2017 - Racice Rowing: European Championships

2017 - Racice

Sir Matthew Pinsent presents highlights from Racice, Czech Republic. Matthew is joined by Dame Katherine Grainger. Commentary comes from Garry Herbert and James Cracknell.

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Hello and welcome to our coverage of the 2017


European Rowing Championships from the Czech Republic


and the beautiful little town of Racice,


about 40km from the capital of Prague.


It has been a court of a century since this many boats descended on


the lake and back in 1993 it was for the world rowing Championships. It


is the best of Europe we will see out on that water today.


The four-year journey to Tokyo kicked off


Here's the story of the season so far.


Here we are together to kick-off a new season with lots of new faces.


A very good start for the women's pair of Great Britain. The


Netherlands have taken out the crew from Great Britain. A major, major


upset. The British boys will have to dig deep. Surely the British have


done enough to get first place? Some really exciting performances already


that I think bode well for the future. They have responded well and


they are dominating this field. That is a phenomenally talented athlete.


A lot to be done. It is all about learning. Really nice way to cap a


good weekend of racing and your first victory. Good on you.


So, the racing is just about to get underway and James and Katherine are


here to talk through the British prospects. Katherine, looking back


to Belgrade three weeks ago, what to make of that now with a bit of


hindsight? With hindsight it was a fantastic start a competition for


the British team. It is a very different team that we saw in Rio.


They are young and it was tough racing but in a slightly weakened


international field. There were a lot of countries we would have


expected to compete against who were not in Belgrade so here it is much


tougher. James, what will they have been concentrating on? The first


concentration period they had after the Regatta was getting to know each


other. Now what are the result they had there, they have to step up


massively here because it was a weak field but now the Germans have come


in, the big boys of European rowing are here so they will know they have


to raise their game to cope with that and from the heats they will


have to raise their game from the heats to the final otherwise they


will be on the end of a hiding. You and I both raced here. I am wincing,


it was nearly 25 years ago back in 1993. What can you remember about


the lake then and what challenges does it pose for the cruise? You are


wincing, you can thirst! I did not! The big similarities when we came


here in 1993 after the Barcelona Olympics, here it is after the real


Olympics. You're not going to win your Olympic medal but you can stake


your claim in the events. The German men's eights lost out in Rio. Five


have come back and they are clearly laying their marker down for Tokyo.


That is the replication of a post-Olympic year in 1993 and


countries will have their eye on the boat and see how fast they are


against the other opposition. This is where people need to put their


stakes out. Katherine, your career does not quite go back a quarter of


the century, the European Championships has come to the fore


in the last four or five years, it is a fully fledged event now, really


exciting but great prospects for next year? Yes, a big change. Next


it turns into a European Championships and it is a multisport


event. Two things, so one is it will be in Glasgow so it will be a home


event. A good test. But the multisport brings a different


dimensional and it is one that in rowing you rarely get to experience.


Once every four years is the Olympic Games which is a multisport event


but now there is the chance to have one at a European level. It will be


a big test but also preparation for Tokyo. OK, here is what is coming up


before five o'clock today. It was on an emotional silver in


Rio, now Vicky Thornley is planning a lonely path in the women's singles


sculls. Catherine went to meet up with her old team-mate. I thought it


would be Rio and then that would be it but this sport gets you


hooked, as you know! We will meet another member of the British Rowing


team. Introducing Jonny Walton of the men's quad. Being side to side,


that is what we train for. And we will find out how the doubles get


on. The first event we will turn to is the women's pair. So often the


boat class Britain has been successful in with Helen Glover and


Heather Stanning in the last four years. Now it is the turn of Karen


Bennett and Holly Norton. Karen won an Olympic silver in the women's


eight in Rio and they both together in this new competition won a gold


in the opening World Cup in Belgrade three weeks ago. That was only a


three boat field. It will be a lot tougher here. James has gone across


to join Garry Herbert in the commentary box and they will talk


you through the first race of the afternoon.


Then it and Norton of Great Britain are under a lot of pressure from


Denmark in a number four. Italy in one, Spain and France in a number


six, watch here, it is so important in the second 500 to really nail it.


That gives you length, rhythm, power and that will give you the


confidence to step on. That is now what the Romanian team are doing.


They have opened up Clearwater in lane three. The problem is they have


to keep their heads up, keep it long, keep it sharp so they don't


come down into the boat here. They are well ahead of Spain, France and


Italy. It is pride for them now. This is a big step up from the


Regatta we had three weeks ago. The differences the Brits are in a race


with no one. Denmark are raising Romania and Romania are raising


Denmark. The Brits could get shutout in No Man's Land. The remaining have


led their colours very starkly on the sun lounge. They have put


themselves firmly in the first three quarters of the race. They have the


pedigree and experience to hold on. I think Denmark, having that Olympic


medal will come and row Romania down but they have put themselves in a


perfect position with a couple of minutes left. Coming up to 1500


metres. If Romania put the sun lounge out there, it looks like the


Danish pair have stolen the towels because now they will step up. This


will be a really good last 50 strokes. They have closed the gap


again in the last 250 metres. There is clear water between Denmark and


Great Britain here. Really disappointing so far for the Brits.


It will be really hard to turn the speed around and get back into


contention here for the British team of Karen Bennett and 24-year-old


Holly Norton. Eddisbury hard for Denmark while second. The Romanian


pair have not been successful for a long time so they will not let this


go. They have put themselves pulp position. The Danes may be


regretting the slow first 250 metres of the race. They have defined a


change of gear now. Romania have gone early. Madalina Beres and Laura


Oprea of Romania. They doubled up in the pair where they finished ninth


in the Olympics. Denmark are the bronze medallists. They are looking


very dynamic, very dynamic. Very sharp. I thought they may have


nailed it through the middle 500 to much but they have stepped on and


looking very dynamic. They are stretching out here, a length of


Clearwater from Denmark. Romania know they are comfortable. It will


take a massive turn of speed here for Great Britain to get back into


the silver medal position. Look at that water, coming up to the line


here and still Romania are putting the power down and so they should,


they have done it in style. They are the European champions for 2017.


They have opened their Olympiad in fine form. Great Britain's Karen


Bennett and Holly Norton threw in bronze. They will be slightly


disappointed with that, especially given the first 1000 they were in


amongst in the race. The first final but there were


patches where they slipped right out of the race? They were leading it in


the thick of the field. The Romanian pair, dislike them back to the late


early to thousands, we have not seen a strong remaining pair for a long


time but we know they have calibre. They were threat in the early


rounds. The Danish pair were a good calibre. Half the crew were Olympic


medallists. The GB crew were hanging on to the Danish group for most of


the race. It is not a disastrous performance but after their great


result three weeks ago, in a weakened field are admittedly, they


will be disappointed. I still think it is a building block for them. Do


you think some other nations will prioritise this event even more than


we will? The stories round the boat park is that some nations, this is


as big as the World Championships for them. To Great Britain it is


not, it is very much one of the steps on the journey through but it


is a Championships, it is different to a World Cup. The championships


have a higher status in some ways. It is those medals we want to win.


We're just waiting for them to come off the water behind us. Talk


through the mentality they have from a World Cup with a smaller field,


out of what was not really a frying pan, a lukewarm saucepan into what


has been a fire at the European Championships for them. How did they


recover, how do they move on? What we will see in second is the instant


reaction. It is crossing the line, heads down, disappointment, not


quite the race they wanted to have. As the days go on they will realise


how intense those races could be and help with the crews are that they


are up against. As the days go on, as we go into the next World Cups,


they will have learnt a lot in this regatta and right now it may be


painful but they still walk away with the European medal. They are


not where they want to be that they can get there. Here they come off


the water. They are getting some water to drink. It has been a hot


race, hot weekend for all of us in Prague. Come on over, come on over.


Hello. How was that? Yes, it was tough. 750 metres in the race they


started pulling ahead so we probably should have done a better job


sticking with them, we let them get a bit too far ahead and then


struggled to come back in the last 500. And your body language over the


line, there was no punching of the air but there was a hub at least


when you got off the water? Yes, we did a great job, as Holly said, we


let it get away from us and we should have gone with them and we


didn't. It is really frustrating but hopefully, there is more to come, we


will need to wait and see really. It is a very different field and a very


different feeling results wise than three weeks ago in Belgrade, but how


does that race for you to compare with how you raced three weeks ago?


I think three weeks ago was our first international race so it was


all very exciting and we set the standard for our selves there. Now


we always have that standard to come back against and we have to keep


looking back and see how we did. I think maybe compare to that race, it


probably wasn't much better. Just going off the performance, not the


result. That is a bit frustrating. But as long as we learn from it and


move onto the next race, it is not a missed opportunity really. All a


learning experience. Exactly. We will let you going to get your


medals. Congratulations. We will turn our attention to the men's


pair, this is Rossiter and Jacob. Let's see how they get on. -- Jacob


Dawson. This is the final, the men's pair,


Italy threw in first place. The pair from the Czech Republic are in


second place. Now looking heading no number four have Serbia, France and


five and the British group just hanging on, just barely hanging on.


Now a big third 500 is required. Just a nod here to tell you that all


the British crews will be wearing black ribbons throughout this


regatta, in memory of Di Ellis who was a former chair of British Rowing


and also in respect of those who lost their lives in Manchester. The


Brits are about to kick off the Czechs who tried to do a heroic


start in front of their home crowd but that has not lasted the full


length of the course. The Dutch have moved away from the British said


their peripheral vision will be very empty. They will have to keep


nagging their speed. All of the crews apart from the Italians are


moving around the same speed. The initial slow minute from our boys


has put them on the back foot. They have to keep believing and this will


drag them back towards the Serbians and the Dutch. The Serbians putting


the pressure on. The French pair in lane five. The brothers. They're


coming towards the 1500 metres. This is where everything in the bank has


been a foundation, just put the pressure on again. The Italians are


clear. The awards are now from the Italians in lane number three. Great


back in fifth place in the bottom left corner. Still the French going


hard. They are being pushed by the Serbian pair. The Italians, I'm not


sure they can sit back and this because the Italians have used a lot


of energy. The Italians will be enjoying it, yes, but they will be


full of lactic acid. The French, they will be kicking themselves


afterwards, or the coach will be kicking them because they let the


Italians get away too easily. They are probably going the quickest out


there but they have left themselves 2.5 seconds, with 500 metres to go.


It will be interesting to see if the wheels do fall off the Italians'


wagon. They were bronze medallists at the Olympic Games and world


champions in the men's four two years ago. They know how to control


a race here. Responding again, Serbia pushing it hard. The French


name number four, now stretching it out, looking to back the silver


medal. Closest to us is Serbia. The British are in their own battle with


the Netherlands. It is too little, too late from our boys. The


Italians, that is how they do it. From first straight to last, that is


how you race in the men's pair. France get the silver medal and


Serbia getting the bronze. Great Britain come over in their own


battle with the Netherlands in name number two.


So, the men's pair at the back of the field. Will they be disappointed


with that. I think they will be disappointed. Here they found


everything a bit hotter. They have not struggled with the whole regatta


but they have not had it all the roadway. The lead boats in that


field were absolutely flying today. The Serbs who put in a great


performance, the British were ahead of them three weeks ago and that is


frustrating. Is this a testament to the clear out of the men's team from


Rio. There are so few returnees from the Rio team? I'm sure there is an


element of it. The men's team they are trying the four, the pair, they


ate, they are trying all events rather than just focusing on one but


we have seen the Brits can succeed in all events. It is great the boys


are taking it on as a challenge but it is a huge challenge. Let's move


on to the men's lightweight double, it is Will Fletcher and Pete


Chambers. Before that let's catch up with Will Fletcher to hear his


thoughts ahead of the champions. How does it feel, to be a world leader?


It is a good start. We have been together for two weeks. Pete is


enjoying sculling and I am enjoying sculling. You famously rode with


Richard Chambers at the last Olympics, you have swapped brothers,


what is the difference? It is a lot more relaxed with Peter. We had a


bit of an on-off season last year through injuries are things, it did


not quite go to plan. Have you talked about ambitions for the


season? We will go to the first World Cup, we produced a good result


but now it is about getting back to training and focusing on the next


race. It will be difficult. We have the French, the Olympic champions.


People will be gunning for us a bit more now. We also know what we do


but we have still got a few tricks up our sleeve. You are following


Jurgen Klopp lured the chief coach. You have a different coaching setup


-- Jurgen Klopp. How was it different? The lads have done out


for a run, we never used to run but now we're running up and down the


bank. Does he have a lot of contact with you? A surprising amount. He


will come into the crew room and have a word. You say what he has


said and it is cool. We are excited about going out to a race. Halfway


mark, clear water with the Olympic champions, France. Great Britain


coming through and they continue to be in fourth place.


They will have to turn the screw if they are going to take it on. Poland


in name number one. They are pushing hard. They will have looked at the


Times and the speeds of all of these crews from the semifinals and they


will know that the Irish ode on the brothers got quicker and quicker as


they progress. Look at the owls. The Irish now, they have got to cover,


to get the overlap and then the Polish will start attacking the


Italians. I think the Irish have rowed through chambers and Fletcher


and they will be hounding the Italians and the Polish. The


Italians will not want to lose to the Polish crew. They will not want


to lose to someone in the last race of the final. Everything will be


brought to a head because of the Irish. The French have got this into


the bag but the Irish could throw something into the mix. A Markov


what Olympic champions do. They go clear and based have the fastest


boat speed. The Italians are being pushed on by Ireland in the


left-hand part your picture. 500 metres remaining. The Irish are in


another two. They are currently in fourth. They had a good third 500.


They have an overlap on Poland on the right. They have an overlap with


the Italians on your left and they will have to pull hard. They have


done that time and again. They keep their heads up. It is not pretty but


it is effective. I am going with the Irish coming through here to get


onto the medal podium. They have the fastest boat speed race but only by


a fraction. They have more than a fraction to pull back. I feel that


they can get to within a canvas in the last 300 metres but it is going


to be a matter of not just getting close but cracking either the polls


or the Italians. They have gone again. It is gritting your teeth


stuff now. They are right on the edge, right on the limit and 200


metres to go. This is a battle of wills. It is a mindset here. Who


will hold? Who will crack. Will be the Italians -- they will get the


Italians. The Irish put the power against Poland. The Olympic


champions France have gone. They are going to come second. This is


incredible stuff now from Ireland. The ode Donovan brothers who have


pulled like dogs through their career. They are doing it again.


They will get into the silver medal position. France are the European


champions. They are Olympic champions and European champions.


That is the distance of Great Britain coming across the line now


in last place. That shows you where this event is going and how tough it


is and how good you have to be. The Olympic champions are now the


European champions. Disappointing them for Peter Chambers and Will


Fletcher. They would have expected to be a bit quicker than that. If


ever there was a field at European level which is about as hot as it


is, the men's lightweight double it is. Probably a little bit too hot


for the British combination at this stage. As painful as it watch from a


British point of view, you can guarantee it would be worse to be


sitting in that boat at the end. All of those crews voracious racing


across the line and the British limped across at the back of the


field. They will be so disappointed with the result. I do how they will


feel about the performance. It was fast and theories from the start. As


limited before we have a very excited Irish TV and just talk about


the O'Donovans and what they bring to the sport. They bring a very good


athletic level but they also bring so much entertainment. They say the


things we feel as athletes but we do not always say front of a TV camera,


pulling like a dog and all that, all the great turns of phrase is that


makes it real somehow. But let's not forget the amazing success from the


Olympic champions, the French double is spectacular. They were absolutely


brilliant last year. Really, really setting standards in every race they


did. We have not seen them yet this year. We were not sure how they


would come back for a fresh new start for the post-Olympic season.


They are looking good. Gary, Paul, cumin, you are looking tired in the


legs. He does not have the strength to carry the flag. Does it make a


difference in Olympic champions? Sun rowing is rowing. We raised these


guys over the last few years. And Peter. It is great fun of what we


enjoy hanging out with the guys in the boat park. It is great


enjoyment. Will you ever have a race when you're leading in the last 500


instead of storming through? Gives some excitement! Good for the


crowds. We get a bit of enjoyment out of it too. Olympic medallists,


European medallists, what is next? Sun we will go home and then we will


go to the World Cup. We will go to Lucerne. Great performance, great to


see a smiling as ever. Thank you for the chat. Thank you. So we turned to


the winning's lightweight double and that has been a change in


combination for the British crew. The rumour mill is going ten to the


dozen, that has been an official statement from British Rowing about


the change in combination, do we know what is going on? The official


statement is it is about getting success this weekend and Emily


Chambers of the best form of success. I think Charlie and cat had


a traumatic experience back in Rio. They have both talked about that. I


think everything is being dealt with. I think they raced much better


than we have seen in a long time when they raced in Belgrade but in a


tie between Belgrade and Europeans here, things are not really settled.


The idea is they will try a slightly different combination and see what


happens on the field. There is a lot still to play in this dramatic story


of the lightweight winning's doubles and hopefully it will end in


success. OK, out on the water for Copeland and Craig. Great Britain


were looking for a little bit more squeezed as they come into this


regatta. A last minute change brought Emily Craig into the stroke


seat. And with her is Pat Copeland. The Netherlands are in lane of a


one, Romania in two, Italy three, France, four, Poland in a number


six. Netherlands are the Olympic champions.


A really good calibre. Closest to us is Poland.


Weronika Deresz was in the bowl seat. They were seven in the Olympic


Games. We are through 300 metres. Just checking where Great Britain


are. Not about to start at all. Look at the water, absolutely glorious


conditions here. It shows you the crews are on the same level in terms


of weight. This is an eyesight from a spectator's point of view. The


British had the worst start but they have settled into a good pace. They


are clawing back on the French in the lane outside them. It is a good


start. They are in the mix where for the first 200 metres they did not


seem to have the pace but now they have to hold that speed right


through the middle of the race which they did not do in the first World


Cup. Let's see if the change has been a positive one as well as the


field getting stronger. They are settling at their race


pace, the Italian, all the Italian, whether men, women, continue to be


high, they like that sort of speed of quick strokings but they have to


be efficient. The Italians sitting in about third place, on a stroke


per stroke basis. Closest on this side Poland. Starting to come down


again. You see Britain holding on 35, France on 34. The Italians have


move down to 36 strokes again. Again, finding that rhythm, that


all-important platform. The Brits' rhythm is strong, after a less than


sparkling first minute of the race, they have held the speed of everyone


but the French, they are coming back into the mix. It will be interesting


in the third quarter of this race. This is where it really start. The


lactic acid built up in the first half will be there and you still


have 1,000 metres left. At 18 years of age Claire Bove is the stroke


woman, at the half way mark, she is the youngest of all the finalists


here, and she is leading the French crew, in phenomenal style here in


this first thousand metres but this is now the real danger zone. The


third five where positions start to change. Do we push up 1100, 1200 or


1250? All round you start moving round. The British crew are closest.


One up Craig an Copeland, again going well. The Olympic champions at


the top, from Netherlands. You see they, they are in the group but


everything they have done so far has kept them in the group. This is a


phenomenal now final here. 2017 lightweight women's double scullses


a the European Championships and Great Britain, they came, Emily


Craig came in last minute for Charlotte Booth. Looking for boat


speed. It seems to be there. It does now, it was here with 750 metres


left the last time they raced. It was from this point on wards that


with booth in the crew they started to slow down, so now there is a


chance they can make the podium here, I think the French have gone,


but the rest of the field is covered by half a lent. If the Brits can


stick with the the Pole, they could find themselves on the podium. The


perfect lane between the two fastest crew, the French and the Pole, they


can stick with them, and drawn in a race with them, we could see on the


podium. That is perfect. It will be very close for Kat Copeland and


Emily Craig because they are in the bronze medal position but they are


being chased by Italy in lane three, Romania in lane two and in lane one


are the Olympic champions from Netherlands. Here we go, last 500


metres. 50 stroke, they will have had it planned, right down to each


and every single stroke here. They will know what they need to do and


the British crew will have to step on and step on again, because coming


hard at them Rodini and Cesarini from Italy. Romania, they lead,


making calls here and that alsos is a -- affected. Netherlands, the


Olympic champions are still in this fight.


And the Netherlands and Romanians have an advantage. They are fighting


for the bronze medal but they are next to each other. They could find


themselves drawing level with the British, who, although they are


right in the mix, are a long way behind Poland. But France, they have


cooked their goose early and they could be coming off the boil. It is


all to play for now. Emily Craig having come in late to the British


crew, on thes of experience. The French have blown. The Italian on


the far side. The Italians in lane three, they have gone to the left.


They are out. France in four pushing on, Great Britain in fifth have to


watch out. Look how close it is. It is nip end tuck. Terrible on each


and every stroke, one crew moves on, the other sits back. It is anybody's


call here, up at the first, our first full view of Netherlands.


Paulis to the left of your picture, calling it for everything, for the


last part. We are down to 75 metre, there is a bit under ten strokes


remaining. Closest we have Poland in lane six, Poland coming up right in


front of the commentary position, and Great Britain are going to look


to be on the podium. They are currently in bronze medal. They will


fight the last couple of strokes up to the line for the bronze medal.


They are coming through in bronze and Netherlands on the top, it looks


like they came across an it took a huge effort from the Olympic


champion, Netherlands, just to secure into the silver medal


position. Craig and Copeland, they were consistent through that. Some


of the crews have been together all winter and these girls have been


together less than a week, that was in a strong field, in a really tough


event, it was a perfect starting position.


So of all the crews from the British team here at the European


Championships think we would have put the women's lightweight fairly


low on the medal wish list. That has been fantastic. I hope they are


pleased with that. Again, it was like we saw in the men's race, fast


and furious racing all the way the line. Changing were happens in the


last few hundred metres and that is when you have to keep your head


clear, focus and I know how to get across the line. With a new


combination that is when it can come under the biggest test. They nailed


it. In a new combination like that, how do you divide who does what?


They might have started with a handshake, how are we going to do


this? They know each other, you need to know each other's strengths and


weakness, we can ask them ourselves. Come on in. Don't hang about.


Congratulations. How was that? Yes, it was savage. We knew like going


into it, everyone was going to be like, there are six boats so it


could have come from anywhere. It was like using the people round us


but a bit in the last bit just like sort of heads down and do whatever


we could. So, yes, I think it's pretty good as a first regatta. What


were you thinking in the last dying stages studio I hadn't got a clue


what was going on, I was just doing what Kat told me to do. And putting


in what we had been working on in the ten days we had together. I mean


we didn't know what has happened when we crossed the line, so to find


out, we got a medal was just, I just, yeah. How do you decide who


does what in the boat? How do you play to your strengths when it is


still new? One thing we talked about was bringing what make eaches of us


a great athlete into this and working together, but bringing,


bringing together what makes us great as individuals. So with


decisions to be made now about what is going forward. You will see your


coach in a few minute, what are you going to be saying to him? Erdots


dots we have been working on length and that is all that has been


shouted at us, so he will say we could have rowed longer, but, I


think we just said, we will go and race and see where we are, we don't


know what is happening yet. All we can do is enjoy it and see how good


we can do. It is not up to us, yes. They will put out whatever they


think is the fastest. Has it been tough for you. Yes, I think I would


be lying if I said it I hadn't. It has been really tough, but you know,


I think it is testament to our group we have five or six fantastic girls


and we can put out a mixture of combinations and whatever we put out


will be up there, so I have got confidence in that, and I have


confidence in the coaches, to get us in the right place.


Well done, what a fantastic performance for you both to come


away with a medal. Enjoy the ceremony. Than, more than


Belgrade. So from the women's lightweight


double to the men's four. Another event we have great history in. Let


us see how they get on. It has been a while since we have


seen a British crew in lane two, that is where Great Britain are in


the final of the men's four. From lane one, develop of the mixture


Romania, Great Britain in two, Russia if three, watch them now,


they will be out quick and fast in this first 100, that is the British


crew, some lane orders since we, seed order change, Moe Sbihi comes


to stroke. Callum McBrierty is sitting in the three. Satch is in


two. The Italians in four. All of these were bronze medals in the


Olympic Games last year, in two boats. The men's pair and the men's


four. The Italians going out fast. Led now by the stroke seat.


Netherlands in five, lane six France. The Italians 45 strokes a


minute, which is high. That is high, but the, that is like trying to run


with holding your breath. They will build up lactic acid. But the good


thing is, from their perspective there may be in debt but they are


leading the race. The worst is if you go off that hard you are not


winning. That is not text book rowing. The Dutch hitting, I don't


know if they are hit a buoy which has put them out. You can still see


they are down on the line. They are in lane five. Still the Italians as


we're go through the 500 metre mark. About a third of a length now over


Russia in lane three, and Great Britain will be reasonably pleased


with this start, in that they have got through the 500 metre mark, they


are in the mix, they are in the pack, and for them now, it is all


about length and just finding that rhythm. How hard will it be on Will


Satch moving into the two seat. First and foremost, they are closer


to the Russians than yesterday, so they will be happy. For Will, to be


honest he would rather be in the two seat and win than in the stroke seat


and lose. It is a bit of a snub. He has paid the price of having his


seat shifted, but, if they beat the Italians who weren't in the race


last time out, then, it will have moved on and he can cope with that.


You want to hear your anthem not someone es's. Still the Italians are


on 40. They are racing like they are racing an eight. The men's eight you


go along at 40 strokes a minute. This is the coxless four


heavyweights and the Italians are all seasoned professionals here,


just almost now out to one length, as we head to the half way mark on


the far side. Romania still quick. This Romanian crew have come out of


nowhere. The 20-year-old in the stroke seat. He is suddenly finding


form. Half way mark, through in clear water just the Italian, they


have taken it out the start. Consolidated in the second. The


British crew are in fifth. They could be happy with themselves. They


won't be. We are used to see the British crew go through half way a


lent up. We have seen the Italians go through a length up and not a


lent up on Britain, they are two lengths up on Britain, I have yet to


see in the last five or six years a Romanian crew have a good three


races in a regatta. They may have a good heat or representative but that


is it. The Romanians and the Russians have put together a good


series of races, and the dangerous is now having watched the Dutch have


that shipwreck the British could be involved. What has gone wrong? First


500 they would have been happy with that. They were in and among it.


That were closers to the Russians. It is too much of a task for Moe


Sbihi, to focus on getting that rhythm? That is a, the thing is,


that what with we were told is don't make the race faster than you need


it to be. Just make sure you are in the mix. The British four, from the


heat and the semi, they knew they had to be fast, so they have gone


out and they have had to try and make the race fast, and they were in


the mix. But they are making the very fast, they got into debt and


they weren't at the sharp end. Now they are paying the price. The


Italians are three hens up. 1500 through the Italians still at 40.


They have clean water. Water. The French have a race ahead, and Great


Britain still in that fifth position, so the middle thousand has


not been so ineffectual more the British crew. There is a major


possibility here that the British crew won't get on to the podium


here. It is clear water, so the amount of work they have to do to


get into a medal posed you position is just phenomenal. They won't get


on the podium. And to be honest I think that is is a good thing,


because if you are going to get a kicking get a good kicking and it


will force the whole structure and team to think we immediate to go


back and sort it out for the next race. This is not good enough. This


crew, in this order, they will not get back on terms so they need to


switch it round or change personnel. Look, we talked about this, look at


the right-hand side, the Italian, up high but they are long. Long


sweeping stroke, they quick and on it, the legs go down but the length


and we compare and contrast to the British crew, they are starting to


straighten up. Beyond being on the back foot they will not they are not


getting on the podium. The race for the silver medal on far side.


Romania in lane one, pushing it on hard. The Romanians got beaten by


the Brit in the the semi yesterday. This is why the Brits will be in the


way. The Italians really have done it in style today, European


champions, and being pushed to it by Romania in second, Russia in third


and the British crew will be in fifth. The head down, major upset


here. This isn't just a World Cup regatta, this is a European


Championship. So a big marker at the opening stage of this Olympiad, and


the British Heavyweight men's four has come in fifth position.


If ever there was a boat with a bit of history behind it. That was the


men's four. It is surprise we haven't got anywhere near a medal.


We have seen they were nowhere where they would like to be and people


expect them to be. That result will be a shock to hem and also to the


rest of the team. It is, to see the boat be hit badly by that result is


quite big. It is not often you can can the question about whether


Jurgen has anything wrong, if you have the stroke of the Olympic eight


and a gold medallist in the middle, and Moe Sbihi stroking the four who


doesn't really have a track record of stroking, is everything all right


in the men's four? It is an interesting question, I mean, we


have seen Jurgen, he moves crews round, he tries different things.


Moe Sbihi is an Olympic medallist in his own right. It is not a bad thing


to have tried. It is whether Jurgen will put that result down to the


order or if there is something more behind the scenes. Which ever way


you paint it is disappointing. What does Jurgen do now. He will say that


is not our level. That is not our level. I don't think that is is


right. Then what happens? He will say let's not talk about it today,


we will talk about it tomorrow and you will go home, fly hope, there


will be a sort of Moody silence on the plane home tonight I would


imagine. To be fair that is with a lot of crews we have seen, some have


been surprises in a positive way. Great result, positive step forward


for a lot of crew, some we are seeing not where they want or need


to be. But probably that answer, it takes time. Let it bed in, look at


the run up, how the training went and make decisions going forward.


OK, next event in the women's quad. Let us hope for another positive


surprise, back out to Gary and James.


As we go into the third 500 of this final of the women's sculls, Great


Britain in five. They have given themselves a platform in which to


step on. Holly Nixon laid none the three seat, Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne


two, Bethany Bryan in the bow seat for the British crew. They have


given themselves a brilliant platform. They were sitting fourth


at half way, they have to step on, take that confidence and keep the


length but now we want more speed. You can watch the legs go down, the


speed of rate hasn't changed. I would expect Great Britain to be 34,


starting to push on, so they have classy crews on either side. Two


returning from that boat. On their left, lane six the Olympic


champions, Germany, a different line up but a great pedigree, they have


to keep right on it. And the Poles as well. If you said to the British


girls, right you will behind Germany and Poland, they would have taken


that and right now they have a chance to get the bronze medal over


Poland. This is a very good performance and they are right


behind the Dutch. Sensational middle, third 500 now for Great


Britain, led by Holly Nixon, we are looking there at Germany. Stroking


through the last 500 metre, so just checking the positions then. So


Germany still one length ahead of Great Britain, who are this third


place, they have moved up from fourth, so turning that screw in the


third 500 metre. They could surprise themselves here. They could get the


Dutch. That would have been way ahead of expectation, what the


Germans are showing is the robust belief you have from being


successful, yes they they be new to the event, Germany are good in the


quad. 400 out, the British crew responding. Now they want to be


hungry, they want to hunt it down and think, we are keeping the


overlap. The overlap on Germany which we are looking at, will get us


level and through, that is your mind set, the Dutch who are the Olympic


silver medallist, they are behind, and two of that crew are back in


that boat there, they are half a lent down, we are inside about 200


metres now, 20 stroke, 20 of best strokes of their careers so far are


required to become silver medallists at the European Championship,


Germany are closest to us, on the far side Netherlands in lane four,


the experience of Netherlands you would have thought should hold the


British charge. They are no going to give to it the British. This is a


good, good race from our girls. Brilliant display from Great Britain


in the sculls, last 100 out there. Germany have been sensational from


the off. They have held the European nations against them. To the line,


it is Germany European champions, Netherlands on the silver medallist


and Great Britain are bronze medallists. That is a job very well


done. They are screaming and exhausted and they can demonstrate,


we can enjoy that, given that right the way through they have done


everything that was asked of them. They can be very pleased with that.


The Dutch will be disappointed. Their silver medal behind Germany at


the Olympic, they thought they could cake take out a fresh German crew.


The British girls to take out the Poles that is a big step forward.


There was a point where we thought they might get the Dutch. Next time


out they should be aiming for them. If our body language was slumped


after the men's four, that is a huge fillip for everyone to have. That is


unexpected. Today seems to be feast or famine. It is, we didn't expect


the result coming in, it feels disappointing or amazing success


that three weeks' ago you wouldn't have predicted that result. Back in


Belgrade it was a small field. They were third out of three. We were


sort of thinking about measuring them against the competitors they


were racing back then but they have done better. The Dutch and the Poles


they finished behind in Belgrade have got, both crews have got


athletes that are Olympic medallists and weer were saying in Belgrade,


this is a young inexperienced crew from the British team, so perhaps


the third would have been disappointing to them. However, they


can step up from there, they have stepped on three week, they are


beating crews that beat them three weeks' ago and putting in a mature


level of racing, they were behind, they weren't where they wanted to be


and then they kept their heads and moved through the field. There was a


moment in ta race, Gary and James picked it out where they were


slipping behind and the race was moving away from them, and just at


the moment they needed to dig in and hang on they did. Yes, and that is


that decision making in the heat of battle. And you know, you can get


that from experience, these girls are learning that all the time.


Every race they are out there they will pick up something more, that is


what we want to see from them. They are a young crew, loving life. That


were disappointed with Belgrade but they have bounced back, they have


come back and they would have been thrilled by that race that, the


racing you want. You want it to be in the mix of it and changing


happening all time. How is the gap between Belgrade and here? It was


tough, but, like, hard work got us here, so we worked so hard and just


had to trust, had to trust each other. Made some big changes. We


didn't have an easy run from here to Belgrade. It put us in the right


place. We had to trust each other and that is what got us down. What


did you work on physically and mentally. To take on that level of


racing is impressive. We changed the order round and committed in


training to just letting the boat do the work for us and I think that


really paid off in the middle, because we knew our start wasn't the


fastest, as the Polish or Dutch. We knew if we stuck to our guns it


would pay off. Holly finished us off. How did it feel from there?


Nervewracking, it was my first time. I had a good unit behind me. They


fed the rhythm back to me, it was a full crew effort. Well done, we will


be enjoying the ceremony with you. Thank you.


So from a successful women's quad we turn to the men's event. It is


another unit with a lot of changes through injury and illness, before


we see them race, let us catch up with one of the team members Johnny


Walton. I think the best bit has to be


racing, like all the hard work that we do in rowing, all the winter


miles, all the early mornings, all the cold stars, to be side by side


with six other international crews like, that is what we train for and


what we do it for. For training it has to be Australia on a river that


we did, that was, yes, just so beautiful, like jungle either side


and then for racing, it did have its moments but Rio lake with Christ the


redeemer looking down, it was a magical backdrop.


It has to be John Collins who have rowed with for the last three


seasons. Seasons. We are almost like a married couple, ending each


other's sentences in the boat. Psychologically linked, some might


say. Through the thousand metres, six


boats. 24 rower, I was going to say the eye is drawn to the name of one


person, Olaf Tufte in the crew from Norway, in lane three, but they,


they could do something here, a bit of a Sorcerer and his three


apprentices going on in that boat. He is in the back, he is the back


end of pack, so a good third 500 might get him in contention for a


bronze medal. Out front is Lithuania, being pushed or having


taken on the lead from Great Britain, Great Britain set the early


speed in the first 500 metres. Out to the half way mark. From there,


really, coming through half way mark, Lithuania said thank you, we


will take it from here, they have done that into the third 500.


But good story from the British quad and a good race so far. Closest to


us here Poland. Look at the Norwegians. Third from the top. They


were three seconds behind after 500 metres and now they are coming up


into fourth and they will be, the next is Great Britain. Great Britain


are ahead of them now, they will be charging and Pete Lambert has left


everything out there. The Lithuanians have a better rhythm and


it is up to our boys to hold on. They are in a perfect position to


get on podium. The Norwegians are coming through hard. So as we come


through 1500 metre, the Lithuanian boat is travelling beautifully


between strokes here, it is running on over the water, they make it look


easy. It is far from but when all the ingredients come together, these


things can fly. Look at that. That is an amazing difference here and


Great Britain are on the far side. It is a different approach. It St a


more brutal in terms of pushing it along here. They don't have the


experience in this boat in terms of Lithuanian, and what not, they have


to rely on sheer power, brute and upstairs, all in the head here, as


we Colin to the closing stages. 400 out. The Brits are racing well. They


have put their hand in the flame from the start. They are holding on.


The Lithuanians are going quicker than everyone else. The British are


going the same speed as everyone else. That is what they need to do.


This is a brave race. They could get on the podium. Braver. Olaf Tufte


stroking the Norwegian crew in lane three. 41. He is coming on strong


now, in terms of challenging Great Britain up there in lane one.


Challenging Poland in lane six. Watch the crew in the middle lane


three, sneak, it is like they are going to rob a medal here, they are


going to steal a medal from Great Britain or Poland and you are never


write off Olaf Tufte. Making it easy, Lithuania will look back on


the fight. The silver medal goes to Poland and the Italians third. We


will have to wait for confirmation, one thing for sure Lithuania are a


class act. The Lithuanians raced very well.


They weren't thrown by the Brits storming out in the start. They got


into a great rhythm. That carried them through the middle. By the end


we had four crews going for two medals and unfortunately it look


like the Brits have finished on the negative side of that.


So the women's adequate disappearing down the steps with their medal.


Less positive about the men's quad, but I don't think realistically we


could expect them to be in a medal position? I don't know the we should


be less positive. It would have been lovely to see the men's quad on the


podium. We have had a change of personnel because of illness, that


unsettles the boat. Pete coming in, stroking that boat, they put


themselves in the best position to get a medal. It was a brave piece of


racing, in the end it wasn't enough. But I think a big move on from what


we have seen. Let us take a moment to take a pause from the action, out


on the water, the British team this weekend are wearing black ribs on


their racing strip. Gary and James have mentioned this twice. It has


been both because of the atrocity in Manchester last weekend, and because


of the passing of the Chairman of British rowing Dai Ellis, and the


current holder of that position is Annamarie Fhelps, who joins me to


talk about Dai. You knew her probably in an about release


capacity and administrator, what was she like? She was an incredible


woman. She had a presence about her. When she was there you felt


confident. You felt things were OK, Di is here, she is reassure, and a


fantastic mentor adviser to so many women and men across British sport.


I can never remember as an athlete or involved in the sport since,


having an argument with Di, but you and especially as an ex-coxon, you


were never aware of her opinion, she was never aggressive about anything.


No, she never told you what to do. She always asked the right


questions, she was able to sort of influence and change the way you


thought by just questioning and asking you things she had a slight


his determined glint in her eye which sometimes was wicked. She was


amazing, most fantastic sort of calming influence, think on the team


and the organisation. OK, let's turn our attention to the


winning's eight, an event which Di as a Cox would have liked to have


had a chance on. Let's go back onto the water with Garry and James.


We are at the halfway mark in this women's eight. Great Britain are


well poised in this event. Romania are sitting in Lane number five. We


have just to watch the Netherlands. They are poised to move strongly in


this. The British crew look like they are front loading it. They have


to keep it long that key bit hard, just bang out 25 long hard strokes.


The Dutch, they have a real natural flow and it is easy floating speed


from the Dutch in Lane number four. The Dutch are a very even paced


nation. They do not go out hard, they pace it well. The British crew,


they are a new crew. They do not want to have a fatal discharge at


the end, yes, they may suffer in the last 500 metres but they have to put


together a really good 1500 metres, the Dutch crew are going to be hard


to hold now. Keep bit long up in the British crew.


All of them really now coming together stop this now is about


keeping Russia in number three. Sensational stuff. 1500 metres and


they have been absolutely incredible. Romania in Lane number


five, they have taken with them the crew from the Netherlands in Lane


number four. The race now is on the bronze medal between Great Britain


and Russia. The British crew really nailed it hard in that first 500.


They consolidated a good position in the race. Have they expended too


much energy in that? A young crew. They should just row with flair now.


Key bit long, keep it good but just go for it. It doesn't matter, they


have done brilliantly in the first 1000 metres. Now it is like race for


medals, hold off the Russians and enjoyed it. Good thing is they won't


be enjoying it now because they redlined it in the first half. But


they did not race for bronze. If they raced for bronze they could be


enjoying it more but they have put themselves in a position to try and


be first and second but now they are in a dogfight with the Russians for


bronze. Romania looking like the Romanian aids of old. They're


getting that speed. As soon as the Blades have covered, the boat has


gone. Our goals are going to miss out to the Russians, I think. Once


your speed starts to go in and eight, it you cannot get it back.


Brilliant at 1500 metres, sensational. Coming towards the line


for the European Championship title. Romania getting the gold medal now.


Come from the Netherlands and the Russians having more in the tank in


the last 500 metres. Russia taking the bronze and Great Britain coming


through in fourth place. That is a brilliant fourth place. They will be


disappointed to be off the medals but they did everything in the first


1000 metres. They will go back and say let's put the next 500 together


and step-by-step as we head towards the World Championships. So, the


cross in fourth. Probably some inexperience in bat crew. We were


talking about dialysis. -- we were talking about Di Ellis. The


remaining crew were looking classy. The remaining crew won the pairs


event a few hours earlier. They already have winning experience in


that boat already and they showed their class today. I think it is


still very new, very developing for the British crew. We have seen bits


of them which have shown they have some speed where it is important


that speed but now they have to extend it for longer. The next


British boat to go is Victoria Thornley in the single sculls. We


thought, who could we send along to see Vicky, have a good cup of tea


and a chinwag? Hello! Welcome. Is the cattle on?


Yes. You are making tea again, it is like being back in training camp?


Isn't it just? The last time we did something in front of a BBC camera


it was in front of Copacabana by beach. Thornley and Granger. They


will need to have one last push. Legs down and harder, harder again.


The last five, they are hanging on. Poland getting Olympic gold. It is a


silver medal today. It stands testament to the power of self


belief. There is the closing ceremony and


they say join us and we will do it again in four years' time, did you


think no way or maybe or sign me up already? I think I was maybe virgin


towards yes but I knew I needed a bit of time to decompress and think


about it properly because it is a long time, for years, so you have to


be fully committed. I knew I needed to take many holidays before it. Did


it feel different having that Olympic medal in your pocket? Yes,


in London we did amazing things post-Olympics, but there is always


that feeling that I was devastated with the result, but having my


silver medal there made everything nicer. I was really smiling from


deep down because it was so special. Does it still feel that way now,


nine months on? Yes. Sometimes I go into my drawer to see where the


medleys and I just hold it because it is heavy. It is nice to get it


out now now and then. Lets go and see you doing hula hoop again. Maybe


you should try to expect no! This is a lovely garden. It is a bit of


serenity. Do you use it as a haven when all. Things are happening in


the rowing world? Yes, it is nice to come back to and look out on the


fields. It is a bit of serenity for post-rowing. Howl easy is it for you


to switch off? I'm getting better. I used to be terrible. I have other


things in my life now to distract me when I'm not in the boat and I think


that is good. To be thinking about constantly when you're not in the


boat is exhausting. For recovery mentally it is good to think about


other things. We had a challenging last part of the journey leading up


to Rio and there was a point when you could have walked away within


two months of the games. I think that showed how much it had affected


me and how much it had taken out of me. The processors I had put in


place since London and I felt it was not paying off like I had hoped it


would and at that point I was in a really low place. I knew if we were


going to go with the double I needed to give you and the boat deserved


the drive to drive it on for the next two months and I needed to find


that and make sure I could sign up for that and actually I found out I


had a bit more strength than I thought in that area and when we got


back in the double, it was probably the most enjoyable time, even though


the pressure was highest with six weeks to go. It was the most


enjoyable time we had had in the boat. Since then you have decided to


go solo. Does it feel a different level for you now? A different


ambition and project? I know the challenge I am faced in the single.


It is a vent but it is something I want to try and crack if I can. It


is something I enjoy. Not many people enjoy rolling around on their


own for hundreds of col matters but I enjoy it. It is different,


one-on-one. The shack hundreds of kilometres. It is a bit different.


The silver medal going to Vicky Thornley. A great start to 2007 four


Vicky Thornley. This is your third Olympiad now. Did you ever think


about being a star athlete when you are first headhunted for this, this


is what you would be doing? Know, even after London I thought Rio and


that would be it but this sport gets you hooked, as you no! I cannot deny


that. It does help you win and you constantly want to see what you're


capable of. For me, it is that, it is a kind of personal Kyrgios city


of where can I get to, how good can I be? -- it is a personal Kyrgios


city. -- If you get it wrong in a single, you


get it very wrong. There is no one else to carry your bags for you.


Latvia in one, Sweden in two, Great Britain, Vicky Thornley, 29 years of


age, sitting in three. It is the first time of her choosing to come


out in a single sculls. Previously in 2014 and 2013 she finished


eighth. She is a different sculler this time. As is the competitor in


Lane eight, she would be the first one who has competed under the old


USSR flag. When I was competing in the Junior Championships she was


there. I stopped 12 years ago and she is still going! She is an


amazing athlete. If Vicky was going to do anything,


she was not going to have it all her own way.


Germany at the 500 meter mark by a length, Vicky Thornley currently in


fourth place. That is OK, these boats can change very quickly. A


quick easy speed. A length isn't a big difference. A length in a


single, with a changing with them and getting the pace, you can make


that up Fred quickly. It is not where she would like to be. Within a


length, it is OK. She has already clawed that back to half a length.


When we'll start to come off, they start to come. There is a long way


to go in the singles still. There is Fie Erichsen from Denmark.


She was fourth in the Olympics. It is a difficult event. Raising 2000


metres on your own. You have to go through that process a number of


times to work out how to do it. Vicky is on that learning curve. She


has probably got more potential than Fie Erichsen that she has more


experience. Without a doubt Vicky Thornley has had a very strong


second 500. She has really paced herself well. They will be fighting


it out as we move into the third 500 metres. At 44 years of age,


Ekaterina Karsten, this is her 26 international season and she is in


amongst it all causing problems, disrupting at all. It is brilliant,


fantastic. In name three, still hunting, Vicky Thornley, long,


strong strokes, as you would expect. It looks like Fie Erichsen just


putting on a bit more pressure and Annekatrin Thiele from Germany is


the one who had about the length of clear water going into the second


500. She is struggling now. Fie Erichsen never really found her form


after London 2012. She took a couple of years. It is her experience


versus Vicky's potential and Vicky is a better athlete. That is the


battle now. In terms of raw speed, I think Vicky has it but in terms of


raising now, Fie Erichsen has it. At the moment Vicky is winning the


battle but the finish line is a decider. This is the first time in


her career at a major championships, Vicky Thornley hits the front. She


has two consolidate that. Depending on how she feels, she is not giving


anything away in her facial expression. She now has two back


herself. That is what he have to do in the single sculls. She thinks I


do not want to leave this now to chance. Step on, step one. She has


to shut the door now. She is sitting there, Fie Erichsen can still feel


her presence but if she shuts the door, kicks on by another campus,


she will be out of the peripheral vision and take to the cleaners.


When a margin is this type, you're still susceptible. They have dropped


Ekaterina Karsten from Belarus. She is in fourth place. There are three


boats vying for Gold medal. We have Vicky Thornley from Great Britain,


Fie Erichsen from Denmark in a number four, Annekatrin Thiele in


Lane number five. She is not dead yet. She is coming back. I didn't


think Vicky will let her back in. All class scullers. Vicky Thornley


has gone out. She has responded to that. Responded to the German. It


does not look like Fie Erichsen has enough in the tank. She has been


like a shark or the layout to 1250, then the decisive move came and she


has jumped out of a length of clear water. Now again she has to think,


going through the last 250 metres, one more push will absolutely


anything clear water and that will do it. Looking back at Fie Erichsen


of Denmark. But the German sculler Annekatrin Thiele from Germany is


starting to move back again. She has got an overlap. We are about 200 out


here. It is not all over yet for Vicky Thornley. Vicky is high in the


rate. She has gone. But Annekatrin Thiele is matching her. She has gone


off hard. She has not got long enough to hope the wheels fall off


Vicky's truck. She has raised Eriksson. 100 out from the line


here. Look at Ekaterina Karsten. The old warhorse is coming back to the


party. She is absolutely bursting through in number 60. She is


instilled a medal position. Vicky Thornley will have to hang on. It


will be a desperate last few strokes that Vicky Thornley, European


champion. Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus came right through out of


nowhere. The last 200 metres when Denmark and Germany were asleep.


Caught napping. Ekaterina Karsten of 44 years of age is the European


silver medallist that Vicky Thornley from Great Britain made history here


again. European champion in the single skull for Great Britain. A


fantastic effort. There will be all sorts of people in the British


Rowing setup who will be breathing a fire of relief. What a race for


Victoria Thornley. Absolutely. That was the race of the day for me by a


long way. We always talk about the singles event of being a real mind


game, one-on-one. Fair play to Ekaterina Karsten who is coming in


at the grand old age. The old warhorse she was called in


commentary! That is when you still have it here and the body can


respond. An incredible fight to the end. For Vicky, really holding her


nerve. She moved to where she needed to and suddenly, that immense battle


at the end. She is taking her time coming towards us because she is not


walking well but she has got weeks to recover. And so nicely poised and


paced throughout the race. You never got the impression she put all of


her cards down on the table, she always had a little bit in reserve


and she needed it until the dying few strokes. We saw the taste of


that in Belgrade when she got into a fight for the silver medal. She is


always worried if she has enough at the end of the race and she has


trained twice in a row that she does.


Come on, we can hear from you. I had to bide my time and I thought I will


have to come through now and I kept plugging away at it. I think that


about all 50 I broke away from the Dane. It was tricky. I had to


readjust and pick up a bit. I really pleased. I have not been a champion


at anything since I was here eight years ago so European champion is


cool. I think European champion in a single scull something Britain


hasn't done for a decade. It is a superb achievement. Thank you very


much. No stage in the race did it look that you had put all your cards


down on the table. It looked very poised and controlled. I think I


executed it well but it was probably less calm and controlled as it was


three weeks ago but I managed to stay ahead. Where are you on the


scale of where you think you are and where you could be? I do know. It is


hard to know. I did not come back until January into full-time


training. I am still really building back-up to my best fitness. That


will take a bit longer but it is good that it is a long season for


me. Who is left to come into the event, dear even care? I got beaten


by the Swiss three weeks ago. She is not here today. I am very aware that


she put down a big market in Belgrade. New Zealand, America,


Canada? Exactly, a lot of people to come into it. We will wait and I


will enjoy this for now. So you should. Well-deserved. We have won


the British crew left ago added as the men's eight. I will throw you


for the last time today over to the commentators, Garry and James.


Halfway mark, men's championships, by NN, just, Poland and Russia. It


is a really critical position. The British crew have got to maintain


the momentum, keep the speed and the length. Rather than pushing to stay


up, you want to be on the front that rather than the back foot. You want


to be pushing from a positive position. Therein a watershed other


men in their race. They can go down one side and end up battling for


bronze or they can go down the other side and end up in last place. At


the moment, it is very difficult to see where it is going. The Romanians


are having a bad race. They are in the third 536 strokes a minute you


cannot be in 36 strokes a minute in a European Championship final in


men's eight and be down there and expect to be in the medals. Poland


pushing an hard there. Germany got the Clearwater. You can see they


have relaxed. They will still keep the pace but you will see the boat


flying. Look. The blades come out, the boat travels on, the blades come


out, the boat travels on. Journey have lost three World Championships


and an Olympics to us. They will not go through the same thing again.


When you have one of the eight returning you end up battling the


Germans for first place. Great Britain have slipped back from


fourth into fifth position here so they really are on the back foot.


Germany led from the 250 metre mark. They have established an incredible


footprint. They go out, lead and dominate. You are seeing Russia in


Lane and the five. The Russians will be putting down water on the left


side. They will be putting blades on Great Britain who are sitting in


Lane number six. That will disrupt the rhythm in the British crew here.


They are coming to the last 250 metres. I think it will be between


Great Britain and Romania for who will not be in sixth place for the


final. Germany are doing what they do well. Show everyone else the


shark is back. This is Germany of old here. Still they go hard and


still be boat runs and they want more from it and they are getting


more from it. They pick it up and it flies on. Clearwater just from


Poland on the far side. The Netherlands in Lane number one. Here


come the Netherlands. The Netherlands are storming back into


the silver medal position. Can they catch the Polish on the line? No,


no, no. They paddle the last 200. The Netherlands


came through and it just shows you the level here. You get to 500 out


and you crank it up. You get to 250 out and the race starts again. Great


Britain sadly were not in either of those two positions. That is all


from us here in Racice. We will be back presenting coverage of the


winning's Henley regatta. There will be highlights on BBC Two from five


o'clock. Stay tuned for highlights of the Great Manchester Run which


took place earlier today. And the athletics continues building up to


the World Championships in August. Highlights from the Diamond League


meeting at Eugene tomorrow at 1pm. So, all the medals have been


decided. James has run across to join us to reflect back on the whole


weekend from Great Britain. Perhaps a bit lopsided? Lopsided in that the


men won nothing, the heavyweight men or the lightweight men for as long


basher which is the first time for as long as I can remember. The women


picked up medals but they raced incredibly well as well. It was


great to see Vicki come through and win the singles. She battled hard.


And if you want your first gold medal to be in the same podium as


anyone then Ekaterina Karsten is probably a good one. And a great


Championship for the British winning? Yes, there is a new


different look after Rio. All the big names stepped away. Vicky took a


while to come back. Like James said, you have seen them compete properly


at that event. A lot of them were close to medals. What you want is


that burnishing themselves in the ferocity of competition and they did


that today and it was lovely to see. Should we be readying ourselves in a


position of British Rowing where we have to steady ourselves? We were


top in Rio and somewhere in the top ten but not much higher? There was


always going to be a rebuilding process. The good thing is we did so


badly that you will have to focus everything now. And you can learn


from the Italians today in that they won races that they should not have


won by holding their hand in the flame and done it from the start and


seeing how long they could hold on for. This is what we have got, if


you can match us, that will and hurt and we can beat you. We are going to


dominate it and race it from the front and if you can catch us then


good luck to you. We talked a lot about lanes and the weather and how


other countries are taking it more seriously than the British are, are


those excuses or reasons? There will be one factor and many factors


today. The weather did not make all those results that we saw today. It


might have had some impact. I think the thing is for now for today, the


British crew, more questions have been asked and answered right now.


It is a good time to go away and find those answers and work out what


went wrong and what went right. Undoubtedly the British team will


not be happy with those results but they can be used to get on much


better next time. That is it from us in Prague. We will be back in three


weeks' time. From all of the team here, a special farewell and


Godspeed to Di Ellis. Goodbye.


Sir Matthew Pinsent presents highlights from the European Rowing Championships in Racice, Czech Republic.

At 2016's championships, Great Britain topped the medal table, but there have been big changes to the squad following a spate of retirements after their brilliant success at last summer's Olympics. However, a host of fresh talent hope to make their mark at the start of the new Olympic cycle alongside established internationals. The men's four, led by Rio gold medallist Moe Sbihi, take top billing.

Matthew is joined by Olympic gold medallist Dame Katherine Grainger, while commentary comes from Garry Herbert and James Cracknell.

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