Rowing: Redgrave ready to turn up the heat

STEVEN REDGRAVE and his coxless four of Matthew Pinsent, Ed Coode and James Cracknell carry the flag for Britain in the World Championships here today.

The four seek their third win in this event since Redgrave and Pinsent came in after the stress of taking the coxless pair through a similar four-year cycle in Atlanta.

The crew have lost just once since they were formed, a year ago with a substitute in place of Tim Foster, who was then holding the number three seat. Otherwise they have won everything on a strategy of never letting the opposition close. Every time the pack seems to pose a danger they find another gear.

They do find the going tough, and much of their mystique springs from the way they refuse to show the pain at the finish of even the hardest races.

The rest of the British team racing for places in the top six finals failed yesterday, and only the 37-year-old Peter Haining, the outstanding athlete in his class, has a place.

The crews must be broken up and a new four created from the three strongest athletes and the best racing stroke in the hope of a wild card Olympic qualification next summer.