Episode 2 Rowing: World Championships

Episode 2

John Inverdale introduces highlights from the conclusion of the World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia, including the men's four and the lightweight men's double scull.

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Welcome to Bled for the final day of this year's World Rowing


Championships. I am sure these pictures are doing the Slovenian


Tourist Board no harm at all. The water is crystal-clear. There are


fish jumping all over the place. It is the most glorious venue for any


international sporting event and so far on the water there has been a


fair amount of glory for British gets serious. Perfection. A gold


medal to Great Britain. It is going to be a photo finish! New Zealand


are awarded the gold. Tom Aggar at, Great Britain world champion.


British crew will get the bronze medal. Gold for Great Britain in


the women's lightweight quadruple scull. Try as Dale blasting his way


and it is bronze for Alan Campbell. A gold medal for New Zealand! 14


consecutive second places for Team GB. They are all now in maximum


sprint. Great Britain starting with such style and panache. It is going


to be a gold medal executed with JOHN INVERDALE: And that is the


former President's Summer Palace over there. This is the only island


in Slovenia and it is right in the middle of this lake, Bled. The


tradition here is that because there is a church on the top of the


hill, the husband has to carry his wife to be up the steps, 99 steps


to the top, to guarantee a happy marriage. I have no idea who they


are but I wish them the best of luck for many years to come. That


has made your day! Indeed, timing is everything. What is will take on


how things have gone so far? It is a bit odd because of the way the


programme has been changed. We normally have our success at the


beginning of the finals and not at the end and the way it has turned


out is that we have are stronger events at the end and so the first


few races were a sort of anti- climax as we were not doing as well


as we normally should do but actually we are coming on strong it.


Grainger and Watkins, how good were they? Absolutely. They have had a


difficult season and to perform as well as they have done... Even


though Catherine did raise at the World Cup races with a spare and


still won races. That is the standard we are talking about. Very


pleased and it has got to put them in the right frame of mind for a


good winter and great performances next year. Yesterday we spend an


awful long time building of the great jewel in the sun between


Great Britain and New Zealand in the men's pair, Hodge and Reed are


losing for the 14th time in a road to their New Zealand rivals. Is


that the end of that particular episode? If I was a gambling man I


would be making quite a lot of money because I cannot see them


racing internationally in the pair again. Even though I am not sure if


it is the right decision for them to go into the four, they could


still beat the New Zealand pair but it will be tough. My gut feeling is


that from the interview they gave yesterday, time is time. They will


try to get an Olympic gold medal in the four. We have quite a few gold


medal opportunities this afternoon. Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter are


the Olympic champions. The men's coxless four know they live in the


shadow of so many great crews from the past but can they join that


elite band themselves this afternoon? Anne Hester Goodsell


Anne Sofie Hoskins have one advantage over their rivals in the


lightweight double, they can sing. And that is a view then you do not


normally see. We are on the island looking across to the grandstand.


It is built into the side of the woodland at the water's edge. We


will start with a crew who always find themselves racing alongside


loaded with added pressure in British rowing it is the men's


heavyweight coxless four. COMMENTATOR: Just there by two


centimetres! Recently there were three straight Olympic titles and a


number of World Championships. COMMENTATOR: Gold medal, Great


Britain! But the current squad know only too well that the past counts


for nothing. COMMENTATOR: A huge disappointment


for the British crew. Their heads are down. What happened to Great


Britain, the defending world Derry over the line in fourth place


last year. -- going. It was massively disappointing at the time.


I thought about stopping them doing something else. What made you


change your mind? Jurgen persuaded me not to. I got it all out in the


open. 2011 has seen a welcome return to form with gold medals at


the World Cups in Munich and Lucerne.


COMMENTATOR: Back on the gold medal podium for Great Britain. Tom James


is back in the boat this season and happy to be back after taking a


year out after his Olympic triumph. I have been growing since I was 12


or 13 and that mentality, looking after yourself, that routine I felt


I needed a break. -- I have been rowing. I have put on a bit of


weight and I do not think that has done any harm. I am a stone heavier


than I was in Beijing. Tom coming back has given us a bit of emphasis


on things and it just feels quite nice and easy with the field behind


us. My seat is a really enjoyable position. There are gold medallists


today by some distance. But the courage grew might not even light


up together next year in London after Hodge and Read lost to New


Zealand in the pair yesterday for the 14th consecutive time. They


could yet return to the fore in 2012. Of course, if it was this


year, I scraped into the boat so I would be out doing something else.


It is not happening yet, though, so I will not concern myself with that.


There is an issue especially leading into next year but for me,


the way I see it, I have to just make myself better and as best as I


can be and if that allows me to be in the top crew, which have a crew


that is, that is great for me. There is a lot of good things about


this four and if it wins has this year it seems silly to break it up


next year. JOHN INVERDALE: That story will run


and run but for now it is all about this race in Bled and banishing


those painful memories from the World Championships last year.


will be the last World Championships before the Olympics


and we will want to make sure we start the Olympic year as world


champions. We have a good focus in mind. We are always aspiring to be


better. If we can finish in the strongest position, the gold medal


position this year, it can only be a good thing leading to the


Olympics. What has got to be the four, Great Britain going in a lane


number four. Looking to avenge their fourth place last year. So


much riding on this race from Great Britain's point of view as they


move out of lane number four. The final of the men's heavyweight


charging out in the first 100. Australia in lane five. Watch out


for them, the dark horses of this particular event. A crevasse has


just been put together this year in Lucerne. -- a group that has just


been put together. And we have to Germany in lane number six, and


Great Britain in lane number four, just slightly down through the


first two 50 metres, will absolutely drive on. They are a


pretty classy cru, the British group. Last year they finished


fourth. The coach has since then changed the crew around a little


bit. Tom James has come in instead of Alex Partridge, who has gone


into the eight. They have also changed their strip. -- their


stroke. That has changed the rhythm of the crew and it is very


effective. Great Britain are in third place, 500 down now. Now into


the second. The second 500m as the stock to stretch out. Watch number


four, that is the bow of the British crew. Creeping up on


Australia. The Australians just having the better of the first 500m.


Matthew Langridge in the bow seat for Britain, Egington, Tom James


and Gregory in the stroke seat. Now Britain are coming up level with


Australia. That was a good move there in the second 500, just


easing back like that. They are a really excellent crew. This is the


event that Great Britain got a gold medal in three years ago in Beijing.


Services an event that we have not lost a gold medal at Olympic level.


Here they are now moving up. They are Britain's most successful men's


crew. Perhaps not the strongest men in the squad, those two were in the


pair, Hodge and Reed. But this four is really the most successful of


our crews this year. Langridge, Egington, James, Gregory refused to


be drawn on what is growing on -- going on in the coxless pair for


Great Britain. Their task is really driving it home. They have gone


through in first place at the halfway mark. We are now only


1,000m away from the finishing line here in the final of the men's


heavyweight coxless four and the British crew have been like


stalking horses in the second 500. The Australians took them out to


forced -- first place in the first 500. We are now in the third 500.


This is where we would expect the British to really step on. There


were outstanding in the training camp a couple of weeks ago. They


are at 37 strokes a minute. That is pretty intense, pretty high. It


looks much lower and that is the mark of a boat that is really


travelling well, that calmness under pressure, that relaxation,


and they are moving in that really smooth, rhythmic way. Langridge in


the bow seat. Expect Britain to do something now at the 1250m mark.


There they go. It is out to three- quarters of a length. Langridge


calling it from the bow seat. The British are almost free of


Australia in lane number five. A sensational third 500m. They made


their move. You are right. They made their move and it showed.


British crew will now step into the last 500m of this final of the


men's heavyweight coxless four absolutely determined now to nail


it. They have done everything asked of them. They have been the


outstanding crew for 2011 and they have now broken free of Australia


in a lane five, a freak from Greece in lane three, and the British now


we'll just have to stretch it out. The British coming up on the


shoulder of Australia. That is a pretty good push there in the last


500m from Greece, because Australia seemed to have the measure of it.


Great Britain are still trying to move further and further away


because they have a lot to prove and they want to show they are a


class outfit that should really not be messed with in the coming months.


Etude statement now being made by Great Britain in lane number four.


-- a huge statement. Matt Langridge makes another call. Up there from


Leander Club in the bow. Greece have wind it up. The Greeks are now


coming back. They have got the overlap. But surely the British


and so he should, they have been the most outstanding crew of 2011


and surely now they have done enough to stay in this group in


this line-up but they will celebrate today and enjoy what was


a remarkable performance right from the start. Great Britain are the


world champions over Greece and Australia. That will give Juergen


Grobler a lot to think about as chief coach of the heavyweight


men's team. The one word that sprang to mind


was smooth. That is the illusion we try to create! You are pulling


yourself to pieces out there but we always try to go out there and roll


well. It feels well connected and if you can do that when you are


paddling and take it up to racing, that is good. It was a tough race,


we knew the margins would close down since the other race we have


done and you see it in every single event, the other teams have been


right to the line. A two second margin is great. We are really


happy, we have had a great season. At what point did you think you


have got this? Quite early on. We knew how much speed we have. We


have been doing some really good training and I think you get a way


of knowing that everybody is really with us early on. The bow seat knew


we were in control and we could pull away. It is one of these weird


position because you always think to win the world's final, you need


to have the best rowing. For us at our best, it was a bit scrappage.


We have had a few illnesses and injuries but I think we are so


pleased about the fact we have shown that when it matters on the


day, we can do it. Certain afflict behind me always saying that you


need to be able to win on your worst day and that was not our best


day but it was good to show we could win. Steve, what was your


take on the race? Absolutely brilliant. I would like to ask from


last year, is used last year, do you think you are mentally stronger


after the situation of last year? In yes, I think so. As a crew, we


have really come together. I think we have got a lot more relaxation


now and the main thing with us was you have got to go out there no


matter how bad it is and we have got to make sure we win. Even


though it may not be our best date. Fantastic season and that was a


final great race for it, well done. And as a final thought, Steve is


here, on the build up to the race on the programme, we were talking


about the history of the coxless four. Does that weigh heavy on you?


No, on the whole, it is a positive thing. You have got a legacy and


expectation which can be a negative thing but if you are able to turn


it into a positive thing, that is great. In the top teams you have


that spirit. It is as much how you train in the legacy as much as


Howard comes into training. Sometimes you feel it is a bit


unfair because you have got to get five gold models to look good these


days, one is not good enough. Sorry! It was pretty good today,


and it may continue to be good for the next 11 months. Congratulations.


Steve, one final question that ought to be thrown at you, they are


very keen, this four, to say it is a four and they are in it together.


But the spectre of possible team changes. That is always the case.


The British team has always been like that for a long time. Working


up to the final trials and if you are world champions, it is harder


to move into different boats. That is what they have to go out to do,


say to the world you have got to knock us out of our seed.


composition of the men's four will be a debate over the winter I am


sure and it will impact on what will be the men's eights. But next


summer's Olympic Games poses some different problems than just plain


growing. Rowing is all about strength


togetherness and timing. Consent Muslims will be close with now as


they observe the end of Ramadan. This man is the muscle in the men's


eights. But the timing is a worry as next year's month of Ramadan


clashes with the Olympics. Borrowing fastest harder when you


are busting and so Mohamed Sbihi is postponing. With the long days in


the summer... I am still training three times a day whilst fasting.


By the end of last year's Ramadan I actually felt better for it and it


was probably one of the easiest Ramadans I have done in terms of


training and getting the most out of it. Conflict between faith and


performers are not new to the Olympics. Chariots of Fire Eric, a


devout Christian would not race on a Sunday and passed up a medal


chance what Jonathan Edwards struggled with the same dilemma


before jumping to gold. It took a bar any athlete to show you can


compete and maintain your modesty. So a lesson is that compromise is


king. Eric raised a different race on a different day and became a


legend. And while Ramadan is an important part of Islam, there is


flexibility for certain cases. an Olympic athlete is doing


something strenuous that requires a lot of energy and if they fast,


they will have a detrimental impact on their body. And because it is an


exemption for exceptional situations, it can be given to them.


They should make up the 30 days of fasting later on after the training.


Many of the 3,000 was done athletes expected at next year's and unpicks


will defer the fasts but not all of them. Hockey player Darren


Cheeseman is convinced he can perform for Team GB and follow his


faith. The same way that you might go down to 10 men in a game, you


need to train for that. I need to make sure that I trained for being


thirsty or not having a huge amount of food in my system. It is about


making sure I can do the substitutions and not play as long


as other players and understanding when I can train and when I can


play. The men's eights is the Ferrari of the rowing competition


and Ferraris need fuel but for some, that sustenance can be spiritual.


Present a macro we are ingrowing mode now but all 20 sports that go


into that can be seen on our Olympics website.


JOHN INVERDALE: On that Olympic website you can follow the export


of our gold medal winners from other, Katherine Grainger and Anna


Watkins. Do gold medals feel better the day after always? It felt sweep


yesterday when we crossed the finish line. You can see how the


week built up but at the time you are sitting on the start line, you


don't know what will happen, particularly with our built up. You


have the elation and relief mixed together and when it is just over,


in that second, I don't think that can be beaten. The feeling today is


what? Trying to calm down and let all the adrenalin wash out and


enjoy the beautiful scenery and sunshine which we have been trying


to stay out of so far. And excited about watching today's racing.


are the plans from now then? 11 months to go almost to the day.


Straight back into training? the crucial thing for the next few


weeks is a bit of downtime. We will not get in the boat for a while and


I think we know that the 2012 season will be absolutely fall on a


need to make sure we get everything right. -- will be absolutely 100%.


How much can you let yourself go over the next few weeks? You don't


want to turn up for training completely wrecked. Or do you?


coach certainly does not want us to! To be honest, after a couple of


weeks, you start to feel you want to get back in any way so it is a


good mix of getting enough time away and you feel you have had the


rest and are eager to get back so you do arrive... The best thing is


mentally fresh. And physically, your body needs a bit of downtime


as well. You do not ruin yourself for the next few weeks at all but


you make sure you have come back and you are persevering. We will


try to renew a little bit! May be 24 hours of ruin! Is it almost like


going back to scull when you train again? Yes, exactly. We will not


have seen each other for a while. The noise level at Caversham will


be immense as we swap holiday stories and catch up. And then


quickly it will turn around in two the fact we have got the whole


winter of dark mornings and cold weather. And that will settle down


quickly. At what point do you start talking about London seriously? Or


do you put it to the back of your mind, so much work to be done?


think when we first come back, we will get on to it pretty quickly


because we will have an initial meeting which will be the plan. And


we will debrief the season and find where we need to make improvements.


But it will be clear from the beginning. For the job in the lake


again? And may go for a dip this afternoon. We couldn't encourage


I thought that would be one of the best end to the great pieces we


have done, systematically he would launch yourself into the water?


will not be spontaneous now. The other victorious Boat yesterday


was the women's lightweight quad, a non Olympic class, a clear water


behind them. And the faces of men told the joy of victory. It was


easier than we thought it would be, we thought it would be a fight all


the way to the last stroke. We do not know who it would be at the


beginning but it was a nice surprise. To do not feel like


shouting to the guys, what is wrong with you? Week expected Italy to be


out front at the start and thought China would fight has all the way.


But we knew we had broken them and the coach said that time would come


and we knew that. It was ours to lose from Matt point. The World


Championship medal around their next. For Steph Cullen, Andrea


Dennis and Catherine Twyman. The next race we will show you


features a music scholar who's role is two fault. One as a medallist


but also as the musical director of the British rowing choir.


It was sort of a joke and think let's run a choir I will teach you


how to sing. # I heard there was a secret court,


that David played and it pleased I love it, music gets everybody


singing, together. About 16 people normally turn up and we learn songs


and occasionally perform them to The camaraderie it brings is great


fun. There is only so many boxed set that you can watch and getting


together, in a lake is wonderful, it really get people together. --


it is wonderful. It brings people out of their shells. Those who


appear the most wonderful confident people in rowing are actually quite


shy in singing and you get different sides of people, they


really respond to the group ethos. Because people change personality,


it is wonderful when they come to the choir. Catherine is the most


professional role there is but when she comes into the choir room, she


is one of my naughty altos. She sits in the, giggling. Jess is a


good member, Lynsey is as well, and Sophie my doubles partner is in


there as well. We came together in 2009 and we are very different


people but each of us brings something to the boat that really


helps to get the other going. Work each other and make sure we produce


something that is greater than just present individual strength. This


is our third season together, me and so free. We have only once not


been on the podium. And in lightweight rowing, I think that is


consistent. Apart from the bronze, we have


always got a bronze or a silver. Going into these championships in a


good position, we feel strong in our double. We are really, really


On to the serious stuff now, just Anne-Sophie scrambled their way


into the final by less than a 10th of a second so could they come up


what women's double sculls for have had a great 2011 World Cup


campaign. So perhaps now they can just relax and get that length.


Today they look like they have a bit more of a fluidity around the


catch that is taking them out to the front end of the stroke. They


are in a very good position and now they have to sustain that through


the middle part of the course. Sophie is in my London Rowing Club


and she is there day-in, day-out, working. They are a very motivated


double. Let's see if they can make this work. Pressure is coming on


from the crews behind. Sophie Hosking has, London Rowing Club,


Hester Goodsell from Imperial College Boat Club. Just at this


particular step, they have turned things around from the semi-final.


A long way to go but they must be feeling a lot, lot better. And so


they should. They were bronze medallists two years ago at the


World Championships. Disappointing to get fifth last year. Stepped up


this year and now they are having the race of their lives. This is


very good. They are relaxed, looking much more relaxed than they


were in the semi-final, and they are stretching out. Now they can


see what they can do and they are moving very well. Greece has gone


up fast but Great Britain on their tail. Halfway mark, it is clear


water from Greece in lane three but Great Britain are right on their


heels in a second position. Now Sophie Hosking in the stroke seat,


Hester Goodsell, Great Britain lightweight double scull, having


first -- such a good acting. They have to take That confidence to


really move and believe in their ability. They have had a couple of


years of ability together and have shown great speed in training camps


resulted. It is all about stepping up on the big day and this crew can


do that. My goodness, though, Greece have just opened up to clear


water and now the battle is on for the silver and it is a battle


between the United States and Great Britain but Great Britain moving


very well and they have checked that advance from Greece, but they


have got to hold of the United States. Greece were fourth in


Lucerne. There was a change, though, they have brought back in a rower


who was not in that group and now the double scull, the bronze


medallists from last year have found incredible speed. But Hester


and Sophie from Great Britain, a great combination. Around their


training camp recently, they are such passionate individuals about


their outside interests but also about rowing. They have total


belief in their ability. We head towards the 1,500m of this


lightweight double sculls final and the British crew bar in amongst it


all for the medals, out front and clear. 500m to go, Greece in lane


number three. Great Britain are still up there in the silver-medal


position and the United States of America and Canada will really


charge on. Less than 50 strokes remain in the World Championship


final of 2011 and now Great Britain have to give absolutely everything.


They can do the strikes to the line. Great Britain must not tighten up.


They have been rowing well in the middle of the race. They have been


relaxed. They must not tighten up and start to grab at the stroke.


They have the United States there and they have to be aware of that


but they have to be able to wind this up without shortening their


stroke and without tiding it in the shoulders. Behind them, Great


Britain can see the charging crews of New Zealand, Australia, Canada


of the world champions. They are in lane number five. The USA in lane


number six. It is looking so painful in the crew closest to us


in lane number six but look out for Canada because Canada are sprinting.


The world champions have picked up pace and on the top of your picture,


grain Britain in lane number one are just starting to sag in speed.


Out front, Greece are looking so magnificent. They are running for


the line. 150m for the gold medal and everybody now racing for the


silver medal. Great Britain, Canada, the United States of America,


inside 75 metres. The British are hanging on. Greece for the gold,


on the line for bronze and Hester in the bow seat collapses, such was


the effort required just to get the bronze medal. So Greece. It was


clear and comfortable on the day. A gold medal to them. Canada in


second and Great Britain will be After watching the semi-final


yesterday, not many people were expecting that. Were you? To be


honest, we did not expect the semi- final. We knew it had been a


horrendous event in terms of qualification for the Olympic Games,


which is what everyone was fighting for yesterday. We row really close


off the B final. But today we knew what we had to do. We have beaten


all of those crews before at some point or other and we just had to


believe in ourselves. Sophie let out absolutely strongly and that


was just the aim, to go and see what happened. You went for it from


the word go. I do not know if you were aware how close it was in the


last 200m or so. I did not have any idea. I was just focusing on each


stroke at a time and trying to squeeze on the intensity and just


going with whatever Hester was telling me to do. One thing we have


learnt from this regatta is what it is like to be in close races and we


are not the only ones in the British team who have had close


races and at the end of the day, when you're in that position, you


have to be 100 % focused on producing the most power you can


through the stroke, otherwise you're giving time away by looking


at them. So I was not aware of what was happening the last bit. We had


to look at the board to find out where we had come. If every race


was exciting as that that was not a bad thing. For all the public,


anyway! Ute won a bronze two years ago. How would you compare your


crew now? We are so much more mature now. Back then we felt we


had lost silver, because it was 0.2 from silver and we were naive in


everything that we did whereas now we have had three years of learning


how to row together, produce stuff, get each other going an essentially,


to go into a race and know how the other will respond is a massive


deal. Back in 2009 we did not totally nerve everything that would


happen whereas now I know how it Sophie will relax -- react and what


she can produce. Congratulations to both of you. A tremendous re. Steve,


just a quick word on that? A real battle of Mills. What it really


shows is that when you get to a Championships, you can be badly in


one race and it can destroy you but what they have actually done is


taken it away as a positive. They just won in the race at all -- they


were not in the semi-finals yesterday and they have turned it


around and say we have got to be in there. That bad race has turned it


into a good one and now they have confidence going into the next 11


months. The men's lightweight double. Hunter and Perch have been


part of the rowing furniture for so long, Olympic champions, world


champions, but it has not been plain sailing for them of recent


the Olympic champions! We are now a world champion crew. Hunter and


Perch would normally find themselves to be clear favourites


to defend their title but after a year of illness, they find


themselves playing catch-up with This year has had its challenges.


It is now a good to get back in the racing frame of mind and show what


we can do. We have enjoyed the last two or three weeks of being in the


boat, really consistently, making sure we are there, physically and


mentally ready to rock and roll. has been a difficult and


frustrating season because at the start of the year we had a plan and


we did not really get a chance to put that into play so we are


playing a bit of catch-up but the last five weeks of training have


been exceptional. We have really worked hard and instead of looking


at it week by week, we have fine- tuned every single session, made


the most of everything. More than we would do normally. So we have


kind of condensed three months in to six weeks. It is quite a tricky


thing, being a lightweight. We have to wait in two hours before the


race, with a maximum individual weight of 72.5 itkg. We have been


doing this together for a long time. We generally hit 70kg. It is one of


the things you have to do that makes it more challenging. What


would it really mean to defend the World Championship? Given where we


are, and the athletes that we are, we will give a winning performance.


I expect nothing less than an established successful crew and we


have just got to make sure that we do our best to ensure that that is


the case. Every season has been different. We have never had a


typical season. It has always been different with sickness, injuries,


all these different things. So it is a new and exciting chapter and


where we stand at the end of the day when we crossed the line will


be the end of this year and the start of next year. It is an


interesting World Championships for us because we do not have any form,


we have not performed this year in any event, and we are good at


delivering when we come to the big final of the men's lightweight


double scull, Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter. So far, 2011 has been an


unsettled year for the defending champions and the Olympic champions.


Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter. They going lane number three. They seem


to be finding some form as they come through these World


Championships. Let's see what the first 500 metres have. Lane 1,


Italy, Germany two, Great Britain 3, New Zealand four, Denmark five,


China in lane number six. This race, though, should come down to Great


Britain and New Zealand. New Zealand have dominated the World


Cup campaign of 2011. We just saw Denmark are dominating the whole


scene four years ago. They took a year off and have come back. They


are always a threat. Great Britain have had a wonderful start but this


will be a chance to see again whether this faster stroke rate


that New Zealand has a right across all its crews is going to be as


effective in this event against the World Cup winners against the world


champions, as we head towards the first time in mark. Great Britain


now lead New Zealand into the second 500m. The Italians are also


in amongst it in lane number one. Bertie Mee and Luini, the world


silver medallists 2010. -- Pacini. The crew is very tight here.


Maximum individual weight cannot exceed 72.5 kilograms, the crew


average cannot exceed 70kg. It is interesting seeing New Zealand


against Great Britain. New Zealand have three strokes a minute higher


than Britain. So great Britain are getting better value per stroke.


The thing is that the New Zealanders seem to be able to


continue this right through to the end and build on it at the end,


whereas most crews would find that difficult. So great Britain is


trying to stay there steady and reliable and their cohesion, the


way they scull, letting their boat run, but we see in New Zealand move


on air now. Now we will find out whether Zac Purchase's illness were


have an effect here in the final stages of this race. Interesting


that Great Britain are still upon 39 strokes per minute in this


second 500. I would have expected to them -- them to have come down


to 38 strokes, a little bit more containment. So that gives you a


and Great Britain are through the halfway mark in this final of the


men's lightweight double sculls. New Zealand, who have dominated


2011 on the World Cup scene, really pushing on ahead. It is a compare


and contrast the style and the speed of New Zealand against Perch


and Hunter from Great Britain, defending world champions, reigning


Olympic champions. -- Purchase. The British scull have a really upset


season here. The first time they have come together and we are


really starting to see some form. Pretty good semi-final. We would


expect them out to just step up. They have gone into this race


thinking that they can win. Regardless of the season they have


double scull together and moving sweetly and the Great Britain


double scull believe that when they have got it right, when they are


together, they are unstoppable and they are scum and beautifully at


the moment. They have about two strokes per minute lower than the


New Zealanders and in an earlier heat, New Zealand went through them


and went through. This time, they are going to revalue their race


plan and push on him in the last 500. They are almost level when


they come to the 1,500 metre mark. One Foot separating New Zealand and


Great Britain. Watch for Mark Hunter in the stroke seat, from


Leander Club, he will pick up this pace. And now the British are


starting to move. The bows of No. 3, Great Britain, slicing through the


water and with it going through New Zealand in lane number four. The


New Zealand crew are fighters to the end, they will respond but the


British now are looking the stronger of the two boat. They both


pull away from a chasing field led by Germany in lane number two.


is a beautifully judged race from Great Britain and if they can


sustain this push and Zacks seems to have recovered and that the mood


now. They are pushing right back. New Zealand don't have anywhere to


go because they are as high as they can go and this time it will be


great Britain going through New Zealand. 200 metres remain in the


final of the men's lightweight double scull and the Olympic and


world champions now are starting again to move, they have taken


another foot but the Sprint of the All Blacks, here it comes, one-


hundredth, 10 strokes to the line and now New Zealand will go up but


the experience that is the great British Olympic and world champions,


they have done enough surely to get to the line. You can count the


strokes now. Inside five, Great Britain holding, the New Zealand


crew look right, they are attacking that Great Britain will have it on


the line, it is gold today and the arms are loft. What a comeback for


Great Britain's Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter, given the season they


have had. What they set up a head of the Olympics next year in London.


JOHN INVERDALE: What a race! Yes, we like to be entertaining. We like


to make the sport exciting to watch and it is all about making sure


that people are excited. The result is even better. You were calm, of


course. We just wanted to make it entertaining for the crowd! Your


mum and dad and girlfriend in the crowd, I bet they were having


kittens in the last 50 metres. I know from the outside it is


always harder looking on but we had a plan and we knew what we would do


and we executed it perfectly. We did not panic, we were sculling


better today. Sit back and relax and when we wanted to put some work


in, we knew we could. Lot of New Zealand boats have been pipping


people on the line, did that come into your tactics? The Kiwis


generally have won the gold muddles on the line. Is that a worry coming


into it? We did think about it and we knew we had enough in hand to


lay it down. Keep moving on because the good thing about the light


weight is the same shape and bowel. In a pub one my Crowe and pick gold


medals before. -- you have won Olympic gold before. Where does


that come in the practice. This is the stepping-stone to the Olympics


and we have the most turbulent season you can imagine so to come


back and put six weeks of training to get that result, we are really


looking forward to the training. We want to make this exciting.


Monumentally exciting, congratulations to both of you.


Great to see you as winners once again. That was fantastic. Never


mind what Zac Purchase was saying, great sport but great credit to


them. Zac has been out of the season with a virus, and they were


talking about racing here with a spare man just to get the but


qualified and prepared for next year so to make a final and win it


at the start of that, I have seen embrace so many times and they have


put some fantastic races. They have dominated and so much pressure on


them, so much going on and on the basis of training they have had the


former have is outstanding. ringing endorsement from Steve. But


talk about other people who are here at the regatta there have


problems of a different nature. If you watched yesterday, he will say


-- you will see about our piece on a road from Angola. Also problems


faced by the Iraqi rulers. Matthew Pinsent has spoken to them.


The last time I was in Bled for the World Rowing Championships, I was


18 and nervously awaiting my first big race. This then was Yugoslavia,


the Berlin Wall was still up. One country definitely not represented


at those championships was Iraq and for the past year I had been


following one of their current crop of athletes as he, like the rest of


the rowing world, tries to qualify It might not be an opening ceremony


to rival the Olympics 20 years after independence, Slovenia is


proud to be hosting the rowing World Championships. Dozens of


countries fighting against one another through sporting


competitions is one of the things here but life is not always that


This is the single Iraqi rowing athlete for 2011. In his home city


of Baghdad, one of the most violent in the world. He trains every day


and is a university student and in the security checkpoints between


his college and the River Tigris, his sporting Korea is even more


demanding than it should be. He was given a wild-card entrants to the


Olympics in Beijing he is determined to make it to London on


his own merit. If we do the preparation and work right and do


it in the right way, it is possible to qualify so I will do my best to


qualify because I need to. Growing demands more than just


determination. He needs to improve his technique and his tactics and


he now has a European coach to help him. He is realistic about his


chances. I know he will not be a big champion and not be in the


final but is it possible that he improves so far that he can reach


it by all of those things? This is important to me. If he is in London,


my mission is accomplished. Of the face of it, the challenge is almost


too great but there are other examples with any rowing fraternity


from which he can take heart. There's been a lot of help go into


Iraq from different parties around the world. That has caused them to


become really motivated and given them the opportunity to train


abroad and improve themselves and participate with a reasonable level


and good standard at the international level. This has been


a model for the others and that we can show others about how it can


happen and how you can reach the international level. Obviously


every athlete wants to win their races but for him it is much more


even than that. Racing on the world stage is a sign that Iraq is


finally emerging from the sporting world and us. The result is not


entirely unexpected. He finishes in the bottom group of scholars and


hasn't secured his Olympic qualification but his best chance


for that will come in early 2012. Inspired by the lessons of these


championships and one of the most beautiful rolling Lakes in the


world. JOHN INVERDALE: All athletes face


the continual fear of injury and forth from Houghton, it has been a


problem. But to finish 4th was no mean feat but she found herself in


the Bfinal and she had to finish in the top three to qualify for the


medallist, the four times rowing championship Horton from Great


Britain is in lane number three as they approach the halfway mark in


this final of the women's single scull. Extremely accomplished but


she has not won a muddle at senior international level in the single


scull. Will she do something today? She has to do something in the top


three of the Bfinal to qualify for the Olympic Games next year. The


first 1,000 will be very steady, and the second 1,000 will need her


to pick up on that strong rhythm that she has had. Great Britain in


lane number three. Out front from Azerbaijan, they lead and Estonia


is in two. Frances Wharton in number three. And Russia in lane


Azerbaijani. She has made quite an impression, a good sculler. And now


this is where Francis has to wind it in. She has got to get past


demonstrating the big task ahead of France's, an unsettled here for her.


She was injured and had to have surgery. Slowly coming back into it


and her coaches have been delicate with a progression. But the year


before the Olympic Games, the team want to do as much to qualify in


all 14 events. The team have qualified in 13 and this is the


last remaining one. Francis hopefully will rise to the


1,500 metres down, 500 metres remaining Indian women's


heavyweight single sculls and the sculler from Azerbaijan in lane


number one, storming away. In lane of the six that is the Russian here.


Six boats chasing a coveting three places for the Olympic


qualification and Francis from Great Britain is now starting to


struggle, she is on the back of three scullers. Look at the gap


here between Azerbaijan in lane number one and the chasing field in


which Francis is in. People saving their race and the final stages and


may have all got a pretty par-four last 500 metres to unleash.


France's biding her time but so lacking in race practice that it is


a very difficult tournament. strokes remain now as the crews all


start to wind up and Francis in line number three for Great Britain


has started her sprint here. She has done so well just to get to the


stage here. Out front, the Azerbaijani in lane number one will


win comfortably but the rest now I'll in a cat fight. Still


Britain's is in among us that. has pushed it up to 35 strokes per


minute, that is real aggression and that experience from her Olympic


medals in the quad working very close up now. A inside the last 15


metres and still Francis has not given enough, but first, qualifying


post goes to Azerbaijan. Francis coming in 4th position. It was a


task just too much for Francis today. 4th position not good enough


to qualify the women's single sculls for London for London 2012


at this particular regatta. What was your reaction immediately


at crossing the line in fourth? am not like it was the end of the


world, devastated, but I am just disappointed. I do not want to come


away and beat myself up. Three weeks ago I did not think I


becoming here, so you have to put it in perspective. As you are


fighting injury and now, bit by bit, you will get back to 100 %, what


with the personal ambition be? still want to be in a crewed boat


vying for a gold medal in London, Absolut. But I just had to sustain


its training, get the injuries at the way. Just keep enjoying it. I


have absolutely loved the experience. I am so pleased I


managed to enjoy it all the way through. So Frances Houghton


disappointed but justifiably proud at her performance but it meant in


the women's singles gold there was no British representation. He would


come out on top in the last rays of the regatta? -- who would come out


women's race. The world champion, at Frida Svensson, in lane number


six. A brave race from a Emma Twigg of New Zealand. Clear water but in


this event so much can change and we would expect that as we head


towards the last 500m. It is the final 2011 World Riley Inc -- World


Rowing Championships women's single scull and here comes the charge.


500m to go. The chequered rower -- the person from the Czech Republic


ahead. A big surprise from Xiuyun Zhang from China, it went through


that market in sixth position. So the overlap now coming from a Mirka


Knapkova, who was fourth last year. The best result she has had is a


silver badge in 2007. Really using... It is almost like she is


using Emma Twigg as the pacemaker in this race. Get me out to 1750


and I can just take it out from there, and she has done exactly


that. We have now a new race leader, Mirka Knapkova from the Czech


Republic. We have 250m remaining. Around 25 strokes and that is


plenty of time for Ekaterina Karsten from Belarus, the multi-


Olympic and world champion, to make her charge, and make it she is.


Emma Twigg, who led so valiantly, and bravely, to the 1,500m mark,


still in second. But she's handing on for dear life. Mirka Knapkova


now looks stronger and stronger as the rate goes up. Inside 100m. It


is Mirka Knapkova from the Czech Republic out from. Surely she has


done enough. But still Ekaterina Republic, it is a gold medal to her


and Ekaterina Karsten from Belarus gets the silver medal, and Emma


Twigg is content with a bronze medal. A wonderful result from


This time next year the Paralympics will be in full swing and there are


several adoptive races as part of these World Championships here in


Bled. Here we go with the mixed cox drug and arms mixed coxed four and


Great Britain in lane four. -- legs, trunk and arms. The United States


are in lane one, Canada in lane two, Germany in lane three, Britten in


lane four, Ireland in line drive and France in lane six. -- Ireland


in lane five. Great Britain were the fastest qualifiers here by a


length and a half so they go into this as favourites for the gold


medal. The British crew are in lane four. Silver medallists last year


in the World Championships. They just lost out by half a second to


Canada, who are in lane number two. A real rivalry developing between


those two boats Between -- through the season. Canada are out front


and then Germany spitting the two boats in lane number three. --


splitting. Pamela Relph from Great Britain is in the bow seat. Naomi


Ritchie, Paralympic bronze medallist from 2008 seats at two,


David Smith at three, James wrote at stroke. -- James Roe. A number


of changes in the crowd and it has really made a big difference. They


are moving well at the halfway point. Great Britain lead the world


through 500m in this final of the Lex, trunks and arms mixed cox for


-- legs. They have taken the race by the scruff of the neck. Such


disappointment last year to lose the gold medal to challenge her. --


to Canada. Canada are in a sprint mode and Germany, who were so fast


in the first five cannot live with the pace that has been set by Great


Britain. This is very good rowing. They are very accurate. Could power


in the middle of their stroke. -- could power. Most of the crews have


the men in the stern but Canada and the United States have it the other


way round. This is an event where the FISA Federation categorise this


event as having a minimum disability similar to cerebral


palsy or visual impairment. They have to have one of the three


impairments as classified by the International Rowing Federation.


They are coming up towards the line. Great Britain absolutely


outstanding in this final. Really driving it on. James Roe, 2010


world silver medallist in this event, leading it clear water from


a field that includes the world champions from Canada and Great


Britain now at standing, right from the first stroke. They regain the


World Championship title that they had in 2009 and that they suddenly


leap gave up in 2010. -- that they sadly gave up. So great Britain win


Dave, you have had an extraordinary 12 months. In 2009 I won the World


Championships and at the start of 2010 I was diagnosed with a tumour


inside my spinal cord that had been there for the best part of 12 years


and had not been found. They operated to remove it and I


developed a blood clot. I woke up fully paralysed from the neck down


apart from my right arm and I had to learn to walk again, learn how


to train again, pretty much everything in life had to be relent.


That has all happened in the last 12 months. So the rowing is the


easy bit? It was not too easy today! It has been a big roller


coaster. Every time the training was hard I got back and nothing can


be as hard to walk -- learning to walk again. Congratulations to you.


What does that gold medal round your neck mean to you? It means the


hardest nine months of my life. I have only been rowing for about


nine months. This time last year I was introduced to the sport by my


sister who is also a great Britain person. I never thought it would be


so possible to do that in such a short space of time. I am so


grateful to the crew around me today. It is the most amazing


experience I have ever had in my life. Great Britain are top of the


pile. JOHN INVERDALE: So here and another


World Championships and for the boss of the world rowing, David


Tanner, I guess you are pretty pleased? Very pleased. A specially


good day today with some fantastic performances and ten Olympic class


gold medals, two Paralympic. Overall, going into this, as it


exceeded expectations or is it just about what you expected? I think it


is at the top end of what I would have hoped. We have missed one or


two. Maybe the men's quad. Overall there have been one of two, Alan


Campbell, liked men's double, who have come through there are almost


periods and performed here and to do credit to them. So on balance,


at the top end. Steve, what is a general assessment? Coming into


here, I would have been -- I was hoping all 14 boats would qualify


and we have missed out on that by one boat missing out on one place


and that is no disappointment because it is a pan plastic --


fantastic performance, 13 boats. Because the programme has changed


to what it was before, normally we have all our best races at the


beginning. But by the end of it, with ten medals from Olympic class


boats comedy been, that is a fantastic performance. We are in


Olympic overload already and we are 11 months away. One of your key


jobs for the next 11 months must be to just keep calm and say, every


day will follow its own course and you will get there in the end. Is


that man management key now? Absolutely. They will have three


weeks of but they will be back bent to do the training and the hard


grind and the winter work. We will need to keep calm and be very aware


that the whole field has been bunching up. Some very strong


nations there. New Zealand has more Olympic class golds than us. We


have seen their Olympic performances so we have to be


confident in what we have done and how we have got here but also stay


calm. Many congratulations to all the team. Steve, the final word. Is


passionately, if you can be, how do you view our prospects, 11 months


out? I think we can be even stronger than we are here. We have


an outstanding team. Every boat apart from possibly the women's


single scull, are going in thinking, we can win medals. We have never


had a team like that before. Being an old British rower, a very old


Bridget Roma, that is part of it but so many of our boats are


outstanding. Enjoy your three weeks of, although you probably never had


a day off. I have one or two. thank you very much as well.


Overall, a fantastic regatta for If you look at the Olympic classes


in isolation, New Zealand with four gold medals, just edging Great


Britain but ten Olympic gold medals -- ten gold medals overall. Plenty


more sport for the rest of the week. The World Athletics Championships


have finished today but the best in the world return to Zurich. That is


on BBC Two at 7:00pm and then in Beijing at the weekend for the


World Series final of the triathlon. The men's race on Saturday and the


Three weeks off for the British rowers and then back four are at


the end of September, by when Slovenia will be ancient history


and all roads lead to London. From beautiful place back very -- from


Championship title. We are the world champions! Matt Langridge hit


the water and so he should. They have been the most outstanding crew


John Inverdale introduces highlights from the conclusion of the World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia.

Great Britain's crew in the men's four will be looking to improve on a disappointing performance at the 2010 championships where they missed out on a medal. With London 2012 less than a year away, they will be looking to put in a strong performance, as Britain will be protecting a proud record of three straight Olympic golds in the event.

Reigning World and Olympic champions Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter will be aiming to improve on a difficult season, that has been blighted by illness and injury, when they go for gold in the lightweight men's double scull.

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