Great Britain tops the medals at the U23 World Rowing Championships
Great Britain claimed five medals on the final day of the World U23 Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Florida to finish top of the medal table with a best-ever performance of six golds and two silvers.
Gold medals in the men’s and women’s quadruple sculls, lightweight women’s single sculls, women’s and men’s four and men’s eight, combined with silver medals from the men’s coxed four and women’s eight placed GB at the top of the U23 World Champs medal table for the first time ever.
In the first A final of the day Susannah Duncan, coached by Nicola Benevente of World Class Start Nottingham, became the U23 lightweight single sculls World Champion after a brilliantly timed race that saw her win by half a length. It was the first international gold medal for the Beckenham sculler, who took U23 bronze in the lightweight double last year.
Susannah Duncan celebrates winning the LW1x at the U23 World Rowing Championships 2019 (Image: World Rowing/Igor Meijer)
The GB team didn’t have long to wait for their second podium finish as the women’s four of Lydia Currie, Hope Cessford, Lauren Irwin and Alex Rankin, coached by John Higson of Edinburgh University BC, crossed the line half a length ahead of the Irish crew to claim the second gold medal of the day.
The men’s four of David Ambler, Thomas Digby, Freddie Davidson and Charles Elwes continued the gold rush for GB after leading their race from start to finish. The crew, coached by Richard Chambers of Cambridge University BC, were all world silver medallists in 2018; Ambler and Elwes in the men’s four and Digby and Davidson in the men’s eight.
Lydia Currie, Hope Cessford, Lauren Irwin & Alex Rankin win gold in the W4- at the U23 World Rowing Championships (Image: World Rowing/Igor Meijer)
The men’s eight, of Henry Blois-Brooke, Harvey Kay, Callum Sullivan, Matthew Rowe, David Bewicke-Copley, Leonard Jenkins, William Stewart, Felix Drinkall and Vlad Saigau led their race from start to finish to take GB’s sixth gold medal of the competition. The crew, coached by Brian Young of the University of London BC, contained four of last year’s silver medallists from the men’s eight in Bewicke-Copley, Jenkins, Stewart and Kay. I
n the final race of the day Megan Slabbert, Sophie Paine, Hannah Scott, Holly Dunford, Lucy Edmunds, Alexandra Watson, Margaret Saunders, Johanna Gannon and Autumn Mackay, coached by Lauren Fisher of the GB Rowing Team, took a fantastic silver medal in the women’s eight.
Henry Blois-Brooke, Harvey Kay, Callum Sullivan, Matthew Rowe, David Bewicke-Copley, Leonard Jenkins, William Stewart, Felix Drinkall , Vlad Saigau win gold in the M8+ at the U23 World Rowing Championships 2019 (Image: World Rowing/Igor Meijer)
In Saturday’s finals George Bourne, Matthew Haywood, Josh Armstrong and Samuel Meijer, coached by Kieran Clark of Tideway Scullers School, led their race for the final 1,000m to claim gold and retain their World Championship title in the men’s quadruple sculls.
Meijer is now a three-time U23 World Champion, having won gold in the quadruple sculls in 2018 and double sculls in 2017. He said of the race: “It feels absolutely amazing to defend our title. We’ve put a lot of work in as a crew and it feels like George has been in the crew since last year as well. It’s been an amazing regatta, we’ve built on every race and had a really fast semi-final. That final race was a really good way to earn the win – it was extremely hard-fought all the way to the line but was so much fun to be a part of.”
Saturday’s racing also saw gold medals for the women’s quad of Lola Anderson, Ella Toa, Molly Harding and Lucy Glover and a silver for the M4+ of Henry Jones, Oscar Lindsay, Casper Woods, Cormac Molloy and Scott Cockle, coached by Hugo Gulliver of the University of London.
British Rowing Director of Performance Brendan Purcell said: “To come away from the U23 World Championships with six gold medals and two silver medals is incredible. As Chief Coach for the U23s, Pete Sheppard has brought these athletes and coaches together to deliver a truly outstanding team performance.
“Everyone has stepped up over the past six weeks and then delivered their best performances on race day. In every event we were extremely competitive and it’s fantastic to have so much strength and depth for the future. A lot of these athletes will step onto the senior world stage in the coming years and keep British Rowing at the forefront of world performance.”
You can find all of the results on the World Rowing event website.