Rowing: Redgrave steers fours to easy victory
Monday 08 September 1997
However, his partner and coach, Jurgen Grobler, knew better and enticed him back with the prospect of a coxless four with two others to share the burden and, if it turned out right, the glory. After a winter of trials James Cracknell, a junior champion in 1990 but on holiday from the medals ever since, and Tim Foster, from the Olympic bronze medal four, took the bow and No 3 seats with Pinsent at stroke and Redgrave steering and calling the race plan at No 2. That crew won on its debut at Munich Regatta, and since then the four has held off all challenges without, it is claimed, ever having to use all of its vast firepower.
Saturday was not an occasion to test that particular theory as the crew built up a one-length lead by halfway, leaving the others to scrap it out behind them for silver and bronze.
The openweight women began with the first-ever gold for British women, also in the coxless four, when a new crew had to row down a Romanian crew which had built up a seemingly unassailable lead at 500m. The four set the tone for all the British crews here, settling into a hard driving rhythm which, with the minimum of pushes and bursts, carried them through to the last quarter, where they increased the pace to finish the strongest, half a length in front.
A silver medal for the double scull of Miriam Batten and Gillian Lindsay continued the flood of success for the women's squad and was won in a stunningly gutsy race after they had been dropped into fourth place in the first quarter and, once again, had to rely on an uncompromising middle thousand to carry them back into striking distance of the leaders.
They overtook the Swiss at halfway and ground back towards the Romanians, who had hung onto the German double led by the incomparable Kathrin Boron, three times a champion in this event. The British might have been satisfied with bronze but chased Romania to the death, passing them as they crossed the line.
Greg Searle broke the mould, being the first Briton to win a single sculls medal in World Championship history - taking bronze again with a blistering finish. "I am happy, particularly for my coach Harry Mahon who has brought me through the season," said Searle. "The final was our target here, within the four year programme toward Sydney 2000, so we're a bit ahead of schedule."
The men's lightweight eight was denied gold on the line by the Australians, who led them by a length at halfway, but the disappointment was tempered by the final being their best row of the season with a crew containing five novices at this level.
Latest in Sport
The Premier League is about earning the right to play on the counter-attack - Danny Higginbotham
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace: Alan Pardew seems to be building something special down at the Palace
John Stones to Chelsea: Next season's bumper TV deal means clubs such as Everton can say 'no'
Kevin De Bruyne: Why do Manchester City put such a high value on a player Chelsea rejected?
David De Gea to Real Madrid: Manchester United to 'make goalkeeper suffer' before deciding his fate as Real prepare £29.3m bid
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...