could embarrass Haining, now in the singles for an attempt at the record third world gold. It may take him longer to find a compatible partner and to go for Olympic selection in 1996, where the single is excluded. Yesterday he rowed in a Notts County lightweight quad which won in style.

Nottinghamshire County on its home water took six gold medals, but with three crews in the final of the men's eights, it was likely they would pick up something.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 23

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