John Inverdale introduces the action from the World Cup in Munich. It is the last chance for a talented British squad to test themselves against their rivals before the Olympics.
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We are not bad at athletics, handy at sailing. In six weeks' time it
could be sailing, so often a competitor that is GB's crowning
glory at London 2012. People want to beat you when you are on home
turf and we are the bill scalp that everyone wants to get. Gold for
Great Britain. Marin Cross, Andy Holmes, Stephen Redgrave, those are
names that will go down in the history of British Rowing. Never
known a group of people with such high aspirations. Great Britain
wonderfully done. A perfect, perfect day for the British coxless
four. The team we took to Beijing was great. This is even better than
that. Great Britain are the Olympic champions. It sounds fantastic.
Great Britain get the gold and relief all round. It's the
strongest team we have ever had going into the Olympic Games.
is a great achievement. We are witnesses the birth of a new era.
We want to win. Anything else is not good enough. One last time.
It's just, just, just! And Great Britain are the Olympic champions.
We want to be a team that people will feel proud of. Holmes and red
graif win for Britain. A superb achievement. The world champions
and the Olympic medals are added to their collection -- Redgrave.
in Munich, the last of the World Cup Regattas after three days of
glorious sunshine. It's overcast glorious sunshine. It's overcast
and chilly today. For one last statement of intent by all the
crews, before the Olympic Games. And we are here, myself and Sir
Steve Redgrave beneath the blue, grey and white notled skies at the
Thames where the women's Regatta Thames where the women's Regatta
will take place this morning. Steve, morning, nice to see you. Where
else would you rather will on a Sunday morning?! And when you talk
about... Spent a lot of Sunday mornings here. I'm sure you have
spent a lot here. It's a hostage to fortune to say this is the best
team we have ever had but it's pride before a fall, but statistics
don't lie, it's the best team? Certainly. Again, it's very much on
paper it's what happened last year at the World Championship, what's
happened so far at the World Cups. But the reality is that that counts
for nothing when you go to the Games. We have some pictures of
when the team was officially announced. I'm sure for everybody,
even for the people who were absolute shoo-ins for selection,
there is a huge sense of relief when your name is on the team
sheet? Especially this year there is relief because the process is,
we have had world silver medallists from the last two years who're not
selected to go to the Games. That's how tough it is to get into the
team. In my era, the top few boats knew they were going to be selected
and it wasn't really a big issue. You knew right the way through all
the training and preparation that this team is slightly different
because they know outstanding athletes are not going to the Games.
OK, let's start, as far as the action is concerned, from our men's
coxless four, as it has been since Steve set the benchmark all those
years ago. These days it's Hodge, Reid, James and Gregory, and they
are still looking to refine things before the big battles ahead.
We have two dominant rhythms in the boat. We are still working hard to
get the that to one. We think that's a good way to go. Still
trying new combinations and different ways of getting more
speed and being consistent. We have shown we can be really quick. We
have to keep producing that in Olympic finals. We have still got
plenty to work on. Plenty of room for improvement. That's what we
hope to do in Munich, be more consistent. We have stepped up
after Belgrade. We know the one race to win is the Olympic Games on
the 4th August, so our sights is set on that, but we are challenging
ourselves on a daily basis and we know our record can't give us
anything on the start line so we need to push on from there, so we
final World Cup Regatta in Munich. This is the boat that everybody
expects. COMMENTATOR: Leaving the start area. In reality, all eyes on
two, one is Great Britain in lane five. Inseed them, lane four
Australia. Watching the British crew now moving away, but it's the
Czech Republic in lane three who've had the better of the starts. The
British crew in five just being dumbed downment now, stretching out
through the first 100 metres. In lane one, Romania, two, Serbia, the
Czech relake in three. Australia, the new crew coming together in
lane four. Great Britain five, Belarus in lane six. And the
British crew here now really starting to struggle. Everybody
leapt out there. I didn't see anything go wrong there with the
way the British took off, but they certainly didn't take that sort of
immediate pick up that they get really normally. Out there in front
very quickly were the Czech Republic. They qualified in the
qualifying Regatta four weeks ago. Great Britain now just beginning to
get into their pride and the crews are now beginning to pull them all
back. Certainly Serbia up there. We are moving up fast. Romania very
fast starters very often. They are new guys on the block as well. Look
at Australia, settled into a very nice, long flowing rhythm.
Grin came up against Australia in their semi-final -- Great Britain.
They led Australia to the 500 metre mark. They just turned that around
now, Australia leading Great Britain through the first five into
now the rhythm part where they just come down on to race, race. To be
honest with you, the British and the Australians, whether it's good
or bad tactic, they'll be unaware of what's happening in lane one.
There's a lovely shot, stroke for stroke. I like the way the British
four is row, much better than yesterday. They have a flow to the
way they are moving. There's more patience about the way they pick up
the stroke. They are now neck and neck with Australia. They will move,
I'm sure, past the crew at the top there who went out very fast.
Romania. Great Britain rowing with a lot more relaxation. If they can
keep that loose relaxation and then develop their power in the last 250,
300 metres of the race, I think they'll be there. At the moment,
it's looking very, very nice for Great Britain, although Australia
just got their noses in front. The British are rowing longer than
they were in the semi-final. And what we are seeing now is just
confidence, speed of the movement. You see the hands moving around and
the boat just runs on here. But the Aussies up there in lane three, the
multi-Olympic Chan is there, his name is snon nous with coming back
in an Olympic year and making boat goes fast -- synonymous. Australia
from Great Britain, not much in it. Romania, Serbia, the Czech Republic
and Belarus in this race as well, but everybody watching lane four,
lane five tipping the two crews. One of these two will win the gold
in London in six weeks e' time. The British had a good first 1,000, a
lousy start, they got into it. The second five was good. The third 500
now, it's looking like the Australians, with the yellow
glasses, that Australian, that will favour the Australians, because the
Swindon dying down. Yesterday's semi-final at this stage Great
Britain were a length behind. In Lucerne, they were even more than
that behind and then they made up with their power in the last 250
metres. With this length, if they can keep their cool and smoothness,
their power in the last 500 could Great Britain really in a good
position there to mount that attack. Hodge, 33 years of age. The Olympic
champion 2008 in this event. Three of the cee are Olympic champions.
Watching the Aussies moving away again -- three of these are Olympic
champions. The defending Olympic champions are a quarter of a length
down on Australia. The Australians led Great Britain on a timing point
and also marking through 1,000 through 1500, they beat them in the
semi-final yesterday. Both crews looking confident. The British
undoubtedly looking better. They are keeping it long and starting to
lift up the rate here, but the Aussies in lane four are really
long and just moving effortlessly. Great Britain have shortened a
little as their number of strokes per minute goes up to 38 thousand.
They are being pushed hard now by Belarus as well closest to the
camera. But Australia are looking very sweet with just about two
thirds of a length. They've stretched out, lookings nice and
easy around the finish of the stroke. As they stroke, they
finally draw that last part of the stroke. Great Britain have to make
the attack. 250 metres remain, 25 strokes, they'll count them in and
step them up. The rate will come up. They'll go ten and keep long. The
Australians though, three quarters of a length. Here come Belarus in
lane six. 125 metres to go. Australia from Great Britain,
Belarus continue to push hard. Australia again holding on for one
last push. Here comes Andy Hodge driving his guys home inside 50
metres. It's going to be Australia but it's going to be very, very
close. Coming up to the line now, six feet in it. It's holding on.
Australia, gold for Australia. Silver for Great Britain. Huge
disappointment there. Belarus will get the bronze. The heads go down
and surely now the Australians go away as the favourites for the gold
medal at the Olympics in six weeks' time. What have Jurgen and these
guys got to do to turn it around? They rode a very good race there.
The middle part was very smooth and long, but my goodness, this will be
quite a blow. They were very much the top hope for a gold medal in
the rowing squad in London. But Australia have really come through
extremely effectively, especially sleeping giant now.
Raise they are not used to seeing Great Britain in second in that
event. Haven't been used to that for years and the look on the guys'
faces was shell shock almost? faces was shell shock almost?
not that shocked myself. I thought the Australians looked really good
three weeks ago but tired in the closing stages. I thought it was a
very key yesterday of the Australians beating our guys in the
semi-final. I think that really sort of put the writing on the wall
in some ways. Obviously that's very close to call and it can go either
way over the next five weeks, but five weeks is a long time but it's
also a very short time. Gary and Dan seem very confident
throughout the whole race that it was only a matter of time before a
great surge at the end would mean that Great Britain had their noses
in front and it didn't happen. What do you put that down to? Again, I
think that the Australians knew of quite what was going to happen and
so they were more prepared for it than our guys. I think Dan and Gary
sort of got a little carried away in some ways of what happened three
weeks ago, of that big turn of speed they had in the closing
stages. It may be that they've decided to train through this
Regatta and not in quite the same fighting fit mode as they were
three weeks ago. That means they still may have that potential speed
there. But it certainly wasn't there this weekend. All that
matters is the result in five or six weeks' time. How much bearing
might that have on what happens in London? I hate to say it in some
ways, but Pete Andrunachey have been coming second for a long time
and that starts to ingrain in your pliend in some ways. When you have
a element of doubt, there is always a little doubt in your mind and if
you haven't been winning races, iters the confidence in some ways.
That is going to boost the Australians, they're very
experienced. You talk about the four racing four years ago, the
Australians weren't that experienced and it was a very, very
close race and our guys came through and rode at the finish.
Looks like it could be the same thing of let's hope the guys pull
it out the bag and can get their speed at if end and row through
them again as they did four years ago -- at the end. You can tweak
things in five weeks. What will Jurgen Grobler be doing to say it's
about tiny margins and what can they do to try and refine that?
mare minds, they have to get it in their minds of how they are going
to row the race. It's the second and third 50 where the Australians
are killing your guys, we have too much to do in the closing stages.
They have to be more in the race in the middle period. That's a mental
process, not really a physical process. They've got to be more
determined and gutsy to stay in there. Especially that third 500.
1,000 metres, that's where the Australians are taking it by the
scruff and saying this is our race, you challenge us in the closing
stages. I would prefer to be out in front in the Australian boat than I
would coming in behind from the Brits. Interesting to hear what the
crew have to say about that race which took place a few minutes ago
in Munich. Let's go from the marquee boat from the men's point
of view to the women and the Double Sculls with Katherine Grainger and
Anna Watkins who've been carrying all before them so they are
It has been good come up we have been tested this year more than
previous years. Every nation steps up and tries to close the gap
coming up to the Olympics. But we have learnt more of than we could
ever win, winning by eight miles. Everyone has had a go and it is a
case of just making sure we are as fast as we can possibly be. And
other people have to respond to us. In a two-person crew we have to
really support each other. We talk a lot about how we feel about the
Olympics, about tactics. We are a really tight unit and needs to keep
that going because it is a real strength. We look after each other.
No one more bored than granger it you suspect with the talk of a
Olympics past. One more warm-up Olympics past. One more warm-up
before her date with destiny. Katherine Grainger, that look of
determination that we have become used to. This is the final of the
women's heavyweight double sculls. The next time they are up there you
will be in the Olympic Games. But this race has a huge significance
for the British double sculls. Because Australia have just come
from nowhere in this double sculls combination. They stormed to a
medal in Lucerne three weeks ago. And they surely have to be a threat
for the British doubles. In the opening heat these Australians went
a couple of seconds faster in their qualifying races. You did not know
if the British double where just not pushing themselves too hard,
not wanting to show their cards too early. But they have taken a good
half length lead now and can keep the strain it in their sights. But
Australia are certainly a threat. Kim Crow did the single in Lucerne
because her partner was injured. But she's back now and very strong.
Earlier the British saw off the German double who wear the closest
opposition. We have a race on a last year. So a classy line-up. But
the British pushing on hard at 34 strokes per minute. This is where
they're comfortable. They have just moved it up as I speak. Great
Britain now really have to get a little bit more distance on
Australia because this trillion Double Scull is an unknown quantity.
Great Britain are looking very powerful. There is liveliness about
the Australian doubles. They have been separated for quite a while
through that injury so they have got quite a lot more to come in the
next six weeks. But there is confidence in the wake that Great
Britain are at sculling. You expect them just to squeeze on and get
ahead. This is the 1972 Olympic course.
The race developing up to the halfway mark. Great Britain have
now stretched out from the pack. All eyes on the British Double
Scull. Can they hold of the Australian pair? Kim Crow was the
silver medallist in this event last year. Here come the Australians.
The wind starting to die down which will benefit the group on the far
side. But surely the experience of Great Britain it will be enough to
hold them off? They have just pushed on again to try to blunt
this pushed from the Australia. They have got to keep their links.
They must not tighten up because if they do it will inhibit the flow
and the free movement of their boat. But Australia pushing up. Will it
be another gold medal right now? The Australians, their confidence
is riding high. They are constantly pushing, may lead challenging the
composure of Great Britain's Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins.
I have not yet seen an explosive lift Anjum response. There comes
the response now and Katherine Grainger brings it back up to 35
strokes per minute. And the British are moving. They really have sat
just within their own rhythm. Australia have pushed hard, every
time, they are now starting to move in. And this is an impressive
performance from Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins, two-times world
champions in this event. We are now seeing a display of double sculls,
calm and a forager did from the British doubles. The strain and had
their chance in that middle 1000 metres but they will settle for a
silver medal. The British double moved earlier than you would expect,
going up to 35 strokes per minute, and that really made a difference.
That power be brought a long, they kept their cool and it has given
them over one length of lead. There is no work really that the strain
you can go with this. So Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins Kubica et
NICE and long. They have got the race under control. -- keeping it
nice and long. The British now have 125 metres left in this final. They
have done everything that has been asked of them in this combination.
They're making it three each in a road for 2012. The one elusive
medals still remains for Katherine Grainger and surely they go now
into their final training camp with their confidence high. They have
done it again. Australia in second place and now the bronze medal
going to Poland. The British crew can go away with their heads up.
Everything to do. Katherine Grainger will be very pleased with
that. They have another year under the bonnet if they need it. That is
the bonnet if they need it. That is Scull at the top of these kind of
medal podiums time and again. How much would Katherine Grainger give
for that last gold medal? In six weeks' time they all come together
weeks' time they all come together again. Well we can talk repeatedly
about the relevance of these races as far as London is concerned, but
that was a definitive statement. You feel every other crew will say,
we're almost playing for second. There was an element in the middle
of the race when the strains were pushing really hard. They had an
injury in that boat and they will get stronger. But the confidence
with which they finished that race will boast them again. They know
that they have a race on their hands, and that is what you want.
You still have to have that element of thinking, we need to push on.
And they will have one eye on the a Australians all the way. Dan thinks
they have got another year to go up as well. I think they have. -- gear.
But I think it is going to be a closer race in London. The
Australians are a class act. They have had injury, they're coming
back from that. It will be an interesting race. The indefinable
element to this that none of us can appreciate these, as it gets closer,
the mental element for Katherine Grainger and especially, I have to
get it this time. That must come into play to some degree. We do not
know how much that will come into play, being in this situation of
being a reigning Olympic champion coming into the next Olympics, all
the races in between are just stepping stones. They're not that
important in the big scheme. And the closer that race gets the more
nerve-racking it becomes. And they have to deal with the whole process,
Katherine Grainger especially. Looking at the list of crews that
have a real possibility of a gold medal, the reigning champions from
Beijing, Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter, it will undoubtedly be near
the top. But they finished in 6th place in Lucerne. Was that just a
minor blip? We had a setback, things did not go
too well. There seems to be bit of a jinx when we go to this end. We
have put things in place for Munich and we will be back on the podium.
It is frustrating to lose to people we should not have lost to. Zack
purchase was poorly before we went out there, up we were trying to
play catch-up at times. That was disappointing. But we have spent
some good time in the boat now and be looking forward to Munich.
Well that must have been a jolt to the system. Today was a day to
the system. Today was a day to resumed normal service.
What a difference three weeks makes. Mark Hunter and Zack perches were
very disappointed with that 6th place finish at Lucerne three weeks
analysts in Lucerne. And they were very disappointed. The fastest crew
there was certainly France. And there are now up there with New
Zealand who were second in Lucerne. Derek Close. Great Britain have,
bit late in this event. Their great competitors so they pull themselves
together very well in the last six or seven weeks before the
championships. But they have a lot of work to do before it landed and
2012 if they are to claim that a Zealand from France, Great Britain
in amongst the hunt there, currently in last position but not
much in it -- 500 down. You will expect though, as Olympic champions,
they have that experience and the thing is just to move it on,
thinking about doing the basics. Talking to Mark Hunter, it's about
dog the basics right and remembering what they've done
before, building on that. They have the confidence and they've shown
some great speed in training. In Caversham, their training lake,
they've been training there. They know it's there, it's allowing it
all to come together today and then in six weeks at the Olympics.
Hungary are going quickly. They're back after some years in retirement.
Great Britain still in there, but just at the back of the group and
they've got to push on as they come into the last 1250 metres.
Zealand. The all-black strip, not quite broken free yet. Lane five,
France. Winners from Lucerne, the World Cup in 2012. The form crew
coming into this Regatta. New Zealand again high strokes, 38
strokes a minute but just powering away, quite short strokes but very
powerful in the middle of the stroke. The power comes on very
quickly and they finish off the strokes very well. They've led from
the first stroke, New Zealand now go into the second half of the
final of the men's Lightweight Double Scull with confidence
growing. Particularly looking right in lane three. Their eyes will be
on Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter, the two time world defending
Olympic champions. They are well off the pace here. Hard really to
see, unless there's a big explosion in the zeal steel crew, hard to see
how Great Britain can come back from there, but you can't write off
Olympic and two-time world champions -- New Zealand crew. From
France, lane five still on the tails of New Zealand. Great Britain
having to fight hard if they want to get on to the podium. This race
is running out. They've got 250, 300 metres to go, they've got to
push on very hard now. Getting clear diswater coming up
now. Through the 1250 mark. Great Britain in amongst the middle of
the pack. For them, it's all about rowing well, finding a good rhythm
and pattern that will get them back into the race. Currently in fourth
position, it's showing there, New Zealand on the top left hand side
showing they have the better of the speed and Great Britain currently
in third, fourth perhaps on the overall speed chart.
There's the British crew. Mark Hunter just looking as though it's
a little bit painful there, not quite flowing the way that we'd
expect. Still got Italy to catch. They're
into fourth place. They've got to pull Italy back. 5050 metres remain
in the final men's Lightweight Double Sculls -- 500 metres remain.
New Zealand looking good. They're scheming the speed up here. Watch
their boat. It doesn't dip at the stern or the catch, it's moving
very nicely, runs through the water very evenly. Great Britain just not
clicking, not quite right. They haven't got a lot of time to put it
together. The yellow jerseys of the crew indicating they are World Cup
leaders, but that's irrelevant for Mark and Zac who'll be concerned
with only one thing, finding speed out front. New Zealand being put
under pressure from France. Here come the French. We have 250 metres
remaining and Denmark lane six having moved back into the bronze
medal position. 200 out from the line, New Zealand France and
Denmark. Denmark are the reigning world record holders, the world
best holders from back in 2007. Don't discount those in lane number
one at the top of the picture. The British crew though struggling at
the back end of the pack. Haven't New Zealand stretched out the field,
my goodness. Three quarters of a length ahead. France trying to get
back on terms but it will certainly be New Zealand, France in second
and Denmark trying to get into third. France for the last time
charging up to the line, but it's New Zealand surely they've done
enough, they are not going to lose it here. Oh, so close by about a
foot. New Zealand, France and Denmark coming over in third, Italy
in fourth, Hungary in fifth and Great Britain just limping over the
line in sixth and a disappointing finish for the two-time world
champions and defending Olympic champions.
How disappointing for Great Britain. They've got a lot of work to do.
New Zealand back on top. They were world champions two years ago, got
taken back by Great Britain last year. But now they are back on top.
Great Britain will be bitterly disappointed with sixth place.
What do we make of that? Off the pace again. Three weeks ago they
weren't at the races at all through the heats, semi-finals or finals.
Certainly that performance is not what we expect from our reigning
world and Olympic champions. But they did have a good performance
yesterday so maybe things are coming out. But now with the short
period to go towards the Games, they're not going to be automobile
to test themselves against their opposition again. We know they've
got the capability, they know it, but now we start talking about
pulling it out the bag on the day. Can we do it in five weeks in
London, or not? When Dan talks about a lot of work lefpt to do.
The temptation is to train even harder and then there's nothing
left in the tank tonne day itself. The team around them need to be
careful in the intervening period, don't they -- left in the tank on
the day itself. They certainly do. The support staff will monitor them
and make sure it's not just about sheer graft of work they've got to
do. It's really about getting their minds right in some ways.
We started the programme by talking about how this is the strongest
team that we've ever had. Then there's one of our lead boats
finishing sixth in a final. Will that have any bearing on how other
crews start feeling? I don't think it will. Really, rowing is about
consistency and what Zac and Mark are showing at the moment is not
about consistency. The other lead boats are being very consistent
from that point of view. We've got really five gold medal chances to
bring all five in will be unlikely. Are they still one off that? Are
you taking him off the list? They are still on the list for me but
they've got to be marked down a couple of notchs in some ways. They
are reigning loick champions and reigning world champions, they have
a lot of pride. They'll be fighting and very determined -- b reigning
Olympic champions. They'll be tough to beat at the games but you can't
class them as favourites going into it. The mythical list that we have
includes the Women's Pair of Heather Stanning and Helen Glover
who've been untouchable of late and they've a simple strategy, go out
in front and say catch me if you can.
You take a lot of confidence from being able to watch the field
behind you because when you are in front you can see everyone behind
you so that's great. Maybe this year we are quicker than last year,
so that's stepped the game on a bit. There is other people out there
who've stepped up as well. So far, we have been fortunate to come off
the right side of the medals. New Zealand will be stronger in Munich.
America put in a great performance in the last two World Cups. I don't
think they are going to be in Munich, but come the Games, maybe
they'll be strong as well. I just don't know really. All things being
equal, they could be our first gold medal of the Games in the rowing in
2012 on Wednesday August 1st. Stanning and Helen Glover looking
to make it three in a row for the 2012 World Cup. Being led in lane
two, Germany's team. Argentina in one, Germany, early race leaders in
lane two. Great Britain in three. New Zealand, a classy field, the
all-black strip in the white boat middle of the picture, they are the
world champions. In lane five, Romania. The Olympic champions, the
first time we see them back into the 2012 season. We haven't seen
them since Beijing. Looking there now at New Zealand, the world
champions and making up the order. Lane six, closest to us, Canada.
Now already into the first two 50 metres, Great Britain's looking to
stretch it out. Two or three feet. Coming up towards a canvas, going
pretty well. They took a very good move there just as they settled
into their rhythm. Germany was leading them and then as they
settled down into their mid race pace, Great Britain just moved and
it was extraordinary, they took about half a length, the chasing
New Zealanders there, high rate of striking, high number of strokes
per minute and they are moving up there as well. Germany who
qualified three weeks ago at the qualifying Regatta, they took that
early lead but they are falling back already. Conditions really
picking up here on the course at Munich. The 1972 Olympic course.
Great Britain squeezing out now to just over a half a length and just
compare the yellow boat leading, the British boat. Look how long
they are, the great technique of this boat is long and loose. Great
Britain's Helen Glover, Heather Stanning had a fabulous first 500
metres now. They are out and away moving. That confidence allows them
to kick into the second 500 metres of which we are now entering. You
see the speed they have you will against New Zealand, the all-black
strip. They are the two-time world champions. It's looking very staby
from New Zealand on the far side in lane two. Germany tenth at the
World Championships last year, but this now is real just poetry in
motion. They're moving very well indeed. They have a lovely flow
about them and good length. They are at 36 strokes a money, New
Zealand at 38 and New Zealand will have nowhere to go when the
pressure comes on. Through this last winter, what the British pair
have learned is flexibility. Being able to change pace, go up a gear.
We saw that in Lucerne three weeks ago. But look at the camera,
closest to the camera, Romania fourth place. They've come out of
retirement this year, they've got a lot to make up now on the leading
two pairs. Our clear water now from Great
Britain in the middle part of the second 500 metres. The confidence
just grows and rightly so. It's a fabulous friendship, a great
partnership, the amount of trust they have in each other. Rob
Williams coaches, he's done a great job bringing both these girls up
through the last couple of years. What's really interesting about the
pair, three years ago they were new to the game entirely, they were the
last choice boat, the eight had been chosen and now look at them
three years on. Helen Glover is 26 years old today, her birthday, a
big happy birthday and it's all going very, very well for Great
Britain in lane three. This is final of the Women's Pair. It's the
third of three Regattas here and it's all going British way. Helen
Glover and Heather Stanning in lane three. It's a classy field. New
Zealand in lane four left of your picture. World champions in 2011.
Romania have come back into the fray. They are in lane five, they
are the Olympic champions, but having just nothing compared to
Great Britain, lane three. This is the field they are going to
have in London and look, they've got two lengths now on their
closest rivals, or two-and-a-half lengths. This is the crew that
probably is now becoming the favourite for a gold in London and
could be Britain's first gold medal for a woman at an Olympics ever.
That's an extraordinary journey for them over this last three years
from spares to silver, silver and with the potential of gold at the
Olympics in six weeks' time. They're taking the pressure very
well though, all in their stride. They are so relaxed with it.
There's no huge expectations within the boat. They're going out there,
doing what they do well. They love the rowing, teamwork together. Look
at the length and the flow. And Rob Williams has done a great job in
technique here with the girls. can sigh the difference in styles
between the New Zealanders and the Great Britain pair. New Zealand
have a higher stroke per minute, stabby, and here you have flow and
run with the British pair. It's this final. This is a slight head
breeze which they will feel it all backs as they come through to the
finish. But the speed has been impressive from Helen Glover and
Heather Stanning. And still the British are moving away.
Germany know where to be seen. Great Britain out in front, leading
comfortably. Romania are the Olympic champions in this event
from Beijing. Canada bringing up the rear in lane number six. There
is a cross headwind coming from the site where the British pair are or
and making the course slightly unfair. It sets the water in motion.
And you're getting a bit of protection from that far side of
the course. So they are really ramming in good flat water. And
that may be exaggerating the difference between the crews.
metres remaining in this final. What a unit. The next time they go
out, they go out to the Olympic Games. It has been fabulous ride
from the first stroke. They will not be challenged today by a New
Zealander who are the world champions. Great Britain out in
front, paddling up to the line. Three he in a rope for Great
Britain in the women's coxless pair. It is a happy birthday to Helen
Glover and all going according to plan. New Zealand are second,
Romania in the third. That was a fantastic performance from the
British pair. They looked so mature and did not have to use anything at
the end there to push on against the end there to push on against
New Zealand. They have got it made. So great Britain topping the medal
table. Helen Glover and Heather Stanning about to enter the best
six weeks of their lives. The next time bear out on water in
competition will be in the heat of the Olympic Games.
Well we're here at Henley where the women's regatta is taking place.
But obviously we are focusing on the regatta taking place in Munich.
We have shown the effectively the four races so far for a we have the
best hopes of a medal in London. It has been up and down so far. But
this pair are remarkably up. Very much so. They hugely impressed me
last year. They went through the same series of races and they won
all of them. New Zealand led all the way last year and that reversed
then in the world Championship. It was just a matter of inches between
the two groups. And it looks like no one will be challenging them at
all this year. There will be brimming with confidence. They will
be. But this is their first Olympic Games so there will be a lot of
nerves as well. But I would put them as favourites any day of the
week. They're absolutely flying at the moment and I cannot see any
reason why that would change. we are mixing and matching between
live and recorded action this morning. We can show you the men's
double sculls cloud which took place around 45 minutes ago. And
place around 45 minutes ago. And this is Bill Lucas and Sam Townsend.
What was your take on this performance? Well they didn't have
a good performance three weeks ago. They came back very disappointed.
And they are showing a lot more potential this weekend than they
were three weeks ago. These guys are starting to build their
confidence. Weaker moved on now to the men's Quadruple Scull. Tom
Solesbury, Charles Cousins, Stephen Rowbotham and Matthew Wells. If
they get to the final in London, when you're in the final bend
anyone has a chance of a medal. But they would be an outside shot?
much an outside shot. We have not got much history of the Quadruple
Scull making the final. Two years ago was the last time they were in
the final and then it was the 19 eighties before that. But last year
they did beat the world champions. So there is a slim chance there of
doing well. They are certainly going to be there. Well these are
live pictures now from Munich and there is Alan Campbell in his Great
Britain vest. The great New Zealand Warwick is not competing this time
after an accident on his bike. The Czech Republic also out of this
line-up. This is a big race for Alan Campbell in lane number three.
Olaf Tufte, the Olympic champion, is a race that he has to win, dare
we say it Fulstow of it is the race that he has got to win.
medallists from Lucerne are not here. There are under starter's
start and they are away. Alan Campbell was down as stroke, but he
is away. A love tuft of Norway, the two-time Olympic champion in lame
number two. Look at the top of the picture, young Graham Thomas
sitting up there and doing a fantastic job. He is quite
experienced so he will have gone out as fast as he can to see what
he can do. But Alan Campbell getting into his stride now.
The Olympic champion Olaf Tufte has quarter of the race down, 500 gone,
1500 to go. We talked about Alan's race plant
and he is looking for some more consistency. Sometimes he sprints
out to try to get clear water. He was looking at doing the 33 strokes
per minute for the first 1000 and then slowly stepping up.
I am a bit concerned about Alan Campbell, he got quite dehydrated
yesterday and it really affected him. He had to stay ahead of Lassi
second position now and sitting there just trying to get a good
rhythm going. But not looking quite as comfortable as it should be for
Alan Campbell. Marcel Hake clear. Lassi Karonen leading Alan Campbell.
This has been a big surprise here on the 1972 Olympic regatta course.
Alan Campbell struggling back in 4th position. The Mexican leading
Alan Campbell into this third 500. He should really be up there in the
lead but he clearly has had a bit of a struggle this regatta. He has
not really recovered from that. The New Zealand rower is not here and
neither is the Cuban sculler. So you have to add three more people
into this makes for the London Olympics. Glorious conditions up
there. The Germans on home of water. Continuing to dominate. Campbell is
a very brave sculler, he will not let go. He will not want Lassi
Karonen to beat him. If he is suffering he will try to do
everything he can't to overcome that. But I do not think any one is
going to catch the German who is looking very strong out there.
Campbell has meddled at every World Championship. He is a two-time
bronze medallist and has plenty of experience. Alan Campbell dragging
himself through in third position. The sprint is on. And Graham Thomas
from Great Britain, 23 years of age, in 4th position. A fantastic scull
from the former rugby player. He is coming through the team. He is an
aim to watch for the future. Alan Campbell raised his game a little
bit, trying to push on there. Try to get through Lassi Karonen. But
it looks as if Lassi Karonen has enough to hold off Alan Campbell.
When the German is under pressure he starts to perform less well.
Certainly classic Rhone and is coming back on him and will be a
force at London. I'm not sure what is going to happen to Alan Campbell.
He has to recover from this regatta. Alan Campbell is sprinting hard in
his silver medal position. The German crowd going absolutely wild
here in the stands. What a way to finish the 2012 World Cup season.
The German getting the gold medal on the line. Lassi Karonen gets the
silver and Alan Campbell coming up to the line for the bronze. And
over he goes. So much to play for in the next six weeks. And hats off
Campbell. You would expect him to be up there with Hacker, but a good
Campbell, they'll see someone who's very disappointed and very tired
because he was putting everything in but it wasn't enough, Steve?
quite sure what to say there, because I'd expected him to
dominate that field with the two main guys not here. You would think
that he'd cruise through that relatively easily and she was
struggling big time. Having seen that race, you would almost say the
extent of his ambitions in London would be getting to the final, as
opposed to being on the podium? ambitions will still be about
winning a medal without a doubt. He's consistently shown that over
the last four years. Three weeks ago it wasn't a very good result,
this is even worse than that, so he's not going in the right
direction going towards the Olympic direction going towards the Olympic
Games, confidence-wise. I would like to hear of quite what his take
is on that. But that's not the Alan Campbell of old that we've seen
year in year out for the last few years. The Men's Eight coming up
shortly and we'll show you highlights of some other races. A
spectacular performance by a British crew included in that too.
Miriam, you won a Sydney medal in the Olympics 12 years ago but also
tomorrow you take control of the whole of the women's Henley Regatta,
an own Russ responsibility? When I was asked, I thought a great
opportunity, and over the weekend I've got a handle on how big the
job is. This Regatta is the pinnacle for women's club rowing in
the country and also a huge part of that stepping stone pathway that
our junior and under 23 crews are taking on their way to Olympic
success, so our future is rowing here today.
Your predecessor has done it for the last 25 years, so have you
signed up for a quarter of a century of this? No, don't say that
to me! No, no, I would be delighted to be able to last as long as Di
has, however, I think the task is much bigger than it was at the
beginning. The Regatta's tkwroun to 1500 competitors now. We have over
40 crews from abroad here, mostly from the US, many of the
universities from the States come over as well as the schools. We
have some crews from Holland, Belgium, Denmark and Norway, as
well as a couple of crews that have come all the way from Australia.
It's becoming an international event. We have moments of your
triumph here in Sydney 12 years ago. How much has women's rowing changed
in the last decade or so? Hasively. Through the 90s, we had an
exponetial growth, phenomenal, reflected in the number of events.
The stand hard had gone up phenomenally as well, reflected in
how well we are doing at Olympics and World Championships too. Wa do
you put that down to? An increase in women wanting to be active, an
increase in women rowing at club, mostly due to Steve's success and
the success that we've had on the women's side and also a lot more
schools are rowing and they're also feeding into clubs. So many clubs
that didn't have junior sections before now have very, very active
junior sections that are continuing to row as they get older.
mentioned Steve there. You are - we have some pictures of you on the
Thames there. How was this for you, Mir ram? It was amazing. -- Miriam.
Absolutely phenomenal. Just checking my blade work to make sure
I'm in time with Steve. It was like rowing in lots of mini Olympics,
every single bridge we went under there was another 30,000 people
cheering so the point where it was like 1.2 million people were there.
It was very, very special. Would it have helped the Gary
Herbert would have been Coxing, do you think? No. Matthew got a bit
tired during the end and went and steered the boat. Good luck with
the next 25 years! Thank you. That's a rueful smile you are
giving there. But anyway, well done. And listen, the number of people
here today, it's great atmosphere so may you have many more days like
this. Thanks for talking to us. You might be interested in this
actually, the women's quad for half an hour or so ago in Munich. I'm
watching this actually not knowing watching this actually not knowing
where they finish. Wilson, flood taking part in this. Steve, did you
watch this race? These are the first views of the pictures we have
seen. I'm being told they got bronze. The Ukraine dominated.
Three weeks ago they won by a big margin and again there. That'll
give the other boats a bit more confidence of closing down on
Ukraine who absolutely dominated it three weeks ago. That was a tiny
margin there between second and third, Germany getting the nod. The
men's Lightweight four, the Chambers brothers, Williams and
That's the race plan in the middle thousand. Great Britain qualified
fastest in the opening heats and they qualified directly for the
final. Everybody else has had to raise the repechage. Great Britain
have got to really move now in this second quarter. They are moving
well. Peter Chambers has come back into the boat after being injured
for Lucerne and Mattock sat in his place. They did pretty well, third
in Lucerne, but now with their full crew, this is where they've got to
start to move through. They're coming in nicely, back on the Swiss
who led early and on France. Switzerland in lane two, top of the
picture. It's now as we head towards the middle, it's becoming a
real cat-and-mouse here. The lead is changing from Switzerland, Great
Britain were up there at the early stages and France are moving on
hard. Very little in it. It's a blanket across the half way mark in
this final of the men's Lightweight coxless four, Great Britain lane
three. Australia the world champions, in lane four. The
British crew were third, three on that boat were third at the World
Championships last year. Back in 20. We are looking at the great British
crew. They were world champions in 2010.
Good swing in their stroke. They are going to go through,
Switzerland, all depends on what Australia and Denmark can do
closest to us there. Denmark still with that high very eager, anxious
stroke that they've got there. Great Britain looking very calm.
Look at the nice swing back that they have as they hit the front.
The British crew getting into a lovely rhythm there. Quite
sustainable, but look at the noise around there. Don't know where to
look for the next challenge. You can't write off Denmark in lane six.
Closest to us. They get up on their rate, there are 38 strokes per
minute, they'll take that through to the last 250. You lack at the
British crew, they are at 36 and a half strokes a minute but they look
so much more in control and looser and longer than the Dane who is're
closest to us. The Great Britain four is looking extremely good now
as they take three quarters of a length from Switzerland and come
into the last 500. Couldn't be going any better for
the British quartet in the final of the men's Lightweight coxless four.
They have led and dominated this middle 1,000. Now they are in a
position just to step on and step on they are, because Denmark in
lane six starting to push hard. France also in five. The world
champions in lane four. Here they come, Australia also starting their
charge for the line. This is a stunning performance from the
British four. Look, they've got clear water now on the field on the
world champions. Remember still, China to come who were first in
Lucerne. Remember also we've got South Africa to come, but this is a
fantastic result at the moment here for Great Britain in what is a most
competitive event. It's usually just a blanket finish, but they are
dominating this field. 250 through to the line. Now the British crew
building up. Australia, the world champions, failed to qualify for
the final at Lucerne three weeks ago. They found a bit more form
here, the Australians are coming and with them the chasing world 175
metres out from the line. The British though have just stretched
it out on the length. The boat's running beautifully. 75 out from
the line. The world is coming back at the British four, but Great
Britain looking strong. Still 37 strokes a minute when everybody
else is up at 40. This is a very, very mature performance. Up to the
line, the British crew have done their job, job well done. Gold for
Great Britain, silver for Australia and we'll wait for confirmation of
Denmark coming through in bronze position. They pat themselves on
the back and rightly so. Perfect. That was exceptional, a beautifully
executed race. They sat in the middle of the pack to halfway,
pushed on and looked so effortless about it. They had length, ease and
everybody else was looking under pressure and moving faster, Great
We began this programme by talking about this Regatta offering crew as
a chance to make a statement. That was a statement that was underlined
by that crew? Very much so. That's the first time they've been able to
line up this year in the selected format. They've been carrying a few
injuries. They came third last year which they were very, very
disappointed with, because they were world champions from the year
before and to win that in that sort of depth of field as the
Lightweight fours are, by as much as that is hugely impressive.
have been used to that race being a blanket finish over and over again.
That was almost like any other race. You had a blanket finish apart from
one crew and to this close to the Games in that event, that will
boost their confidence no end. That's put a very big smile on my
face. Sure has. Let's hope the Men's Eight with do that. Live to
Munich in a moment for that, but before that, the climax of the
before that, the climax of the Women's Eight's race.
Coming into the last quarter, 5070, 50 strokes. All the Coxs will be
making the calls. Canada, Romania, Great Britain. Final stages.
They'll have marked it down, they'll have worked the number of
strokes they need to be. Usually ten, 15, then go again. Canada now
looking to the right, looking to the left. The main challenge coming
from Netherlands in one. Coming from Romania in lane four. The
British still hanging on to the coat tails of the Romanian crew.
This is going to be over in the blink of an eye. Really thinking
about sprinting here now. It's all about speed. They are going to be
right up on the top of their game. There goes Romania. Pushing on into
second place. Moving faster than Canada. Canada have got it really.
Great Britain trying to get there level with Australia but it's not
going to quite work. But it's a very good second half from Great
Britain. One last push from Great Britain may well see them sneak a
bronze and Caroline O'Connor in the driving seat in the Cox seat urges
her women on here. There's a bronze on here for Great Britain as they
push harder against the Romanian crew. Canada now in first place
stretching out. Romania in second and the British have come in to
third position. We are looking right to the line. There it is now.
Canada can hold on for the gold. Romania come through in silver and
as the crews come charging to the line, it will be bronze for Great
Britain and a valiant effort in that last 50 metres. Well earned
Great Britain. A good step as they head towards the Olympic Games.
What a great confidence booster there. That last 600, 700 metres,
they really flew. They flew back from fifth to third. Get a bronze
there, we've got the US to come back into this mix but that puts
Great Britain really in the hunt for a podium finish in London.
Great effort. Well done the whole crew for pulling that together
A great bronze medal there for Great Britain. That certainly was a
good race. In the double scull final we head two macro crews in
final we head two macro crews in this. The race was actually won by
New Zealand, one of the powerhouse nations in rowing. Katherine
Copeland and Sophie Hosking coming in in 4th position. And
confirmation there of New Zealand's victory. The British crews came 4th
victory. The British crews came 4th and 6th in that race. What is your
overall take on the way the British teams have performed overall?
think a little more positive than three weeks ago in Lucerne. I came
away from the results they're quite disappointed. Some of the boats
have not really take bridge down from the event three weeks ago. The
lightweight men's double, they have some serious thinking to do about
how to turn around their performance. And Alan Campbell has
to look at his performance as well. He needs to get back to where he
was before. But then the strong bones, the Women's Pair, the
women's double, looking really very strong. Across all three regattas,
it is a pretty good base working towards the Olympic Games.
Definitely. Not all the countries are there, so it is the next ones
that are really important. The last one, of Munich this year, is really
the Test and where every country that is there is really testing
themselves. So it is a whole series of good events. And the Men's Eight
still to come. The women's doubles, doing really well. You want to add
some gold medals there. That is what they will want. It definitely.
These are just stepping stones to the big ones. When I became Olympic
champion the first time I was told, you're world champion for a one-
year but you are the Olympic champion for life and that sums it
up. Let's go back 20 years, fired long Olympic Games ago. The
brothers are standing proudly on top of the podium.
The Searles have youth and vigour and a steely determination.
John Inverdale introduces the action from the World Cup rowing regatta in Munich. It is the last chance for a hugely talented British squad to test themselves against their rivals before the London Olympics, where GB are tipped to beat their Beijing medal haul of six. Early season form augers well for Britain, who will want to reinforce the message that they are the team to beat this summer.
Names to watch out for in Munich include lightweight double sculls pair Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter, who are reigning Olympic and world champions, plus double sculls duo Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins, who were unbeaten together last year. Grainger will be especially keen to claim gold this summer, having had to settle for silver at the three previous Olympics. The men's coxless four, a category Britain have dominated at Olympic level, will also be intriguing, given Team GB rejigged their line-up earlier this year.