02:11PM, Monday 24 May 2021
Great Britain’s men’s four. Credit: British Rowing
Windsor’s Ollie Cook and Marlow’s Rory Gibbs helped Great Britain’s men’s four to gold on an eventful and exciting day of racing at the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne.
The men’s four were one of three gold medal winners for Britain, alongside the men’s eight and women’s lightweight double.
There was also a bronze medal for Maidenhead’s Jack Beaumont in the men’s quad alongside Harry Leask, Angus Groom and Thomas Barras.
Cook, Gibbs, Matt Rossiter and Sholto Carnegie led the field from early on for a commanding victory in the men’s four, one which underlines their potential for the Olympics in Tokyo.
Speaking after the race Rossiter said: “We got out well, it probably wasn’t our cleanest start but then Sholto set a good rhythm in the middle where we were just pounding away, taking a little bit out of ever stroke. I make the calls for the boys, and they made my job so easy because we were just nudging ahead every stroke.
“It feels like a real privilege to be able to be in front of the race and watch it all unfold. I’ve been rowing for GB since I was about 18 and I’ve never had that feeling before, so to have that here and in the Europeans has been a good feeling.”
Beaumont, Leask, Barras and Groom are an improving quad for Great Britain and are starting to show the kind of pace which could see them vie for a podium place at the Olympics.
Reflecting on their recent efforts, Leask said: “We’re chuffed. Obviously coming from the Europeans, we just wanted to build our speed. We’ve put a lot of work in and to see it paying off here is so worthwhile and makes everything much more fun.
“This is my first world cup medal, and to be doing it here of all places. It’s also my first time racing here and it’s an absolutely phenomenal place to race. It has to be one of my favourites already.”
Cookham’s Helen Glover and Polly Swan had been due to race in the women’s pair, however, a minor injury forced them to withdraw last week. They’re due to be back on the water again very soon.
The men’s eight of Josh Bugajski, Jacob Dawson, Morgan Bolding, Mohamed Sbihi, Charles Elwes, Tom George, James Rudkin, Tom Ford and Henry Fieldman (cox) fought off the Germans to take victory on the finish line, edging ahead on the very final stroke.
Emily Craig and Imogen Grant also delivered a commanding victory in the lightweight women’s double, putting down a solid performance ahead of the Olympics. The women’s four of Rowan McKellar, Harriet Taylor, Caragh McMurty and Rebecca Shorten claimed silver in a race that began in glorious sunshine but ended in a massive downpour at the Rotsee Lake.
Reflecting on the event, British Rowing Director of Performance Brendan Purcell said: “This was our last international regatta before we select and announce our Olympic Team and head off to Tokyo this summer. “It’s not been a ‘usual’ season for us, but we’ve had some standout performances today, and have seen some good learnings implemented following the Europeans. “It’s heads down now, with our crews shortly travelling to training camps where the athletes and coaches will conti