Rowing: Pinsent and Cracknell set for world title showdown

Roger Jennings
Tuesday 31 December 2013 02:53
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Britain's men excelled in semi-finals at the world championships yesterday, with wins for the coxless four and coxless pair and second place for the double scullers, Matt Wells and Ian Lawson. The women were less fortunate, with Elise Laverick and Kirsten McClelland-Brooks relegated to the B finals for rankings seven to 12 in the open and lighweight single sculls, respectively.

All six of the seeded crews will be in tomorrow's final of the coxless pairs, which means that the showdown between James Cracknell and Matthew Pinsent and the Australians, who toppled them from their unbeaten perch eight weeks ago, Drew Ginn amd James Tomkins, is all set up. As semi-final winners, they will occupy adjacent, central lanes.

Also present will be Sinisa and Niksa Skelin of Croatia, South Africa's Ramon Di Clemente and Donovan Cech, the Czechs Adam Michalek and Petr Imre, and Djordje Visacki and Nikola Stojic, the Yugoslavian silver medallists of last year. Cracknell and Pinsent were led to 500 metres by the Skelin brothers and pressed by them for the next 1,000m.

Steve Williams, Josh West, Toby Garbett and Rick Dunn were masterly once more in the coxless fours. Their time was the same as that of their great rivals, the Germans, who won the other semi-final.

Wells and Lawson, who finished second, beat the 2001 world champions from Hungary. They are Britain's first double sculls finalists for 20 years and, with the men's eight and coxed four already qualified, the whole of the British men's heavyweight team contests finals.

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