Rowing: World ambition for Searles

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The Independent Online
AFTER winning two of Britain's five gold medals in the Barcelona Olympics, the rowing team will attempt to build on these achievements at the World Championships which start in Roudnice, near Prague, on Monday, writes Hugh Matheson.

Jonny and Greg Searle, who won the coxed pairs on the last stroke of their Olympic final in 1992, have had an unconvincing season but they have trained well for the past five weeks and are expected to be in contention again.

In complete contrast, Steven Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent, the Olympic coxless pair champions, have had an unbeaten season under the guidance of their coach, the former East German, Jurgen Grobler. A week ago they became the first pair to break seven minutes at altitude while training at Silvretta in the Austrian Alps.

The lightweight men's coxless four, including Carl Smith and Chris Bates, will be going for their third world championship in their 11th season since winning the silver medal in this event in Duisburg in 1983. Their ambition has been further fuelled by the promotion of the event to the Olympic programme.

In the women's lightweight four Britain, with Jane Hall replacing Claire Davies, are favourites for the event after finishing second for the last two years.