Great Britain on top following Rowing World Cup season
For the nine previous years Germany has always won the overall Rowing World Cup series. Not so this year.
|The 10th anniversary of the Rowing World Cup heralded a maturing of the series and of the sport. For the nine previous years Germany has always won the overall series. Not so this year. The two future Olympic hosts – China and Great Britain – denied Germany of the trophy that had virtually fallen into German ownership.|
|Purchase and Hunter, silver in the lightweight men's double|
The series of three Rowing World Cups began in Linz/Ottensheim, Austria with an offshoot of the Danube River offering superb rowing conditions, albeit a little damp, at the start of June. Great Britain, home of the 2012 Olympics, could not have been more enthused. They finished the three day regatta with the most overall points with wins in the men’s four, men’s pair and men’s double as well as the women’s quad. Germany held face by finishing second.
Amsterdam hosted the second Rowing World Cup where China, venue for the 2008 Olympics, paraded their new-found might. The Chinese finished a full 18 points ahead on the World Cup table of, now number two, Great Britain. The much more united Chinese team netted five gold medals. These came in the women’s pair, women’s double, women’s quad, lightweight women’s double (where they won gold and silver) and the lightweight men’s four.
This winning success by China equals one of the biggest gold medal hauls at a Rowing World Cup ever achieved by one nation. The medals also included a silver in the men’s eight – a first for the country that previously believed their men were not built right to row.
The third and final Rowing World Cup, as is customary, was hosted by Lucerne, Switzerland. In the absence of all but one crew from China, women’s single sculler Xiuyun Zhang, Great Britain reigned. With 59 points at the end of finals day, Great Britain was 17 points ahead of New Zealand in second. This British success included wins in the new-look lightweight men’s four and the very established women’s quad.
With that Great Britain earned the overall points trophy adding up an impressive 161 points from the three regattas. The trophy had to leave what had become its permanent home with the German Rowing Federation and will now head to British shores. German consistency did pull them into second place overall, although they finished 49 points behind Great Britain. Despite essentially only contesting two Rowing World Cups, China still held in at spot three on the overall table with France slipping in just ahead of New Zealand in fourth.
Performance director for Great Britain David Tanner, told GB Rowing News; "We'll go to the Munich World Rowing Championships with a degree of confidence after this season. Without doubt this has been our best team result ever across the World Cup series with all three of our three disciplines - women, men and lightweights - winning gold in at least one World Cup. Of course, medals are harder and harder to achieve but we have some good chances and we'll need to keep our minds also on the key Olympic qualification slots for Beijing which will be decided in Munich in August.”
Teams now go to a variety of training camps across Europe and across the world in preparation for the World Rowing Championships that will be held in Munich, Germany commencing 26 August, 2007.
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