Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Bartley claims Bronze at home World Rowing Cup Event

Welsh Rower Chris Bartley has won a bronze medal at the home World Rowing Cup at Eton Dorney.
It was one of four golds, five silvers and two bronzes won by the GB Rowing Team on the third and final day of the regatta.
Wrexham-born Bartley, who won silver at the London 2012 Olympics, stroked the lightweight men’s four at the second World Cup regatta of the year in a new line-up which also included Adam Freeman-Pask, William Fletcher and Jonathan Clegg.
They got off to a good start in their final at Dorney Lake, joining Denmark and New Zealand at the front of the field going through 500m.
The more experienced crews then started to pull away, with New Zealand inching ahead of Denmark, leaving Great Britain behind to take the bronze medal.
In response to New Zealand’s growing advantage, the Danes started to come back into the race over the last few strokes, but the Kiwis grabbed the gold on the line.
Reflecting on the result, Bartley was optimistic about the crew’s future prospects.
“We train for hard close races. We were a bit at the back today but there’s a lot more to come from this crew,” he said.
Adam Freeman-Pask, meanwhile, was pleased to come away with a medal said: “I’m really chuffed with the bronze today with our new crew like this. It’s a good starting point. I’m obviously a little bit disappointed but you always are when you don’t win in this sport.”
William Fletcher added: “It is very hard but coming in rowing alongside Bartley and Adam. It’s an awesome thing to do.
“And of course Jono but I’ve raced with him for the past four years so that’s getting a bit boring (laughs). It’s really good coming into row with some top guys.”
In the women’s single scull, Wrexham’s Victoria Thornley settled well into the pace of her final before slipping back to fourth after 500m.
New Zealand’s Emma Twigg pulled clear of the pack with a pace no one else could match, but Thornley proved tenacious in keeping in the hunt for a medal.
In the final 500m she could not quite squeeze enough speed to make the podium but should be pleased with her form here, showing she is a real contender in this event – one in which GB had no representative at the 2012 Games.
“Everyone is talking about the conditions out there and yes it is rough but I’ve trained in this weather and I was confident I could cope with it,” Thornley said.
“To be honest, I’ve exceeded my expectations at this regatta.
“I’m rowing against athletes who have rowed in this event for six years or more and I’ve only been doing it for six months. Next up for me is Henley and I’m now looking forward to Lucerne.”
Olympic champion Helen Glover, with new partner Polly Swann, brought the house down with the first home gold in the women’s pair, following on from their debut win together at the Sydney World Cup in March.
In another repeat performance from the Games, GB won the women’s double scull, the event dominated for so long by Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins.
This time a new partnership of Beijing silver medallist, Frances Houghton and “rookie”Victoria Meyer-Laker were cheered onto the podium.
In a fitting finale to the UK Sport Gold Series Event, the GB men’s eight completed the racing with a nail biting finish against Poland. With double Olympic champions Peter Reed and Andy Triggs-Hodge part of the heartbeat of the crew they snatched the win in the final few metres.
The eight’s gold bookended a medal tally which was opened with a GB one-two in the lightweight men’s pair, one of the non-Olympic classes.
In between GB rowers also added four further silvers - from the lightweight men’s and women’s doubles, the lightweight men’s pair, the men’s single sculler Alan Campbell and the men’s four – and two bronzes from the lightweight men’s four and the men’s double scull of Matt Langridge and Bill Lucas. The final tally stood at four golds, five silvers and two bronzes.
GB Rowing Team Performance Director Sir David Tanner was clearly delighted with the performances, particularly from some of the young, new rowers.
“I am pleased with our rowers today. Several of our boats stepped up from the heats and the semis, backed by the now traditional Dorney Roar from the crowd.
“But we need to keep our feet on the ground. After Henley we have the World Cup at Lucerne which will be tougher than this with more nations.
“This event has given us a good base to go there and it has shown the spirit that is in our team as well as its ambition. So it has been a good day in the office”.
The results on the final day of competition came after two para-rowing golds were secured by Tom Aggar in the arms-shoulders single scull and the mixed coxed four.
After the disappointment of missing out on a medal at the Paralympic Games last year, Aggar said the result was “a step in the right direction”.
“Maybe last year I underperformed compared to what I’ve done previously.

“I think I’ve improved on last year. It’s really special to win at Eton Dorney with the home crowd and this result makes up for last year in a small way”.


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