Rowing: Redgrave keeps command

BRITAIN'S COXLESS four of James Cracknell, Steve Redgrave, Tim Foster and Matthew Pinsent cruised through their semi-final at the World Championships in Cologne yesterday.

The title-holders go into tomorrow's final as fastest qualifiers. Nudging ahead just after the start, they were a length ahead by half-way on the 2,000-metre course.

The Australians came through from a slow start to overtake the World Cup winners, Romania, and appeared about to threaten the Britons. but Redgrave called to raise the pace and his crew spurted clear before slowing across the line.

"We wanted to make sure of winning. The others were in a tussle behind us over that last 1,000m and we just wanted to make sure we were first," Redgrave said .

In other races, the three-times lightweight sculling world champion, Peter Haining, qualified second in his semi. The ebullient Scot raised his fist high with 100m to go as he broke Switzerland's Michael Banninger after a race-long battle for qualification behind the Italian Stefano Basalini.

Haining, who missed last season through illness, felt hard done by in the lane seeding and was making the point to the officials. He paddled leisurely across the line and now believes that despite his setbacks and his 36 years he can take the title for a fourth time.

"They didn't deserve to be in the final," he said of those who trailed in behind him. "They quit. They didn't want it enough."

The sculler Guin Batten beat Trine Hansen into second place, and Miriam Batten and Gillian Lindsay, silver winners last year, won their double sculls semi.

Greg Searle went through in the men's sculls finishing third in his heat, and so too did Britain's find of the season in the coxless pairs, Steve Williams and Fred Scarlett.

Searle, third in the world last year, had three former champions in his semi-final, but as usual also has the attitude to conquer when it matters. No serious judge of form would have given him an outside chance of a place in the final on the evidence of the summer's racing, but in Cologne he has looked better in each round, and yesterday had the gift of the American, Jamie Koven, on whom his race focus was trained, breaking an oarlock just outside the first 100 metres and stopping. Searle, who has never failed to win a medal since 1990 is, amazingly, back in the hunt.

The best result of the day belonged to Scarlett and Williams. They are both graduates of the Oxford Brookes University, which threatens to overtake its older neighbour as a centre of sporting excellence. They should have been out of their depth at this level but never gave it a thought and chased the World Cup winners, West Germany, home for a place in the top six at their first attempt.

Results, Digest, page 25

Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing