Olivia Bates wins World Rowing Cup bronze – GB to race in eight A Finals on Sunday

Olivia Bates has won Great Britain’s first World Rowing Cup III medal, with a bronze in the lightweight women’s single sculls (LW1x). Great Britain also  has 9 crews competing in 8 A finals on Sunday after five crews qualified today and four more secured spots on Friday

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Credit: Benedict Tufnell

The racing came thick and fast for GB on the Rotsee at World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, with the last of the day seeing Olivia holding on to the third place spot in a tight finish in the lightweight women’s single sculls. Picking up her second bronze at consecutive events she said: “it was nice to have a flat lake this time to race on, the conditions were amazing and it was good to just be able to put more power down. It was nice to maintain my position from World Cup II, I felt like I was able to step on again for this race. I knew it was going to be tight on the line but luckily I had built enough distance through the middle to cling on for the last few strokes! It was a tough race but it was great to get out there and come away with a medal”.

Both Men’s four (M4-) crews will line up in the A final after GBR1 of Oli Wilkes, David Ambler, Matt Aldridge and Freddie Davidson won their semi final ahead of New Zealand by a length and GBR2 of Dan Graham, James Robson, Sam Bannister and Sam Nunn came second, behind Australia in their semi final.

Oli Wilkes from GBR1 said: “We had a decent time trial yesterday and we wanted to step on today and be a bit more ‘racier’ and assertive in the first 1k. We have to respect our opposition, we’re racing against quality  crews  like the Kiwis and French who were close to us in the Europeans, so I think we managed to step on with the pressure that came from side by side racing. We’re happy with that race but we’ve got a bit more to go in the final tomorrow. I want to say a big well done to the GBR2 four as well, there’s a couple of guys in their first senior vests and we look forward to racing them tomorrow.”

Sam Bannister from GBR2 said: “This was our second race together so we just looked to improve on yesterday. We reflected on yesterday and worked on where we thought we could do better. We’re really happy with it. Hopefully we’ll just keep going like we have been, find some more speed for tomorrow and see where it goes. There’s two GB boats in the final tomorrow, there’s not many nations that could do that so we’re really proud of that.”

Emily Craig and Imogen Grant remain unbeaten this season, with another convincing win in the Lightweight women’s double sculls (LW2x) semi final.

“With every race it might be easy to say ‘we’ve won the last few so it should be a given’ but we never want to underestimate the competition and the new combinations that come to the event.” Imogen said, adding “It’s  always a pleasure to race and we want to keep doing what we’re doing, follow our processes and cross the line first.”

Emily said: “We got a nice clean start, took a canvas then half an length and we were in control from there. Bring on the final tomorrow.”

Ollie Wynne-Griffith & Tom George led their Men’s pair (M2-) semi final for much of the race but were pipped on the line by Romania by just 0.32 seconds. They will race the final on Sunday. After the race Ollie said: “It was a tight one and they’re (Romania) obviously a very good crew. We’re pleased with some elements of the race and know there are some we need to work on. There are probably 5 or 6 crews who think they can win tomorrow, and that’s what racing is all about, so pretty excited for tomorrow.”

Tom added: “there are bits to work on. It probably wasn’t our best journey in terms of how we wanted to race it. We tried to dominate and kill the race too early and that’s unrealistic at this level. We’ve got bits to work on, bring on the final tomorrow.”

Georgie Brayshaw, Lucy Glover, Hannah Scott and Lauren Henry will also race the A final after a solid performance in the Women’s quadruple sculls (W4x) repechage. Georgie said: “This repechage was another chance for us to get race practice, an opportunity to add in little things we want to tweak here and there and to try things out, so it’s never a bad thing. We’re a slightly new crew and it’s really come together. We see steps on every race we do, and I think that was another step on. We didn’t feel the need to go wild at the end, we just thought ‘right, we’re ahead, let’s cover our basis. We’ve got this’ and we got it in. It was a really solid race.”

Aidan Thompson and double Olympian John Collins will race the Men’s Double sculls (M2x) B final after a 5th place finish in the semi final. 2020 Olympian Chloe Brew and GB debutante Juliette Perry will race the Women’s pair (W2-) B final after a sixth place finish in the semi final.

Kyra Edwards was second in the Women’s single sculls (W1x) D final (20 overall while Tobias Schröder finished his men’s single sculls (M1x) F final in third place (33 overall).

You can follow the World Cup III action live across British Rowing social media channels and on BBC iPlayer and website.

Results from Day Two at World Rowing Cup III 2023

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