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
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future