World Rowing Championships 2014 - Day 7

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Posted: August 31, 2014

Report by Mike Haggerty in Amsterdam

On a day when world record times tumbled, Lossiemouth's Heather Stanning took gold in the coxless pairs final here in Amsterdam along with partner Helen Glover on Saturday, adding a world title to the Olympic gold medal these two won together in London two years ago. In the process Glover and Stanning took more than three seconds off a world's best time that had stood for twelve years.

The British duo led from the first stroke of the final, leading Romania through the first timing mark at 500 metres, thanks to their customary fast start. By the halfway point, Romania were still just within a length of the British pair, but a big push by Glover and Stanning gave them a clear water lead. After this, the Romanians faltered, while USA took up the challenge. However, the British pair were not flustered by the efforts going on behind them and crossed the line just over one length ahead of USA, while New Zealand just got ahead of Romania for bronze.

This is a first world title for Stanning. After her Olympic triumph, she returned to active duty as an army captain in Afghanistan, and only returned to full training at the start of this season. In her absence, Edinburgh's Polly Swann - who races in Sunday's eights final - partnered Glover to last year's world and this year's European titles.

Speaking about her comeback, Stanning said, " t's been a year of ups and downs. We've not had the most consistent season so it's great to come here and have a really good regatta, three really strong races, and end it with a really good row."

About finally becoming world champion she said, "I'm absolutely delighted and it's a big relief. They were fast conditions out there and the rest of the field was working hard behind us. Having USA and New Zealand on either side of us egged us on and kept us going, no slacking off at all". She added, "we've talked about our fast start which we've been able to do for a long time. We focussed on getting the start right but over the season we've worked more on our middle thousand metres."

And speaking about their new world best time she added, "we knew it was within us, so that's a really nice thing to have as well."
This was one of two gold medals won by Britain yesterday - the other success came in men's fours, while both the men's pair and quadruple sculls crews took silver medals.

Two other Scots were involved in yesterday's action. After losing out in a tight semi-final earlier in the week, Glaswegian Imogen Walsh and her partner, Olympic champion Kat Copeland, set a new world best time as they won the "B" final of lightweight double sculls, to rank seventh overall. With Victoria Meyer-Laker from Premney in Aberdeenshire on board, the GB's women's quadruple sculls crew finished third in their "B" final, to rank ninth overall.

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