Rowing: Redgrave on move

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The Independent Online
Steven Redgrave started his season yesterday where he left off in Atlanta last September - by winning his heat of the coxless fours in the new World Cup in Munich.

"We came in pretty blind," the four-time Olympic champion admitted. "We're behind schedule with illness and injuries, but we're coming back and we know there's a lot more to come."

Redgrave had his appendix removed two months ago, just before the crew was formed. The new British flagship contains Redgrave, his Olympic coxless pairs partner Matthew Pinsent, the Atlanta bronze medallist Tim Foster, and James Cracknell from last year's Olympic eight.

Pinsent said he was surprised that the Poles, who were fourth in Atlanta last year and less than a second behind the British yesterday, were not a bit faster.

Eight out of 15 British crews in the World Cup events qualified for semi- finals racing, including Greg Searle, who has taken up single sculling after winning Olympic rowing gold in 1992 and bronze in 1996.

"I was surprised, impressed and quite pleased with myself," he said after winning his heat outright.

"This was my first serious race in the single and I'm testing myself against myself. I'm trying to do what I've been doing in training in a race. I can't do much to affect the others."

There are six former world champions competing in Searle's event in Munich.