Rowing: Redgrave steers fours to easy victory

The single certainty in World Rowing since 1991 has been a gold medal for Matthew Pinsent and Steve Redgrave. Up to a year ago they were the coxless pair which held off all boarders until after the Olympic regatta in Atlanta, when Redgrave finally admitted that at 34, age, if not the other crews, was catching up and he officially retired.

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.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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: Operations and Administration Support Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading Solar P...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Support Specialist

£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is changing the way at...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Web Designer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Web Designer is required to join a f...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Business Development Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to develop an ...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor