Great Britain’s Scottish trio of Heather Stanning, Alan Sinclair and Sam Scrimgeour all won medals at the 2014 World Rowing Championships at the Bosbaan rowing lake in Amsterdam. The event came to its conclusion yesterday having started on the 24th.
Stanning, of Lossiemouth, raced in the women’s pair with her 2012 Olympic gold medal-winning partner Helen Glover, and they stormed to victory in a world best time of 6:50.61. The win gave Stanning her first World women’s pair title, after Glover won the event last year with Polly Swann whilst Stanning was serving with the British Army in Afghanistan.
The GB pair set off at a cracking pace and had three-quarters of a length lead on the remainder of the field 300m into the race. The Romanian pair, Cristina Grigoras and Laura Oprea, were a narrow second, ahead of the Americans Megan Kalmoe and Kerry Simmonds, as the race went through the 500m mark. By halfway the GB pair had a decent clearwater advantage on the rest. Romania were just under three seconds behind with the Americans three tenths behind them.
Just before 1500m the USA surged ahead of Romania and then set out to chase the GB crew, bringing Louise Trappitt and Rebecca Scown of New Zealand with them. As the British supporters became more vocal the Americans made another push, countered by the British who went on to win 6:50.61 - a new world best time. The result delivered Stanning's first World title to add to the duo's Olympic gold.
"I have not had the most consistent of seasons nor been the most consistent training partner", said Stanning after the race. "I am really relieved that Helen kept believing in me. The last few weeks have been really brilliant. I really wanted to make the medal mine today and not be the weak link after Helen and Polly [Swann] won the title last year".
Munlochy’s Alan Sinclair was selected to race in the men’s coxed pair alongside Scott Durant and cox Henry Fieldman. This combination was introduced late in the season this year, at the World Cup in Lucerne, where they started well by winning a silver medal.
The coxed pair came up against the formidable Kiwi combination of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, who decided to compete in the coxed event as well as the men’s pair in which they are unbeaten since 2009.
As expected the New Zealanders were too strong for the rest of the field as they won gold in a world best time, but the GB crew performed well to hold off Germany and take a fine silver medal in 6:43.45.
After the race, Sinclair said: "We executed it well. We knew they (the Kiwis) would push out in front after 500m, we anticipated that and kept our focus very much on our own race".
Kirriemuir’s Sam Scrimgeour raced alongside Jono Clegg in the lightweight men’s pair in their final on Friday, and started the event as another GB crew which has performed consistently throughout the year.
The duo were drawn alongside their perpetual 2014 rivals, Simon Niepmann and Lucas Tramer of Switzerland. France, the Czech Republic and Argentina have also enjoyed podium finishes at the World Cups this year.
As is usually the case in the lightweight category, the final was an extremely close race, with the Swiss coming out on top and France getting the silver medal ahead of GB by a whisker. Clegg and Scrimgeour finished with bronze in 6:25.48.
In what was the major shock of the whole event in Amsterdam, Inverness’s Imogen Walsh and her lightweight double scull partner Kat Copeland just missed out on qualifying for the ‘A’ final on Thursday. Having won the last two world cups, the British combination were seen as potential medallists here.
The double managed to park their despair at not qualifying for the final by smashing their way home in the ‘B’ final on Saturday. Poland led the race for the first half but were then overhauled by Copeland and Walsh who went on to win by clear water in 6:49.16.
Edinburgh’s Polly Swann was involved in a disappointing result as the GB women’s eight finished in sixth place in their final which was won by the USA, with Canada in second and China third.
Swann’s teammate Donna Etiebet spoke after the race, saying: “The pieces didn’t come together today and when we look back we will need to ask why. We want to be in a place next year where if we don’t have our best row we are still capable of being in the medals”.
Victoria Meyer-Laker, of Premnay, raced in the ‘B’ final of the women’s quadruple scull with Tina Stiller, Beth Rodford and Lucinda Gooderham. This combination have had a difficult season, and they finished third in their race on Saturday behind a popular host nation winner.
Great Britain finished the Championships with 10 medals: four golds, four silvers and two bronzes. This was more than any other nation at the Championships.
SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE ================================================= GB ROWING TEAM 2014 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MEDALLISTS 2014 World Championship Medals, Amsterdam. Total medals won: 10 (4 golds, 4 silvers, 2 bronzes) Olympic class medals won: 3 golds, 2 silvers, 1 bronze International class medals won: 1 silver, 1 bronze Paralympic class medals won: 1 gold, 1 silver
Women’s Pair Helen Glover/Heather Stanning
Men’s Four Alex Gregory/Moe Sbihi/George Nash/Andy Triggs Hodge
Men’s Eight Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell/Matthew Tarrant/Will Satch/Matt Gotrel/Pete Reed/Paul Bennett/ Tom Ransley/Constantine Louloudis/Phelan Hill (cox)