Saturday Rowing Finals Rowing: World Championships

Saturday Rowing Finals

John Inverdale presents coverage of the penultimate day of the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam. The day's finals include the women's pair and the men's four.

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There are more bicycles than people in Amsterdam and that's a fact.


And here are a few more for you, the Venice of the North comprises 90


islands across 1200 bridges spanning 1000 kilometres of canal so not a


bad venue for World Championships on water. More than 400 crews from 60


nations are here for this year 's World Rowing Championships. 12


months on from a golden week in Korea for Great Britain. Nobody is


going to catch Heather Glover and Polly Swann, they are world


champions. A well earned bronze medal for Great Britain. The British


will drive it to the line, a bronze medal. Sensational gold-medal! We


have made history in the men's eight at the World Championships! It is a


splendid, splendid result. Over the past 12 months, the make up


of many of the Cruise has changed but the British Gold Rush has


continued. This is class. Great Britain demolish the field. Glover


and Stanning are back in style. Imogen Walsh and Kat Copeland


finishing in style. A phenomenal season, up to the line, Great


Britain absolutely perfectly timed, a gold medal. All of which means


that over the next 48 hours, which is rowing is out to prove that it is


the best. We are going to win and to be our best. We packing a lot of


heat. The big picture is Amsterdam. If we are not on the podium I would


be incredibly disappointed. We will be happy with gold, that is what we


are going for. All sports experience and ebb and flow in fortunes,


British athletics is on a high, British cycling had a bit of a dip


but what about the rowing? Where does it stand as we approach the


climax of the season. A good question for Katherine Grainger. We


talk about Olympic cycles, we are just past halfway between London and


Rio and it is an interesting time to take stock. It is a mixed bag to be


honest. A lot of changes since 2012 but we want things to be bedding


down to get a smooth run to Rio. Who has most to win or lose in the next


two days? If you ask the athletes and coaches, they would all say that


everyone can gain and everyone can lose. The more results you have to


your name, the more results you have, more likely is you will start


in Rio. Feels secure until you are in the boat but the better results,


the more likely you will be there. The Cruise with individuals to lose


all things who have not got thing so far, and some seats are very hotly


contested. The lightweight women have two seats in the whole


Olympics. When there are only two places, they become fiercely fought


over. And how much more fiercely contested will this weekend be? In


the World Cups, most of the big nations turned up, some for the


first, some for the second. The World Championships, everybody is


here for the first time. And everybody is at their peak, this is


the biggest event short of the Olympics so without a doubt, this


will be the toughest racing all year. These are some of the British


crews anticipating a golden finale for Great Britain. The men's four


have not lost all season and they are hot favourites, we will look


back on an outstanding 2014 for the leading men's boat. We want to win,


if conditions are right we want to win in a fast time. Also unbeaten,


Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, they are first up this afternoon,


and they finished their year in style? This year, the big picture is


Amsterdam. If we can have the final at the World Championships better


than in 2012, that is really good. And we will round up the programme


with the exciting men's quad, bronze in South Korea 12 months ago,


nothing but gold will satisfy this group. We showed we were the


fastest, and that is what we will try to achieve in Amsterdam. This is


our plan of campaign over the next couple of hours. Glover and Stanning


are in the women's pair which will be off in about 15 minutes.


This will be our first view of the Bosbaan course in Amsterdam which is


right in the heart of the city, built about 80 years ago. This is


our first look at Glover and Stanning going to the start for


their final in about ten minutes. It is an interesting course, not least


as it has a reputation for fast times but it is also dependent on


the weather and we have had extraordinary conditions in the last


hour going from a monsoon to almost humid than side and conditions will


play a big part and so will be lane draw. Who better than James


Cracknell, part of our commentary team along with Garry Herbert, to


give us a dyed from that end of the course to down here at the finish?


-- a guide. One of the things you don't want to hear is about unfair


conditions. But when you are about to raise, you don't want to hear


somebody saying it is unfair but that is what this course has a


reputation for being, unfair. The governing body have made it clear by


seeding the lanes. The fastest crew effectively through to the final


gets the best lane. You are going out knowing it is unfair and also


that the best crew is it a better lane than you. People have had to


race in the semifinals because of that to get the best final lane so


you are almost winning a medal before you make it to the final. You


have to combat extremely fast flowing conditions, world records


have been set all week so that creates an element of technical


difficulty but the big problem is the difference between the lanes.


The unofficial guideline, it is about a second lane difference


between lane one and lane six, about seconds. I was lucky enough to win


eight global titles but together I won five of them by less than one


second and that is how small the margins are, even over six or seven


minutes, a second can be a huge margin and that is vital to get


right and make sure you are racing on a fair playing field.


Unfortunately, this course does not have that reputation. Because of


that, the committee are prepared to cede the lanes also you get


penalised for qualifying badly and rewarded for qualifying well. The


downside is that some races become predictable but it is an outdoor


sport, you can moan about it or get on with it and get stuck in. James


obviously recorded that earlier. A couple of hours on, what do you make


of the conditions currently? It is pretty fair. The difference is not


the wind but the circulation, it blows the water, it can mean that


one lane has current and another does not. This site has been


favoured all week but at the moment the committee have decided it is


fair. Whether that is an assumption or they are using the ostrich


technique and burying their heads in the sand... How close can you change


the lane draw to the beginning? You get when your number is very close


before you race. Because where you end up is determined by the


semifinals yesterday, you will know where you are going to be. You will


be in lane one or two if you want your semifinal. -- if you won.


Talking about the wind, we were watching the finals yesterday, nine


world best time is that afternoon. If it simply because it is a


tailwind and it blows you to the end? I don't think the athletes


would agree with that! The difference in rowing compared to a


lot of sports, there is no maximum speed, everything is legal. You want


the strongest possible tailwind when you are racing but if it is too


fast, it can get churned up and it becomes difficult to row and people


make mistakes. We saw a tailwind coming straight down yesterday and


everybody managed to enjoy it and break those records. It is not like


the 100 metres where it has to be two metres per second or under. That


is a water temperature, hot water makes the time is fast. The big


difference is how it affects the crews mentally. When I was in a


four, we used to raise the Italians and if the wind was a tailwind which


is supposed to suit technical crews, they had a chance, but if it was a


headwind, a lot would go into their shells, because we were big and


heavy. A tailwind will close up the field and some crews will think they


have more of a chance, like a minnow in the FA Cup getting drawn at home.


It affects people mentally. When your boat is in the water, you have


to wipe everything from your head. Conditions have been variable but


there have been several finals in the Paralympic and non-Olympic


climbing all -- finals. The British mixed coxed four successfully


defended their title they won in South Korea, comprising of Pamela


Relph, Grace Clough, Dan Brown and James Fox with Oliver James the Cox.


And as they approach the closing stages, you can see they were a long


way ahead of their closest challengers who were the USA. That


got the British challenge off to a good start. Those medals go into the


medal tally at the end of tomorrow afternoon. Well done to these four.


Really good, so nice to come here, we have had pretty much the best


week training of the whole season out here so we felt confident going


into it and we knew we had a big final. It all paid off, all of the


training came into play. We dawdled off the start in the last race so


tried to go all guns blazing and it definitely worked. We were out in


front, but we knew we would pay the price so we had a solid pace for the


next 500 and in the last 250, personally I was gone! I was in the


bottom of the boat trying to hold my guts in! But really enjoyable, nice


to lead from the front. We don't normally do that. There was also a


silver medal for Tom Aggar in the men's single scull, great to see him


back on the podium Kersey has been the standard bearer of adaptive


rowing. -- because he has been. Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, the income


treble New Zealanders won the coxed pair. In second place was Alan


Sinclair and Scott Durant. They picked up a silver medal behind the


New Zealand pair. Henry Fieldman was the Cox. You can see that the margin


was huge. In the lightweight men's pair there was a bronze medal for


Jonathan Clegg and Sam Scrimgeour. Something for Sam to add to his


considerable sporting CV because just a few years ago he cycled 7001


kilometres from Singapore to Hanoi. He probably felt similar then as he


did at the end of that race! Sowed our first race today on finals


afternoon and this will be the great British gold rush at the Olympics in


2012. It was heaven -- Helen Glover and Heather Stanning. Last year it


was Helen Glover and Polly Swann that Heather is back from the army


which means once again it is Glover and Stanning.


A lot of my friends joke about the fact that it is like being with


someone, breaking up, going out with someone new, them fighting over


you! In the World Championships it was with Polly and now Heather is


back in the boat. That was mum of the main themes of the year, who was


going to take the seat -- one of the main themes. Lots of people asked if


it was weird watching her race with somebody else. If I regretted my


decision. Not at all, my decision was very personal, I wanted to go


back to work but I also realised that choice effected Helen. I was


glad to the her find somebody of in the squad and genuinely pleased to


see them do well. Helen Glover adds a European title to her world and


Olympic title. I wasn't asked directly who it


should be. I would not want to be a selector. I feel like that decision


is not mind and rightly so. -- not mine. When I came back I was at the


bottom of the team. You just look at the results from the December


trials! It is quite motivating to see the improvement and might


improvement over the winter was quite steep. At any stage did you


think you might not get your seat back? The head coach was very honest


from the word go and said I might not make it. That is quite hard.


This is what I want to do, even a few months in he said it might not


be your year! I had to keep going and keep leaving. I got ill just


before the European Championships and was underperforming. I thought I


had bitten off too much but we have such a great support network with


the medical team, I listened to them and did what they told me and within


three weeks I was back feeling myself again so that was quite


positive. Do you feel the decisions made from now until Rio? Absolutely


not and that is the same way I felt before London and that is the most


healthy way to have it. If you ever feel you have your seat, that is the


first step to complacency so no matter how well and fast we are


going, how it looks to be outside, to think selection is done and


dusted is not the feeling in camp. What would you like to see happen in


the World Championships? We would like to step on from 2012. That was


great that we want to be leading that progress in the pair through to


Rio. If we can make a step on and have a final at the world champions


it's better than in 2012, that is a good step to make. From each race


you get a sense of becoming a fuller package for that important race


which is Rio. That is the big picture. But for this year, the big


picture is absolutely Amsterdam. So here we go with the first final of


this years World Rowing Championships here in Amsterdam and


here is the voice rowing, Garry Herbert.


COMMENTATOR: It has been two years since they started and finished a


major global event together, then it was the Olympics and today it is the


World Championships and for Great Britain, the fairy tale continues.


Hard to see who could beat them, the incredible season they have had but


Helen Glover and heavens that Lakra Heather Stanning, in lane four,


perhaps the closest competition will come from Megan Kalmoe and Kerry


Simmonds of the USA who are in lane three. The full line-up, Australia


in lane one, Romania in two, USA in three, Great Britain in four, New


Zealand with Louise Trappitt and Rebecca Scown in lane five and South


Africa in lane six. That is closest to us. Already in the opening


stages, this is the sprint hard with fresh legs, everybody gets maximum


speed, the British crew edging out and not just edging out, dominating


the opening stages. Three quarters of a length, doing what they have


done all the time. Think back to Lucerne about six weeks ago when


they went into that regatta and Heather Stanning was not performing


at 100% and they still managed to win and win convincingly. Out of the


pack, this is a fresh crew, they are right on the top of their game and


we can see that in the opening stages. Glover and Stanning in lane


three out to a length. Moving now into the second quarter, Great


Britain leading in the transition period, the sprint is done, the


first 500. They will transition into a rhythm that will be sustainable


for the middle 1000. Great Britain led that transition, still holding


on a length over Romania in lane one and Australia also up there.


Australia under 23 world champions last year in the coxless four so a


fast, up and coming crew coming up into the senior event. Remaining and


the USA just slotting into third place. But ominously for the rest of


the world, the British crew at a length. They have not broken off, I


would be surprised in the boat if they would not want Clearwater and


they are getting that now as we come past 750 metres. Great Britain in


this second quarter in the final of the women's coxless pair. Helen


Glover, 28 years of age, Heather Stanning, 29, doing what they do


best, going out and dominating and from here, this is the strength,


this is where they can move on. All going according to plan. This


tailwind coming down the first 1000, not too bad on conditions right now.


For Heather and Helen, a good opening first thousand metres.


At the halfway point in this 2014 World Championships, the final of


the women's pair, from a Great Britain point of view, all going


according to script. Composed, quick in the first 500, now composed and


long with confidence rising with every stroke. This is Romania in


lane two, they are in their own fight with the United States. Megan


Kalmoe and Kerry Simmonds from the USA moving into second place in lane


three. To give you a rundown from the top, Australia in one, the under


23 champions, remain near in lane two, battling for the silver medal


against the United States who had a better second 500 than there first.


Great Britain are clear and gone in lane four. New Zealand in lane five


and South Africa bringing up the rear in lane six. That is now the


race for the sub medal position. -- silver medal position. James, they


are doing what we all expected, there was never any fear, we're


watching it develop, they were always going to be dominant in the


first 1000 metres. The key was for them to get out clean and to


maintain their pace in the second 500. They have not been pushed in


the last half of any race this season, it is the transition they


have struggled with a little bit but it is struggling on a high level and


they have maintained that level and risen above any fear of the


conditions. They have made a mockery of any fears that other crews may be


suffering. Interestingly for New Zealand, Louise Trappitt and Rebecca


Scown who came second in Lucerne six weeks back, they won the interval


battle and they are coming stronger in the third 500 but they will not


challenge the British crew going through your picture as we go past


1500 metres. Textbook stuff here, Great Britain in control. They are


on the home straight now, they have done everything asked of them and


when you get up to 1750, you are counting 25 glorious strokes. The


United States know they have to keep the pressure on because they are


terrier like, Megan Kalmoe from Minneapolis and Kerry Simmonds, 25


years of age from California, a pretty good crew, previous


medallists in various boats. They have the experience but whether they


have the guts in the closing stage of this final remains to be seen.


New Zealand have had their own internal battle to get selection


ahead of their under 23 pair which means they have had some of their


focus taken off the World Championships. There have been


selection issues with the British crew but they were sorted early and


they have gone away and concentrated and this is what you get. Now inside


15 strokes, 150 metres from the line, textbook stuff from Helen


Glover and Heather Stanning. No sprint and no fireworks required,


coming up to the line, an incredible journey, a wonderful partnership and


a story that is far from finished as Glover and Stanning become world


champions. World Championship gold medal number 24 Helen Glover and the


first four Heather Stanning. And a world record into the bargain. You


cannot take any more boxes in one race, leading from the start, win


the race, break the world record, thank you very much. Two years out,


very hard to see who will take them on. This is a seminal year where all


of the crews and the coaches will want to bed in the crews.


Qualification for the Olympics next year, this is a big year for every


country. Next year the coaches will lay their cards on the table for the


Olympics because that is when you qualify. If you look at the women's


pair this year, Heather has come back from serving in Afghanistan so


if they were going to have a weak year, it would be this year and that


was not very weak. They were really not pushed at all


in that race, they did everything asked of them and that it is. It is


a great relationship. Polly Swann was in the boat last year with


Helen. Heather Stanning won her seat back this year. Also, Polly will be


challenging again this winter, neither of them can rest on their


laurels because anybody in reddish women's rowing all want to be in


that pair. -- British rowing. Three seconds inside the previous world


best time, a nice tailwind and a good weeks work. Three seconds


inside the world record and in a race when they were not pushed which


is a sign of a quality crew, breaking the world record when you


are not racing flat out. As the opposition coach, you would think


that is quite difficult. There they are, about to get out of


the boat after a world best time. I doubt that if it is possible to


quantify degrees of exultation and joy but you get the sense that


Heather was more delighted than Helen because after coming back


after a year out, she is still the best. And it is her first world


title, she won the Olympics before the World Championships. That is her


first World Championship title and as much as we talk about the


Olympics, the World Championship is still a nice want to get. How


enormous and achievement is that? Having spent 12 month in Afghanistan


doing lots of other things that are probably more important than rowing


a boat, to come back and devote herself with the required intensity


and to get a world title at the end, how much of an achievement is it?


Massive when it all happened within 12 months. She did not come back


strongly until before Christmas. She admits herself, there was a dark


period where you doubt yourself. She was up against Polly Swann who was


the reigning world champion until five minutes ago and you want your


seat back from somebody outstanding. The boat has gone on without you,


you are not getting results, not as fit and strong as you want to be,


you are trying to get back to that standard and to do that in a few


months is very impressive. Sport is a brutal world and for everybody who


gets selected there is somebody who does not. I don't know if it was a


brave decision but obviously the right decision to pick Heather. When


they had those couple of years together before the Olympics, they


have been together since they both came into the team, they have quite


a history already and successful history the whole way through so it


was always seen as Heather having a break rather than losing her place.


She chose to step back but you have to earn your place back. Past


results are acknowledged and they would not guarantee your place so


you have to prove yourself. Obviously they are very good, but


the fact that they have posted this time, what does it tell you about


the conditions? They are a crew that are capable of that and they have


proven that but what you see, you need to be on form on any day they


ask of you, when the conditions turn in your favour, conditions were


right today, it fell in their time, and they had to nail it. What is


lovely, not just the first title together but the first with a world


record time. You can see they are approaching the pontoon, just past


the finish line. Many congratulations to a multi-world


champion now, Helen, and Heather, congratulations, your first world


title. Thank you very much. Your face at the end really told a


million stories! You are doing something very different one year


ago and here you are, about to go on a podium with a gold medal. Tell me


about it! It is a very surreal last 12 months, it has had its ups and


downs. Cannot believe it. Thank you, Helen, for believing in me this


summer, I have not been the most consistent training partner! Polly


is going to be rowing tomorrow, how does this title compare with 12


months ago? How does the partnership compare? It is different in the way


that I expected this, in the way that I knew that we were ready for


it. I think that last year, we were really proud of what we achieved


initial period of time. For Heather and I, it is a longer project that


we had in terms of history. Definitely expectation. Expectation,


we were new, it was going to be great whatever we did. A lot of


pressure and expectation. Very much a relief. As soon as Heather turned


around and looked at me, she looked at me and said, thanks! It was a


combination, it is a partnership. It is something we are proud of today.


Talking about expectation and pressure, the way that the programme


is mapped out, you are first to bat, first final. If you get off to a


good start, I'm sure it has a major impact on the rest of the team. That


is coming in Rio did you near a -- changing. It is not necessarily us


going first. -- it is changing in Rio de Janeiro. I think the


performances will have a different feel, it is something we have got to


get used to. Almost getting it over and done with early, letting other


people deal with the pressure afterwards. One final question, the


discipline of army life, very disciplined, but the discipline and


the regime of a Roman life is pretty disciplined as well! Are they in


many ways, entry because of that? -- rowing life. You are more


disciplined and more routines than anybody in the military! You have


got to be so dedicated and committed, it is a different


lifestyle to being in the military, being an athlete. I think I am a


sucker for both. It is on the days like today when it is worthwhile. It


was so nice out there, the weather was great conditions, I really


enjoyed it. And a yesterday we saw a lot of world records go to other


countries and we thought, we never get to race in those conditions!


Heather noticed when we cross the line, she looked at the time, I did


not believe her. You did. Probably our coach is going to be more


pleased with that. That was an extra, definitely. The podium


awaits. Well done. Britain's first gold medal at these world rowing


Championships of 2014. And so, to another pair who have been very


dominant, Murray and Bond, New Zealand, in the men's power. There


is actually a British pair here as well, Matt Langridge and James Foad,


they may be new but they have considerable experience.


COMMENTATOR: Men's pair away cleanly, South Africa in lane number


one, James Foad and Matt Langridge in two, all eyes on the All Blacks,


the awesome crew of Eric Murray and Hamish bond. The world champions,


the Olympic champions. Undefeated for a full six years. They have


doubled up in this regatta, they have already won the gold in the


men's clocks pair yesterday. Already we are seeing the German


struggling with their steering as they have sprinted out, and the


Kiwis, New Zealand, just down. James, we will not worry about that,


traditionally in the first 500, regardless of how they have doubled


up, they take it very steady, they get into the race in the first 500.


CO-COMMENTATOR: They do, they do not leave the race, but they are


generally not three quarters of a length down. -- lead the race. Every


time we won by a long way, there is no doubt that a spring will have


gone and unique that spring when you are sprinting either way. At the


moment we can do without the sprint finish. At the moment we have lost a


little bit of sprint, but such is the quality in the middle of the


race. Leading the way at the quarter mark stage, James Foad and Matt


Langridge, coached by Matt Dorsey. This will give them encouragement in


the British crew. They are like a shark, they slowly glide through the


pack. This is where we would expect normally to see them put on the


power, 600 metres, 700 metres, 750, and they are gliding back, they are


now into second place. Fully transitioning into the race rhythm,


they are long and they are hunting James Foad and Matt Langridge of


Great Britain. Normally, a minute ago, they would have been, where


Matt Langridge and James Foad. They are suffering lack of spring but


they are going to come through. It is easy to say that. They will show


how easy it is to do it. A good thing from the British perspective,


they have taken on the rest of the field, looks like they have secured


second place and they have got to make the decision, do they try and


stick one over on the New Zealand team? Will they risk that silver?


United States, the top American boat of the US team here. It is unusual,


usually the Americans focus upon their eight. This is the fastest


pair. It has become very predictable, it


never ceases to looks a tackle and in the first thousand, New Zealand


have done that, they are now through, into their position where


they are comfortable. They will have had a different day


yesterday, when Matthew Pinsent and I did it in 2001, there was two


hours between the start of the cox pair and the start of the coxless


pair. They have raced yesterday when nobody else has. They will suffer,


but they are a far quicker crew than Matthew and I work, pains me to say


it! They are a long way ahead of the field. They can afford to double up.


The encouraging thing is that their legs be stinging. Look at how


relaxed they are, they are incredibly relaxed.


If I was in the pairs, three to six, then I would be worried if I could


see how relaxed pair 's number one and number two look.


The three quarters mark. Graceful, smooth, oh so devastating, New


Zealand through and clear. Right now, they will know, they will be


pushing on for a world best, they said that themselves back in London,


at the Olympics, two years ago. They got the world best in the coxless


pairs, but look at them, they have not let up, they are up high, 40


strokes per minute, with clear water. They are gunning, they have


the gold medal but they are gunning for the tide. If they get world best


in this race, and especially with a relatively steady first half, that


will be an immense achievement. Six a way, having done three minutes and


five seconds, that is going to be a tall order. If any crew can rise to


the challenge it will be these two boys. New Zealand continue to Great


Britain, 40. Silver medal, looking good for the British crew here. They


have Clearwater over South Africa. James Foad and Matt Langridge,


coached by Rob Dorsey, and we can see them... The Kiwis are going for


the record, shouting at each other, you can see Murray shouting at Bond.


Inside the last 100, 41 strokes per minute, it goes up, the last five up


to the line to add yet another title, New Zealand over the line!


Just wait for the timing. Great Britain getting the silver. South


Africa coming over in the bronze medal. They have continued to do


what they do best, they have abolished it... They will be


disappointed, they have two world gold medals and one world record, I


do not think they got the world record... Just out of it. All they


did there was the second fastest time in the world ever, and they


have the fastest time as well... ! The British pair, annoying though it


is, the fastest British pair ever! They have just broken the time lapse


in. The world record for a decade. These boys, in second place, they


have shown the talent they have got in any other era, in any other race,


they would have won the World Championships. It is just these two


annoying bugs from New Zealand... ! Head and shoulders above any other


pair in history. They have been supreme for six years. They have got


to be the best pair that the world has ever seen... ? They are the most


consistent and the fastest. They are too incredibly strong athletes who


row well but are not that heavy. -- two. Like a cyclist, like Bradley


Wiggins: You have got to carry your weight from a to B, if you can be


strong and light, crews will struggle to beat you. On top of


that, the difference between the best performance and the worst


performance is so small, that even on a bad day, they will beat you buy


a long way! The commentary box is not a bad position right now. The


New Zealand supremacy by quite some margin over Great Britain, South


Africa get the bronze medal. gold medals in the space of 48


hours, worth repeating, you almost cannot say it often enough, they


have not lost in that event since Beijing, 2008. Ash macro that Kiwi


pair quite extraordinary. Very shortly we will have the first medal


ceremony of this event. -- that Kiwi pair quite extraordinary. Glover and


Heather Stanning, medal winners. The Americans picking up their medals,


looking at the times across the semifinal times, the Americans were


the ones that were going to be challenging. On the day... INAUDIBLE


Champions, Great Britain! Ruthless in their execution, graceful in


their acknowledgement and acceptance, they are the best in the


world! Helen Glover and Heather Stanning. Ellen, a very proud


Cornish woman. That is what it means to her, 29 years old, captain


Stanning. She took out a year, it was a personal decision, she has had


to fight for her seat back in the boat but it was like she was never


away. She has been fighting an important fight in Afghanistan.


There is one fight, and sport is different.


Hairs on the back of your neck still standing when you see that, all for


them. Great Britain, world champions in the women's coxless pairs.


And from gold medallist on the podium to silver medallist, leaning


against the rail. Congratulations... In a way, is that what you were


hoping for, is that the best you were hoping for? Yes, our intention


was to be the first crew in the world to push them... Felt like we


were well in the race, doing well. Really strong in that 3500. I'm very


pleased, I am very excited, I was very excited in the first half of


the race. Best ever time by a British crew. That is a notch on the


belt! It is unfortunate we came second but to be the fastest British


pair, very good! I was hoping James would be up here to interview us so


that I could rip him a little but unfortunately here somewhere else!


I'm not sure about the exact time, but I think it has beaten James and


Matt. Nice to take that scalp. The Kiwis have not lost for six years,


everybody talks about them being untouchable, given that, how do you


approach a race like that? Like I said, we know they are a fantastic


crew, we know how quick they are. Given that they also raced in


another event this year, we thought this was a great opportunity to take


it to them, to push them. We had great confidence in ourselves, we


believe that we could do that, and I think that we have shown that we can


do it as best we possibly can. How has the year been for you guys, in


relationship between the two of you? We got off to a good start, we get


on well, we have never been a pair before, so OK they have been


together for six years, we have been together six weeks! It was always


going to be a tall order, but in some ways that is quite nice, takes


the pressure off, the pressure is on them. Some of the first half of the


race was very good, and then perhaps our lack of time together showed in


the last kilometre. But in six weeks we have done a good job and it has


been fun. What is your assessment? Fastest ever British time, pretty


exceptional! Is this a crew that will stay together? I am not the


person to ask, the only person who can answer that, probably not here.


This year has been really good, we have enjoyed it, and I think that it


will be great, it is fun to carry on, it is a fun project. Another six


weeks together, we could be going even quicker. Could you be the crew


to crack the Kiwis? I would like to think so, today we gave it a go. In


the second half perhaps we tied up a little. This is race number six for


us together. Maybe the inexperience showed. They are the more


experienced crew and they held together better but it is good


experience. How are the conditions? Pretty nice! Nice British weather,


hoping for a bit of cooling rain, but it is very nice. Pretty straight


down the course, nice and firm. Pretty good fun. Obviously for me,


having seen the conditions, being in New Zealand in 2010, I was a little


concerned. I was happy to come here. Straight down the course. 2000


metres down there, tell us, were you aware that Heather and Helen had


one? Does it have any bearing on anything? Great Britain is off to a


flyer. We had no idea whatsoever, we do not know what is going on down


this end, we are in a bubble. We are quite focused on what we want to do


and what we want to achieve. For me, personally, just going through the


race. It is about what I'm going to do in each segment. I was completely


unaware of what is going on. Pretty handy start for Great Britain, two


races down, a gold medal and we have seen the four go past behind us,


going to the start. They will know what you have done and what the


girls have done, I am sure they are feeling pretty buoyant.


Congratulations, great achievement! And from the silver to the gold, if


we can bring in... It becomes tedious for us but not for them! Yet


more gold medals for the incredible... The awesome twosome!


Another title! It was not easy, the Brits really took it to us, pushing


hard through to the thousand and keeping on pushing, even when we


went through, I never felt that we had them broken. -- when we went


through the mud. Sometimes you feel you have done enough, you have


broken the back of the beast, but to their credit they really hung on and


we had to dig deep. It was always going to be a question of putting


out a nine second best time in the cox yesterday, people ask how it


went, but I was not going to know until the last 500 metres. My leg


was feeling not too dead, we have done a lot of conditioning work,


fitness work. We got the idea of doing the two races, we had that


idea because we know that we are in the best shape we have been in in


our lives and we were capable. I remember speaking with Ed Moses, 400


metre hurdler, he was unbeaten for years and years, I asked him about


that burden, it was self-imposed. Or you race, the more you want to keep


winning. Are you feeling that now? We are, when you are at the top


there is only one way to go! We are just trying to make sure that we


stay at the top as long as possible. For Hamish and I, it has been a


burden, we have set the benchmark of winning every race. We would love to


go there and just qualify and just qualify and throw everything in the


final! But now we have gone unbeaten, so if we do not go there


and win and do it well, we criticise ourselves. We put it on ourselves,


the pressure externally from the media and the public will be wanes


in comparison to what we expect of ourselves. We expect only the best


and that is what we achieve every time we go and race. Into


disciplines you remain the best, very well done. -- in two victories.


-- disciplines. The men's lightweight double sculls is one


race which does not have a Brit in the final.


Jamie Kirkwood and William Fletcher, you can see here, here they were,


winning the B final. It was fairly narrow, but they came through, as we


can show you now the a final. COMMENTATOR: Into the middle part of


the course, the water becomes popping. They will have to deal with


it. Light ways guys, average weight, 70 kilograms, much more to


play. They cannot overly rely upon pure power. As a sport, this does


not rely on pure power. COMMENTATOR: -- CO-COMMENTATOR: They should be


able to cope with faster conditions especially being a lighter group.


Because there is a following wind, the water is much flash at the start


than at the finish, you are a lot less tired at the start than at the


finish. When conditions are at their worst, the crews will be at the most


tired, and those that have a strong finish like the French and the


Norwegians, they will be stronger in that final quarter. The Italians, I


think, if they are going to make a playful gold, they will have to do


it now, in the middle-of-the-road is. -- if they are going to make a


play for gold. -- in the middle of the row. They led them in 3.01. Well


inside the world best time, that they themselves set in the


semifinal. Just a reminder here, from the British point of view,


William Fletcher and Jamie Kirkwood, this is a tough event, the


lightweight double sculls. They finished second in the B final


earlier today. Giving them an overall world position of eight. --


eighth. Norway are in lane two, the world champions having to start a


fight back. South Africa, one, Norway, two, the


Italians, who have really been on the heels of the French the whole


way down, three. The French, the world fastest, four. Completely


dominated the European Championships and the World Cup through 2014.


Germany, five. The Netherlands, number six. The problem now for the


Italians is that the Norwegians are coming through, so are the South


Africans. There is a battle for bronze between Norway and South


Africa. That impact right up to Italy. The French may have just


enough but they will be dragged into the fourth as well. For crews going


for three medals. You have got to be at the sharp end. At the moment, the


Italians have gone back. They went to try and beat the French. Their


play, they went for gold, and they end up with nothing. The Norwegians,


rather than chasing down gold, they are in a battle fossils. We are


going to... It is going to be close! It is going to be very close with


the world champions from Norway, from Norway, picking it up here, the


French are hanging on, they are right on the edge. James Thompson


and John Smith, South Africa. Just sneaking in. One last push from the


French on the line, it is going to be close. South Africa perhaps the


top, and France, who led, photo finish on your screen. The French,


who have dominated the event through 2014, looked as though they were


called on the line. Does not get any more cruel than that. It does,


because they got caught on the line, and they have lost their world


record! If there is anything else, they may well be losing their


girlfriends tonight! LAUGHTER


That is how tight this event is, confirmation there. South Africa


were fit at 500, they were fourth at 1000, second at 1500, first on the


line. That is a nice race profile. It is a nice race profile, the one


question, crews voting now, and performance directors, how come a


crew that came third in the semi can break the world record and win the


world title from an outside lane? I think they may be pressurising the


governing body to see the lanes, it is unfair that a team that qualified


last the final should be beating the world record holders who also won


the semi. We may see the lanes get changed, we may see crews go out


thinking, I am in a bad lane. The thing about lightweight races,


sometimes you get the most fantastic barnstorming finishes and that is


great and we have more to come later. The men's fours and the men's


quads coming up. As far as the women's equivalent race is


concerned, we were hoping Imogen Walsh and Kat Copeland would be in


the final, sadly they did not make it through to the final despite the


fact they were one of the favourites if not THE FAVOURITES AND THIS IS


WHAT HAPPENED, BUT NO consolation. How have the last 48 hours been for


you? Fairly torturous, it is difficult to pick yourself up from


what was a huge disappointment in the semifinal. Going out today, you


want to perform at your best and you cannot do that if you let your head


drop. There has been a lot of mental focus required, to keep on the right


page, and go out and do what we needed to do, which thankfully we


did today. The image of the both of you, at the finish on Thursday, both


looking utterly distraught, almost as though you were not quite sure


what had happened? Is that how you felt? Yes, I do not know, I do not


like talking about it... I don't know! Yes, I am gutted. We are both


gutted. Embarrassed... We are a bit devastated. I don't know... If we


can work out... At the minute I do not know what went wrong... But if


we can work it out when we get back in September, then I think we are


really going to make seriously sure that we do not do it again. The old


cliche, you learn more in defeat than victory, is there a lot to be


said? The girls talk about it brilliantly. We have all been there.


Although you do learn the biggest lessons from defeat, it is not a


lesson that anybody would like to learn. Especially when expectations


are so high. These girls will be aiming to be top of the entire


event. To not even be fighting for the medals... It is a tough thing to


do. event. To not even be fighting for


the medals... It is a In yet to come you look back and you say, we


learned so much from that moment, it will see us good in years to come.


It is difficult to live with at the moment. But you can analyse it and


detach from the emotion and say, we will be doing that race again in 12


months time, how do we do it better? I've seen that in training it has


been going well? Yes, it is hard to say.


better. Training has been going well. We had a hard camp. Maybe


mentally that was quite hard. But I don't know. Paul Reedy has been your


coach, he is known to be very cool and evenhanded, what was his


response? He has been really good with us, this regatta especially. He


is quite a rock. The people who are around you are very important,


friends and family, they support you in the good times but more


importantly in the bad times. That is one of the things that has been


really hard, we both have family and friends who have come out and you


feel disappointment, we are disappointed for the team but we


have friends and family who have come out to support us and you feel


you have let a huge amount of people down. But they have been brilliant


as well. Some of my friends said that they are over here to help you


through the bad times and celebrate the good and that is incredible,


they can pick you up. There is always a ray of sunshine somewhere,


you are an auntie now and you have not seen your knees yet! I am so


looking forward to it. I had a little knees born about a month ago


who I have not met yet --. I need to take a step back from rowing and


think about other things and then come back fresh and raring to go.


Good to talk to you both, sorry it is in these circumstances but there


is always a next time. In their absence, here is the lightweight


race at the start, this is James and Gary.


COMMENTATOR: They are coming under starter 's orders. China, New


Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Australia and Italy, all of whom


Great Britain have beaten this season.


The green light goes in near-perfect conditions. The wind picks up the


course as we come through 2000 metres. China in lane one, New


Zealand in lane two, Canada, Lindsay Jennerich is in the bow, herself a


world champion in this event in 2010, South Africa in lane four.


Canada and South Africa currently in the fastest lanes, three and four,


Australia in five, the Lucerne Silver medallists from six weeks


ago, and the Italians just being dropped in this opening stage, they


are in lane six and they are the world champions. The crew average,


they way into hours before the a lot of starts on, 57 -- 57 kilograms.


The Italians a little slow out of the blocks. Their whole season has


been as a prize, they are world champions -- a surprise. They have


struggled for form. They struggled a bit in the semifinal but look to


have reverted to type. The Canadian girls are interesting because three


quarters of their race in the semifinal was average, the last 500


metres was spectacular. I don't think they can back that up. It will


be a very level playing field. Not a lot in it so far. Going into the


second 500, a little move with the wind picking up. Maybe starting to


move the bow was a bit. Very important to be fully composed. You


can see New Zealand in lane two. Sophie Mackenzie and Julia Edward in


that boat. And you can see how far back Canada are. They'd knocked out


the British in the semifinal but they are two lengths behind and they


will have two rely on a spectacular last 1000 metres. The Chinese have


the quickest last 1000 in their semifinal. But they are out of it at


the moment. If South Africa can take something, they will not know that


there men's lightweight double won the previous race, but they have a


good training system in place and they have peaked well for these


World Championships, it is whether they can show the same strength in


the last 1000 metres as their countrymen did. Heading towards


halfway. This is the only Olympic event, Olympic category event for


lightweight women, which makes it such a hard and tough fought event


over the four years running into each Olympiad. South Africa and New


Zealand out in front and leading the way. The big surprise at halfway is


China. Into the third 500 metres, New Zealand, South Africa and


Australia. China is ace apprise because -- a surprise, because their


bow roller was the Olympic silver medallist in 2012. -- bow rower.


You would have thought that the Chinese were starting to get a quick


crew here with youth and experience. Meanwhile it is New Zealand in lane


two and South Africa in lane four macro but we cannot write out


Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obie. The Canadians are sneaking back into


it. South Africa will not be happy with where they are. In the


semifinal they would never headed by New Zealand. Canada are starting to


get overlapped with South Africa. They will be sniffing around for a


silver medal which might push everybody back up to New Zealand so


it is not over. China moving up on speed, they are


third in speed so they have pushed on. Whether that is sustainable,


they will be a bit protected in this closing quarter. They had the


fastest last 500 in their semifinal. They have some sustainable pace but


they are a long way down. Out front, Clearwater now, New Zealand in lane


two looking very impressive, Sophie Mackenzie and Julia Edward. They


were in a battle earlier in the year at the first World Cup regatta in


Sydney between two New Zealand double sculls and this is the crew


that has come out. They have not raced in Europe this year so this


regatta is the first time we have seen them perform. As always, New


Zealand does well in the small boats, men, women, heavyweight,


lightweight. And that is partly because they have a number of


successful crews training with each other on a similar programme. They


are competitive in training and they bring each other on which is being


shown here. Wonderful composure from New Zealand as they come inside 200


metres. Sophie Mackenzie and Julia Edward, it is all coming together


nicely. Watch out for Canada because there are 100 metres to come and on


the far side, China sneaking in for the bronze perhaps. Out front, they


have held them off, it is a matter of getting to the line. New Zealand


will be the new world champions, they come over in first, Canada


securing the silver medal and as we called it, China just sneaking in


for that bronze medal. The Italians, the world champions, just coming


over in fifth place. That was the race that Kat Copeland


and Imogen Walsh would have loved to have been in. It is easy to talk


when you have one, a lot harder when you have lost, especially so


combines a bleak -- when you have won. Do you just walk away for a bit


and try to rationalise things and come back renewed and fresh? If only


life was that simple! Everybody deals with it in different ways.


Even in my career, sometimes you deal with it differently than the


following year. You can agonise about it, sometimes I would not be


able to sleep. It can haunt you for a while. Sometimes you can walk away


and leave it for a break and come back fresh. But the great thing is,


they did not have the answers yet but they felt they could talk about


it. You have to front up and admit that. But they are both talking


about the future which is positive. If you have just joined us, you have


missed couple of British medals, at the above -- Helen Glover and


Heather Stanning winning gold and in the men's pair, here they are on the


podium getting their silver medals behind the ubiquitous New


Zealanders, Murray and Bond. But it was a tremendous performance and at


some stage in the future, they may be the pair that could finally


defeat that extraordinary unbeaten New Zealand pair. And talking about


a dominant crew, the next race is the one that everybody involved in


British rowing and perhaps people out of the sport look to, the


coxless four with the sport going back to Redgrave and Pinsent and


Cracknell to the current quartet who have carried all before them so far


this year. It is a nice being to have, knowing


you are the top boat. The new look crew, George Nash, Moe Sbihi, Alex


Gregory, they have only been together a couple of weeks but they


are a tight-knit unit. The roles are natural, I am the big guy, the


power,, Hodge sets the rhythm, Alex is smooth and technical and George


is all three of those things. Other people watching this will be


thinking, I will struggle to get Mike seat in that. This is class. We


are going to win and to be our best. Great Britain demolished the field


here at the European rowing Championships and make it look easy.


We've worked hard to put this together, it has been a long winter.


This is what we are aiming to do. They have demolished the pack twice


in a row now this year, a masterclass. The prospect has been


very exciting of this coming together. When it finally happened,


, is kind of as good as I hoped it would be, very new and very exciting


and I love being in this boat every day. It is a wonderful product to be


part of. The crew has improved the ridiculous amount but we cannot rest


on our laurels, we have to keep being motivated to improve every


race and we are doing that, there is no confusion, it is simple rowing


and that is how I like it. Great Britain here completely dominating


the 2014 World Cup series. They are European champions, World Cup


champions, it does not get any better as they head off for their


summer training camp. We already had a really good camp up an amount in.


It puts us in a position of great strength compared to everyone. It


has gelled surprisingly well. On the water it is pretty slick, we have a


good sense of how we each want to row. Obviously we want to win, that


goes without saying given our season, but I guess if conditions


are right, we want to win in a fast time.


People who know about these things say this could be the best men's


four ever, including the great athletes that have gone before and


the great thing about rowing, it is real teamwork. All of the elements


have to work together. Let's talk with Catherine and James and Gary


who are in the commentary box about the individuals concerned. James,


you are a huge fan of Alex Gregory, tell us what his role is and what he


brings. He is in the bow seat which is the first man across the line. I


was in that position in Sydney and it is a key one because you can see


what the others are doing, you are almost coaching them in training.


Because of the order, the two guys in front of him both rowing on the


same side in what is called a tandem and Andy Hodge in the stroke seat,


he is a long way away, it is a key seat in setting the boat up. He is


calling the technical shots and arguably in the hardest technical


position. If he can set the boat up and get his work on, that puts the


whole crew in a good place and he does it incredibly well. I think he


is the best in the boat and he is in the best position. Talk about the


giant man in front of him. He was the talisman of the Olympic eight in


2012 at London and the journey he was on had given him the nominal


evidence. He was always going to step on and move into this -- given


him phenomenal confidence. Steely determination, he is a lovely died


but in the boat, he flicks a switch -- lovely guy. You always want


someone like that, a big strong athlete who can row. And a quick


word about the man in front of him. Mostly he has the engine, no doubt


about it but you need a spark plug to get it going -- Moe Sbihi. George


Nash connects really well. Without his finesse and aggressive attitude,


you would not get the best out of the big guys. Everybody has a


different role but they all seem to fill it. Some of the cruise take a


while to find it, and I bought the London crew never did but these guys


have got it from the first race and hopefully they can finish it off.


Catherine, you have known Andrew Triggs Hodge for a long time, tell


us about him as a talisman. He has passion, consistency, desire and


nothing less than winning, he is in that mould of great British rowers,


he is a champion. They are odds-on favourite to win it. Can they do it?


COMMENTATOR: Netherlands are in lane one, USA into, Great Britain in


three, Australia in four, Greece in lane five and Canada in lane six.


They started the competitive year as European champions, can they finish


it as world champions? What they do best, as you will know James, Jurgen


is all about powering it out in the first 500, start to dominate. He


must say the same thing for every crew the coaches. In one way, yes,


he wants you to be in the race at the start but not faster than it


needs to be. This start is better than normal for them. What they do


really well, after a minute through to four minutes, that is when they


take everybody apart. I would find it worrying if I was the opposition


that they are half a length up already. The Dutch in lane one are


fast finishing world champions. Lane one has shown to produce some fast


last 1000 metres so they will be mindful not to take their eyes off


them. But right now they can see everybody and that is the perfect


place. The hallmark of a British boat coached by Jurgen Grobler is to


get to be called to mark first and they have done that so now it is


about getting into transition. They are being chased hard by the


Americans. They are bronze medallists from last year, the


British crew were all in the men's eight in the World Championships so


coming into this event but the Americans will be on their tails.


They were in the semifinal until halfway but the race is 2000 metres,


not 1000 metres. The reality is, to live with the British the whole way


down the track, no other country has found the ability to do that. They


can live with them until halfway but that is irrelevant, you don't get a


medal for halfway. If they are going to take on the British, they have to


make sure it does not cost them another medal. The USA art squeezing


on as we come through 800 metres -- they are squeezing. There is Seth


Weil in the stroke seat. The power and pressure have been put on and


that halfway, Great Britain from the USA, those two crews have opened up


clear water from a pack led by the Netherlands, the world champions.


This is where we would expect the British to do their biggest push of


the race so far. Until this point, the USA have been throwing


everything at the British crew just to stay level and have contact and


the British have dealt well, they have been composed and sat there but


now we would expect in the third 500 them to start to push on. Led by


Andy Hodge in the stroke seat. It is like watching Michael Johnson down


the back straight of a 400 metres, taking it in his stride and about to


open up a whole can of you know what on the other crews! That is what


they are doing, they are about to open it up and there they go. Coming


up towards the length app. United States in silver medal position.


Netherlands, let's not write them off, they are in the bronze medal


position currently but have just slipped back as the Australians in


lane four come through. They may have some wind and course advantage


in the closing stages. At the three quarters mark, Great Britain have


composed, a brilliant third 500, they have pushed and lifted the boat


out of the water out to a length. They were playing with the USA in


the first 1000 metres, they put some work on in the third quarter and


they are reaping the benefits of that. When you have clear water from


any crew coached by Jurgen Grobler, with guys like this in it, it is


very hard to come back. Andy Hodge in the stroke sheet, George Nash,


Moe Sbihi, Alex Gregory, they will enjoy the paddle in -- stroke seat.


They will not paddle in, they want around off their season with a world


record. These are fast conditions, they are a fast crew, they have had


a perfect season and they will want to take a risk and revel in these


last 35 seconds. They are going for it. One last time, Andy Hodd driving


for the line, the world best time is 5.37, they can smell it here. --


Andy Hodd show. USA under pressure from Australia. The British crew


coming towards the line, they know they are world champions but the


world 's fastest crew? Over and clear, the fists go up, the USA are


in second place. Australia holding out for the bronze medal. We will


see on the screens, waiting for the confirmation, it is gold. It is


5.40.24, three seconds outside the world record, not today for them.


James, I thought at 1500 it did not look like a crew that was going for


the world best time. They knew they had it in control but they never


looked on the edge here. Correct me if I am wrong, you have got to be on


the edge and a bigger crew, not relying on the last 250 Sprint. You


are right, you have got to be on the edge and you can either go that way


from the start... Which they don't do. Which they didn't have to do


because they were in control. Either that or you have to be in a real


race, one way or another. They saw off the American challenge and in


the last 500 they turned it on and tried to get it but they were not on


the edge for long enough to break it. They have got another couple of


years. Looking at the last couple of strokes coming up to the line here.


The world champions, they will have to come back another year to get the


world best time. There they are just going past us,


the victorious quartet. It was a race that they won it pretty


emphatically. Like the women's pair, it is not surprising they won


but still pleasant to watch and it is a stunning display. That is a


stack event with some fantastic boats but they were clear and away


with it. And unbeaten for the year. You have targets set and I am sure


they wanted to be unbeaten all year and they have done it. Not just


that, the men's field in the Great Britain squad is very competitive


and this is the lead boat, everybody wants to be in it. Every time they


raise they have to prove they are the right people to sit in those


seats -- they race. When you talk to them, they are enjoying it,


relishing it, winning never gets old. Just to mark your card, the


men's quad is still to come in about 20 minutes, a potential medal for


Great Britain there. James, it is always invidious comparing


generations in any sport but how good is that quartet and how much


better might it get? I am not sure if they actually heard


the question so I will ask you. Maybe he is ignoring you! The thing


is, everybody talks about it, the event moves on every year and


improves, we don't always see faster times because it is weather


dependent. James and Steve and Matt and all of those big names, they


have respect for what they do. For the men's four to go out and


repeatedly win in fierce competition, it shows their class.


James, talk about what potential that quartet might have. They have


immense potential. As I said before the race, they have the right people


in the right seats. Andy sets the rhythm, George Nash is Sparky to get


the power out of Moe and Alex Gregory is incredibly powerful. They


will get the best out of themselves, only when someone pushes them.


People are only really with them until halfway. They have to dig in


on their own to break a world record. The most important thing for


any crew, especially coached by Jurgen, is to win the race. That


time is eight seconds quicker than Steve, Matt or I ever went in a


fall. That is a mark of how they have moved the event on. You talk


about tactics in football terms, explain for the non-rowing


fraternity watching, you talk about having the right people in the right


seats, if you almost randomly put people in a different seat, how


would that change the dynamic of the boat and maybe impact on


performance? There are issues with who you put in the stroke seat, you


need somebody with a natural rhythm, paddling around in a steady


state through to racing flat out, they have to have a consistent


rhythm regardless of intensity. Then you need somebody who feeds down the


rhythm. If you break that link, it will not work and unless you find


the right stroke man and the right man to transition it, making sure


you are getting the power out of the people in the bud, you will not be


fast. The crew I was in in Sydney, in any other order, we were


rubbish! We happened to find that order because we tried every other


order and that was the perfect one! Here are four more gold medallists,


congratulations. How do you compare one gold medal to another? Each one


is great, the slate is wiped clean every year. We were under a bit of


pressure to perform. We have had an unbeaten year so far, we had to


carry it off and thank goodness we did. I am really pleased, really


really pleased. We can see it on your face. Moe, the first time among


this group, how has it been? It has been a great year, a wonderful


journey from the first session in the boat, we were together and in


unison and I have loved every single stroke. Not just the race but the


journey to get their as been great. People have written or commentated


about you as the group, how much fun you seem to be having. Is that fair?


I think so, we have a quite a good time of the water, we all enjoy


having a bit of a dated at each other and looking around back at


base so it has been a great season, with the relaxed, a relaxed group.


It makes it really fun to go out and go fast and it is just the cream on


the take. He has gone to find his wife and


child! He has his priorities right. Somebody earlier today in the press


was saying, one of the key factors in your success which has bound


together the group, astronomy... ? Stargazing! We are very fortunate to


go away to some incredible places in the world and one of those places


just happens to have pretty good astronomy. We have been out looking


up at the sky is, every night training camp. Are you experts? We


are doing quite well. -- skies. Now we have the youngest addition to the


team! Were you the cox! And we did not see you? Who would have


thought, Gold medallist again, all of these years on... Bad hands, that


is what you gave up rugby! How was it for you? It was a tough one, we


knew what the Americans were capable of, from the semifinal. We really


started to them. Credit to these guys, technical skill, the power...


We pushed on from there and we dominated the field. Tough


conditions. But an excellent base. You have been involved so long, so


much expectation that you win. How much does that impact on how you


approach doing it? It is the same story, every time you go on the


water, whether it is training camps or at home, you have got to train


your hard disk, you have got to keep pushing. No matter what you think


about where you will come in the world, the moment you stop fighting


for it and think it is a given, that is the day that you will lose. --


train your hardest. It is something I have learned in the past, and days


like today prove that hard work pays off. Must keep fighting. That is a


product of a lot of hard work, from Juergen, from the team, from the


support from the national lottery. It is a big picture put together to


produce these results. Across the field. We have another farther down


here, does this change your approach, being a father? It cannot


change the approach, but it does make it more challenging. The


reward... He makes life much richer. Winning gold medals is awesome but


when you can come home to a little man like this, to the family unit,


it means a lot more. You are bringing home the medal for them.


They have put a lot into this performance, helping them do what I


do. -- helping me do what I do. I have seen him only two days in a


month and a half, so to be here as world champion, does not get much


better! I must ask you, they have postponed racing for an indefinite


period now, because of the conditions. You got in just in time


in a sense! How difficult was it? I did not really notice it that


much... Pretty choppy in the last 500 or so... When it gets like that


is, your blades catch here and there and it can get dangerous, going that


speed, for the boys on the quad, it can produce nasty injuries. Probably


the right call. They have run a great event here, they have made


every effort to be as fair as they can. All credit to them. On another


note I would like to thank all of the support team and the coach,


Juergen, for helping us over the year, and on the way here. They are


very important and without them, we would not be able to do what we do.


Final word with you, these guys have been involved in the four, for a


long time, but for you, because as you are growing up probably, you


were watching growing when you were at school, the coxless forward as


the mythical group of athletes, and now you are a part of it. How much


did it matter to you? It was very special, growing up, watching them


win repeatedly, year after year. Drawing huge inspiration from that


as a youngster. Hopefully that is what we are doing, inspiring the


young generation through what we are doing and what the team is doing. We


will have some young whippersnappers filling our shoes. The governing


body screaming at you to be on the podium, so well done,


congratulations! Gold medallist, the coxless four, once again. They have


got to rush. And I think that he is going to make sure that his son is


going to be on the podium! I think he is going to do that. Dennis Wise,


what did he start at that FA Cup final all of those years ago for


Chelsea? Coming here, I think that we are going to have to talk a


bit... We do not have any rowing because of the conditions. George


did not think it was anything particularly difficult, but the


governing officials have decided it is unfair, is the assessment at the


moment. One eye on the clock. The men's four have the potential to


break it again. The flags at the end were not even blowing. It did not


look very strong and hence they did not break the record, as has been


pointed out, the problem with the course, the wind can circulate, as


soon as it begins circulating, unfair conditions, lanes have got to


be redrawn. Or they may even postpone things. Because it has been


so blustery. As an athlete it is not good to have a 24-hour delay, you


want to race in the best possible conditions. They have options, they


have time. The women will be down at the start line. In this kind of


situation how difficult is it, as the athlete concerned, you will have


done your preparation because you know that you will race at 2.43. --


2:43pm. It would be far more difficult if it was just your boat,


but everybody is in the same situation, and so, as Catherine has


said, you want to race in the best, possible, fair conditions. -- best


possible, fair conditions. From looking at it, I should imagine the


crew in lane number one would like to go on with it. Do the seeding


again, or do not do the race. That is what I would say. Would you


agree? As you are there, you may as well race. We are hearing that they


are putting the quads onto the start, the starter has told them,


eight minutes to go. When you have a short period of time, they will


still be focused on the race, right now, but when... I do not know how


many of these crews have used team psychologist, whether they do it


themselves, it is always about being in the moment. You cannot control


the uncontrollable. This is where medals can be won and lost. They


have changed the lanes here. In this race. Obviously that is going to


have an impact on the draw and on the outcome. Bring back to talk


about the coxless four, for a moment. Having heard them


interviewed. As you have been a part of a group of individuals like that,


just standing here, talking to them, you get a very good vibe from them,


that to use those awful cliches, they are in a very good place at the


moment. Yes, they are in a good place, they are undefeated, world


champions, best possible place. They have pretty much made up the mind of


every other international code, do not put your best athletes in the


four, you have got to race the British. They will not want to go up


against a crew perform like that. Andy Hodge does not have his little


boy with him, I am glad to see that. I took my boy onto the landing stage


in Athens, and I decided that my son should not join me on the podium!


They never let me live that one down. Here they are on the podium,


talk us through what we were expecting to happen. Here is the


gold medal we were hoping for. They are going to finish the year as


they started. European champions to begin with, world champions to


finish. It is not a bad year all round, given that we are two years


out, but James, this is the crew, without a doubt, that will represent


Great Britain in two years time. I cannot see anybody else coming into


this. You cannot see any be else coming into it but I guarantee, no


other member of the British men's rowing team will agree with what you


have just said, they will see a target on the head of one of those


guys, they want to be on the boat. It is going to be hard to get into


it but not impossible. There are some that are key. Look there... Six


foot five, Alex Gregory, knee is not a short man. They are a big unit. To


make this boat you have got to be big and strong and able to grow. It


is a difficult thing to match. -- big and strong and able to row.


CHEERING Great Britain receiving the


accolade, a word in the background, full credit goes to one Jurgen


Grobler, the men's chief coach of the team.


It is a point that Helen and Heather made early on, how much they were


looking forward now, to three weeks away from the water, but that goes


for the guys as well, they will be delighted, after the brutality of


the last few weeks, in many ways, to be able to forget about running for


the next three and a half weeks. The last few weeks are ramped up but the


last few months... Just because those crews are winning and continue


winning does not make it easier, the as Andy was saying, the standards go


up and you have got to push yourself, you have got to be the


ones pushing yourself, when you are leading the rest of the world, they


are aiming for you but you have got to push beyond that. Constant


intensity and pressure, to keep moving, keep pushing the standard


higher. When the weeks come, the weeks come when you can switch off.


The lovely thing is, some of them have families, some of them have


their own kids. That is when you absolutely, you get a different


perspective, horizons broaden, you get to travel, you get to see


friends and family all year -- you get to see friends and family you


have not seen all year. The discipline of sport is like a drug,


after a couple of weeks you cannot wait to get back into the routine,


it is what generates the enthusiasm. There is always another medal to


win, that is you need a break, you need a mental and physical break,


but then your mind starts thinking, next year 's World Championships,


and there is World Cups to win, and what if the opposition is back


training, and reedit generic is not far away. That is what gets you


back. -- and Rio DJ Nero is not far away.


-- flags streaming towards us. We will be several minutes late off,


but when the wind is this strong, and blowing straight down the


course, how does that affect the flow of the water and the way you


put the blade in the water and the rhythm of the boat? It affects the


entire course, it is 2000 metres and what happens, the start of the


course is very flat, because it is right at the end of the lake, it is


very protected. As it unfolds, the waves begin picking up and rolling


down the course. The last 400 metres, when they are at their


fastest, you are physically exhausted and mentally drained. The


water is at its roughest and most technical and if you are not sharp


on it you can lose things. We do not have a British crew in this, but we


do have one for the men's. We are very optimistic for a men's medal,


in a moment, and here we go with the women's.


Given the wind and the conditions, the two favoured lanes, Lane one and


Lane two. BELL Always a great view in the opening


stages of the quads, going off the line. The first 150 out. Not much in


it. New Zealand in Lane number five, closest to us. The early picture


here. Lane one and Lane two will be the two crews to watch as we move


towards the first timing mark. Germany, the world champions.


Olympic silver medallists, only two of that boat returning from under


2012. -- London 2012. We are seeing what you have said previously, it


should be reasonably predictable, because of the conditions, and


moving the pot boat over and in underneath the bank, when they get a


bit more shelter. What has happened here, they have crews that have


qualified the fastest, they have got the fastest lanes. What that means


is that the racing will not be that exciting. In Lane six, little chance


of winning. Lane one is going to be ahead of the game, and Lane six is


going to be at a disadvantage. The real problem for the other crews,


Germany are quick out on the first half, very consistent in the last


1500 metres. They will be hard to hold back down. The Americans, as


their country seems to rampage out of the blocks, they may well fade.


China look very relaxed. They enjoyed their semifinal, I think


they will come through the field. The Germans have a relentless


consistency about their quad history in sculling. The Germans are the


world champions. We approach the 750 metre mark.


They came first at the last two World Cup regattas in this 2014


World Cup season. Laying it down, China, we have not really seen China


in this combination this year. Two of the crew. They raced pretty early


on in the season. It is a nice view down on the water, you can see how


the wind behind is beginning to make the water pop in the middle


thousand. The Germans racing very well, looking very relaxed, yes, I


know they are in the best Lane, but the Chinese are effectively in an


equally good Lane and they are a length ahead of them. The Americans


have held on for longer than I had thought. Very gutsy skull and race


in the first thousand metres of this. Germany, in the redrawn


favoured Lane of Lane one, out by a length. China redrawn into Lane two.


You can see the struggle they are having now. Particularly because


they are not as long and fluid as Germany in front of them. What is


gutsy and fighting, US, Lane number four, and a crew that finished


fifth, it was a different line-up back in the World Championships last


year. A new combination, a whole load of youngsters here, and they


are in amongst it, they know that they are in a disadvantageous Lane


but they are fighting hard, currently second or into bronze


medal position. Note, they are long and fluid, and moving... The look is


effortless. Germany making it look very easy. They have a strong


tradition in women's quad sculls, do America risk a medal altogether by


that brave start? Is that what has happened? Has it broken Australia.


Germany now, if they lose from here, their coach will give them a hell of


a telling off! Nice and tight on the technique, three quarters of the


race down, we are now into the last quarter, Germany, Lane number one,


retaining a clear lead over the United States. Australia in among it


all, sitting in Lane number three. A game, on the redrawn lanes, one,


two, three the favoured lanes, clear order from Germany, and a reminder


that the British sculls finished third in the B final earlier today.


Placing the ninth overall in the competition. Huge disappointment.


Again, stepping up from the last World Cup regatta, in Lucerne,


finishing seventh there are, they have a lot of work to do in that


crew. Meanwhile, China, fighting, and look at this... Look at this for


the crew closest, the United States, the one thing that the Chinese do,


there may not look pretty in terms of technique but my goodness, they


push it down. They have shortened up, three quarters slide... They


have basically thrown in the kitchen sink, that is how you would


technically term it! You can see the Americans are struggling in the


rough water. Up to the line, world champions again, Germany over by


Clearwater, and just fighting it out into the silver medal position,


China, and the United States of America, full hats off to them. They


were in Lane number four, right in the middle of the course, and a


well-deserved bronze medal for the United States. It was always going


to be, as soon as the lanes were redrawn, it was always going to be


Germany. Exciting to watch the Chinese, when


they shortened up the slide. If you do it effectively you can get the


speed. It is not a conventional way of sprinting at a World


Championships. Same with the Americans, the Americans risk it by


going out hard. The Chinese did not go off so hard but they threw


everything at it from early on. Two different ways to win a medal and it


shows how important medals are. The Germans did it the perfect way. The


Americans and the Chinese tried different ways. All three end up on


the podium. Whether or not -- redrawn Lane or not, fantastic. The


Chinese have such a pool of athletes also on the day, reminder, Great


Britain, finishing third in the B final, ninth overall, the world


champions, two in a row, for Germany.


Great aerial shot of a crew in perfect synchronicity. First things


first, that was a redrawn race, how much impact did the lane draw have


on that? What happens... What happens when they get redrawn, the


fastest crews get favourite, they end up in the more sheltered lanes.


The two middle crews, the winners of the semifinals, go to the protected


lanes. It almost means it is even more likely to be unobvious gold


Silver five. The Germans got the marginally quicker Lane, if you can


call it that, but there are domination was expected over China,


because China look like a crew on the rise. Germany have been


successful all season and looked outstanding. Great calibre in the


boat. China is a regrouping nation, as far as rowing is concerned. They


have a new chief coming in. They did not challenge as much as they could.


Beijing was a key moment for Chinese rowing, they knew they needed to be


competitive if they were hosts, and they were. We see it across many


sports and Olympics, the host nation makes a big push for its own


domestic event and then says, we have done that now, now we will


focus on someone else. Did China let go of the end, but now getting


serious again? Combination: They take the Asian games very seriously,


that is something we are not even aware of. They have their own


competition in that part of the world that they prioritise. They


have a new coach coming in, he's going to be targeting the World


Championships, the Olympic Games. After the Beijing Olympics, there


was a dip, but it is no surprise seeing them challenging again. There


was no British crew in that, but over the course of the next seven


minutes, the British crew are going to try to row the perfect race.


We have a fast moving boat, but the start is essential, that is an area


we have tried to work on. For me, cooling in the boat is very


important, you have got to get rain delight macro into the right rhythm.


-- you have got to get into the right rhythm. All of this practice


is on technique, you practice technique because when you are


racing you are not thinking about it, you are thinking about in the


zone, what can I do that I have practice, stroke after stroke of the


strokes. Commentator the next 400 metres is going to be critical,


stepping into the sustainable rhythm, taking them into the middle


thousands. Coming into the next, the idea is to keep on going, and that


is where I come into my strengths, my engine is quite good in the


middle part of the race. Coming up to 1000 metres, the idea is to be in


the race. Halfway mark, Great Britain, third, moving up from


fourth... In the perfect race, I suppose that you would be just in


front. If we are anywhere close to the leaders or leading at the 1000


metres mark, that is when we know, and the first thing is when we know


if we can do it. I think that we can go deeper than we realise, in the


first kilometre, and still click on in the second kilometre, because


crews will want to stick with us. 750 to go, you will be looking to


turn the screw slightly on everyone. Gaining the Menson, from 750, to


500, then at 500 that is when you want to be looking to establish your


lead. -- gaining momentum. We would like to be in front with 200 metres


to go so that we can be in control crossing the finish line. Impressive


second thousand metres from Great Britain's men's quad. Looking at how


we race individually, it is probably a brilliant combination. We have a


crew, we have people that can sprint in the last 250 and 750 and people


who can spring from the start, and everyone has their strengths. Put


them all together, we have a really solid Crew. Up to the line, Great


Britain, absolutely perfectly timed, gold medal from them over Estonia.


Europeans, we finished a race and came second and I looked across and


we were all disappointed with being second place. We will be happy with


a gold medal, that is why we are going there, to win it. There are


down at the start at the moment. If you are going to row the perfect


race, by definition, you have got to start absolutely perfectly, so, as


we can see them on the pontoon, what is the perfect start? Difficult one.


I think that... I think that it is such an explicit start, two, four,


eight people, you need maximum power, maximum intensity. You have a


lot of adrenaline around your body, nerves and tension and pressure. The


ideal is when you... You harness the power, you do it in complete perfect


timing but you have incredible composure and relaxation. The top


crews, you will see the power but you will not see tension or stress.


It shortens things, it will stop you flowing with the rhythm of the boat.


I combination of relaxation but maximum intensity, that is a tricky


balance to get right. Here we go, we already have two gold medals.


Heather Stanning and Helen Glover began thing so fantastically, now we


have the final final of the opening day of coverage in Amsterdam for


Great Britain to make it a fantastic hat-trick. We will see if they can


do it. This was always going to be a


seminal year, bronze last year, was that a run ash macro? -- run-off --


This as shown to be the latter, one last race. One last race on this


incredible story, this incredible journey. Redrawn, Great Britain one,


Ukraine two, Germany three, China four, Estonia five. And,


Switzerland, six. And the Germans are the Olympic


champions. Three of that by returning. Into this year. The world


champions from last year, Croatia, we have not seen them this year.


champions from last year, Croatia, we have not Great Britain, Ukraine,


and Germany, Lane one, two, three. We will be watching out for them,


particularly in the opening stages. Britain are looking for the perfect


race, the race of their lives so far and looking at Peter Lambert,


storming off, leaving out Charles Cousins behind him, Sam Townsend in


the two seat and Graeme Thomas in the bow. Great Britain in one,


Ukraine into, Germany in three, China in four, Estonia in five and


Switzerland closest to us in six. Already the early stages, Ukraine


just starting to squeeze but the British will be all about getting


good boat speed so they can transition into a solid rhythm. The


crucial thing is they gave themselves a massive favour by


winning the semifinal. Estonia came third in the semifinal and they are


in and outside lane, they beat Germany so they are outside them so


they are in the best possible position by winning their


semifinal. Ukraine are currently leading, they also won there's only


final. Arguably the second best crew is right next to them. Through the


first quarter mark, Ukraine from Great Britain, that is OK, they will


not be worrying. The next 200 metres is critical, the next 20 strokes,


length, composure, stretch out, get into the rhythm so they can think


about the crew on the left in lane two, Ukraine. But look at the crews


in third, fourth, fifth, Olympic champions Germany in third being


pushed hard by China. China came forth at the Aiguebelette World Cup


regatta. They are starting to move through. Our high-quality field


here. It is but there are two key things to think about, Ukraine have


disappeared from Pete Lambert's vision. From the German position and


the Chinese position in third and fourth place, both Ukraine and Great


Britain have gone so you feel isolated in the stroke and you have


to keep believing you are in the race. Great Britain have got to hold


down Ukraine and Germany have got to hold down Great Britain and Ukraine.


It is close. Almost neck and neck. Halfway mark of the men's


heavyweight core Drupal skulls -- quadruple sculls. Regardless of the


result of this final, we are looking at something very special here in


the men's quad scull. Peter Lambert, Charles Cousins, Sam Townsend,


Graeme Thomas, but remember they get stronger as they churn out every


quarter of this race, they know they have a sprint and they will have to


rely on that if they will come through Ukraine. Their heads will be


high, they will be thinking this is on. And thinking that because they


are closing down Ukraine. Through halfway I was slightly worried,


there looked to be a lot of tension in the crew but that will be easing


now as they are level pegging. Ukraine still look fairly relaxed


but the British crew have a strong last 750 metres and they will need


it. 12 months ago we were ecstatic, the celebration of a bronze medal


but this is far removed from the minds of the British crew in lane


one now. Ukraine and Great Britain out to the right of your picture.


Now approaching the last 500 metres, in towards the home straight, it is


looking like Ukraine have moved out a little bit here but this race is


far from over. Ticks or seven feet down, definitely doable. -- six or


seven. It is but Ukraine still look relaxed, Great Britain have not


slipped back but they need to move on now. Sport is in context, and


Ukraine as a nation is in all sorts of trouble and I imagine this would


be some release for the guys as well do have something else to focus on


if only for six minutes. It will mean more to them and their


supporters at home. That was the shot of Germany, the world champions


struggling and fighting it out for a bronze but now the British machine


starts to wind up because they have 200 metres remaining. They are


stroke for stroke here, surely Ukraine have done enough. One last


push from Great Britain on the far side, the crowd are on their feet.


Down to three feet here, they are going to run it out, run out but


they have got the push... Ukraine just holding on! The power that was


Great Britain was not enough on the day but there I say it, bronze


medallists last year, we will celebrate writing history here again


today in Amsterdam because Great Britain in the men's quad sculls are


world silver medallists. It is just slowly getting better and better.


James, that will give them some motivation. You have got to keep on


the edge, of course they would have wanted the gold medal but it gives


you another drive to go through to next year and keeps you hungry. Hats


off to a brilliant silver medal. It was really on. If it was another 20


metres they would have won but it was not. They were punching the air


with bronze last year but not punching the air with silver, that


is the difference. For young man as a team together, hats off one more


time to Paul Stannard, and inspirational coach.


You could see how agonisingly close it was. I have to say, the last five


or six strokes, we thought they could do it. It could have gone


either way, that kind of race will stop the whole team, everybody who


knows them, they are waiting for that moment. You feel they are on


the cusp of greatness and they will win that race one day will stop they


put Ukraine under pressure. One or two strokes different and they could


have had the gold. They will be devastated to come that close and


not get it. Two gold medals, two silver medals today, very handy.


Well done. How do you assess the British team today? Gold medals is


the standard for the British team. The two we expect this deliberate


and in style and that is reassuring. Every team needs those role models


to lead by example. And the silver medals were good silver medals, very


strong, that men's quad is showing time and again the improvements they


are making. And the men's pair, like they said, six races in and they are


close to that unbeatable Kiwi pair. At the end of the first day, Great


Britain will be on top of the medal table and tomorrow they will be


hoping to add to that, not these with the men's eight. Champions in


Korea last year, can they do it again tomorrow? We will see you


tomorrow. Goodbye. They are certainly a fast crew. They


have more to come. We have got to stick it out there in the first 500


and hang on. Raw speed and raw power, we are packing a lot of heat.


Everybody wants to win gold. We are not going there to lose.


John Inverdale presents coverage of the penultimate day of the World Rowing Championships, which take place in Amsterdam.

The day's finals include the women's pair, where the British duo and reigning Olympic champions Helen Glover and Heather Stanning are expected to be leading contenders for gold. The men's four of Alex Gregory, Andrew Triggs Hodge, George Nash and Mohamed Sbihi form the top male boat.

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