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2007 World Rowing Championships:
Rowing Australia Media Releases

Media contacts

Munich
David Pembroke
Communication Advisor
0416 103 229

 
Australia
David Polglase
Communication Coordinator
0401 453 041

Sunday 2 September

Gold rush on final day of world titles

Australia has won two more gold medals on the final day of the 2007 FISA World Rowing Championships in Munich, Germany.

Amber Halliday (SA) and Marguerite Houston (SA) produced a brilliant finish to win the Women’s Lightweight Double Scull, while the Women’s Lightweight Quad Scull of Tara Kelly (QLD), Alice McNamara (VIC), Miranda Bennett (NSW) and Bronwen Watson (NSW) led from start to finish.

Houston and Halliday paced themselves throughout the race and entered the final quarter a boat length behind the Finnish crew. After an incredible sprint finish the Australian duo overtook the Finn’s in the final five strokes to better their silver medal from last year and claim the gold in a time of 7.07.18

Halliday said they knew they would have to be patient throughout the race.

“We just had to be patient, work to our plan and not to lose our nerve”, Halliday said. “We were fourth at the 500, 3rd at the 1000, 2nd at the 1500 and first at the finish. It was just the way we had hoped it would work out. I'm stoked".

Houston was overwhelmed with the result.

“If this is what it's like to be a World Champion, I want more” Houston said. “All the planning, training, sacrifice and focus makes this moment worth it all. Thank you to everyone who has supported us in representing Australia at the World Championships.”

The Women’s Lightweight Quad Scull was imperial in their victory as they led home Germany and Italy in their final in a time of 6:35.85.

The Men’s Lightweight Pair of Ross Brown (WA) and Michael McBryde (QLD) clinched bronze earlier in the day, while the Men’s Lightweight Double Scull of Sam Beltz (TAS) and Tom Gibson (TAS) finished fourth in their final.

For more information please call David Polglase
on 0401 453 041

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Men’s Eight suffer Beijing heartbreak

The Australian Men’s Eight has failed to gain initial qualification for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games after finishing second in the B Final at the 2007 FISA World Rowing Championships in Munich, Germany.

The regatta serves as the major qualification regatta for the Olympics and only the top seven crew’s gain qualification. Australia, if they want to compete in the blue ribbon event of Australian rowing will now have finish either first or second  in the final qualification regatta at Lucerne next year.

After making a good start in the B Final, Australia settled in just behind the Chinese Eight through 1000 metres but was unable to close the gap in the final quarter of the race to finish just under a boat behind the hosts of next years Olympics.

Rowing Australia High Performance Director, Noel Donaldson, said the squad would have to regroup before next year.

“We got into a better rhythm today but were unable to hold it for the entire race”, Donaldson said. “The sweep squad now needs to regroup despite the disappointment that is associated with the result and bounce back before final qualification ahead of Beijing.”

Three further crews gained qualification for the Olympics on the final day of competition in Munich. The Lightweight Men’s Four of Rod Chisholm (NSW), Anthony Edwards (VIC), Ben Cureton (WA) and Todd Skipworth (WA) won their B Final in a time of 6:04.47 to make up for the disappointment of their semi final exit.

The Women’s Quadruple Scull was faced with the challenge of having to win their B Final to ensure qualification for Beijing and they answered their critics in fine style. Catriona Sens (VIC), Brooke Pratley (NSW), Sonia Mills (ACT) and Amy Ives (NSW) raced superbly to win in a time of 6:31.60.

The Men’s Quad Scull was the third crew to qualify when they finished fourth in their B Final.

For more information please call David Polglase
on 0401 453 041

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Saturday 1 September

Medal count rises for Australia at World Championships

Australia has won three further medals at the 2007 FISA World Rowing Championships in Munich, Germany.

John MacLean (NSW) and Kathryn Ross (VIC), rowing in their first regatta together, claimed the silver medal in the Trunk and Arms Double Sculls, while reigning two time world champion, Dominic Monypenny (TAS), also won silver in the Men’s Arms Only Single Scull.

MacLean and Ross tucked themselves in behind the Italian crew from the start of the race but could not breach the gap and finished just under a boat length adrift.

Monypenny finished behind Tom Aggar from Great Britain by less than a length. Both these crews have qualified for the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

MacLean said that he and Ross were very happy with the silver medal.

“This is only our third race together and they have all been at this regatta”, MacLean said. “We would both like to thank our coach Pedro Albisser, who took us under his wing this year and taught us how to row. We are looking forward to Beijing next year and concentrating on winning the gold medal.”

Earlier, the Australian Women’s Four of Vicky Roberts (NSW), Emily Martin (VIC), Katelyn Gray (NSW) and Phoebe Stanley (VIC) won the bronze medal behind the United States and Germany in the non – Olympic boat class.

Tomorrow is the last day of the regatta with Australian attention to be focused on the A Final of the Women’s Eight and the Men’s and Women’s Lightweight Double Sculls.

For more information please call David Polglase
on 0401 453 041

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Saturday 1 September

Ginn and Free blow rivals away

Drew Ginn (VIC) and Duncan Free (QLD) successfully defended their World Championship in the Men’s Pair at the 2007 FISA World Rowing Championships in Munich, Germany.

Ginn, and Free, having qualified for the final in first place, executed a superb race plan to win the gold medal and defend the title they won twelve months ago in Eton, England.

The Australian pair got off to their normal quick start but dragged along the New Zealand pair of Nathan Twaddle and George Bridgewater for the first 1250 metres.

Twaddle said that he and Bridgewater were amazed by the Australians performance as they won by 6 seconds in a time of 6:24.87.

“We had a good first 1000 then the Australians started to push away and at that point it was just too hard to stay with them”, Twaddle said.

Ginn, 32, and Free, 34, have formed a fearsome combination since they came together at the start of 2006.

The result not only reaffirms their status as the number one Men’s Pair but also qualifies the boat for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Free established himself as Australia’s top male scull rower for almost a decade before switching to sweep rowing at the end of the 2005 season. Whilst never medalling in scull rowing, Free has found his niche in the Men’s Pair..

Ginn’s record speaks for itself. He was a member of the gold medal winning Oarsome Foursome at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and also won the 2004 gold medal in the Men’s Pair with James Tomkins. He has now also won five World Championship gold medals, as well as a silver and bronze.

"It was a very hard, tough race, one of the hardest of the Championships”, Ginn said. “We wanted to get to first place straight from the start and wanted to make sure that we didn't give an inch of advantage to the others. New Zealand pushed us hard but in the end we controlled our rhythm and pulled away from them. We're very happy. The plan for tonight is to celebrate with lots of friends and family.”

For more information please call David Polglase
on 0401 453 041

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Saturday 1 September

World Champions reign supreme

Drew Ginn (VIC) and Duncan Free (QLD) successfully defended their World Championship in the Men’s Pair at the 2007 FISA World Rowing Championships in Munich, Germany.

Ginn and Free, having qualified for the final in first place, executed a superb race plan to the gold medal and defend the title they won twelve months ago in Eton, England.

The Australian pair got off to their normal quick start but dragged along the New Zealand pair of Nathan Twaddle and George Bridgewater for the first 1500 metres. The pace proved too great for Twaddle and Bridgewater as Ginn and Free rose their rate over the last 500 metres to win by 6 seconds in a time of 6:24.87.

The result not only reaffirms their status as the number one Men’s Pair but also qualifies the boat for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Chris O’Brien, coach of the Men’s Pair, said the race unfolded as expected.

‘We thought that the Kiwi’s would take a run at us and they did but ultimately they paid the price”, O’Brien said. “Our third 500 was very measured and we showed really good boat speed. While it wasn’t the perfect race from a technical point of view, it was a World Championship final and we won it by a decisive margin. They deserve their success.”

In earlier races on Day 7 of the championships Kim Crow (VIC) and Sarah Cook (ACT) led in the Women’s Pair for the first 1500 metres before missing a stroke in the last 200 metres to finish fourth behind Belarus, Germany and Romania.

The Men’s Double Scull crew of David Crawshay (VIC) and Scott Brennan (TAS) finished second in the B Final to qualify the boat for Beijing, while Peter Hardcastle finished 5th in the B Final of the Men’s Double Scull to also gain Australia a place in this event at the Olympics

However, on a more unfortunate note, Amber Bradley (WA) and Kerry Hore (TAS) missed out on Olympic qualification in the Women’s Double Scull by 0.07 of a second and the Men’s Four of James Chapman (NSW), Sam Loch (NSW), Francis Hegerty (NSW) and Nick Baxter (NSW) also failed to gain automatic qualification for Beijing.

For more information please call David Polglase
on 0401 453 041

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Friday 31 August

South Australians lead charge in Germany

The South Australian duo of Marguerite Houston and Amber Halliday has led the way for Australia on Day 6 of the FISA World Rowing Championships in Munich, Germany.

Houston and Halliday, who won the silver medal at the 2006 FISA World Rowing Championships in Eton, won their semi final in the Women’s Lightweight Double Scull.

Entering the race as firm favourites, Halliday and Houston sat behind the Finnish crew before passing them in the last 150 metres to win the semi final in a time of 6:59.89 and also claim Olympic qualification for the boat. China, the reigning world champions, won the second semi final in a slightly slower time.

Houston said that they were both pleased with their efforts and looking forward to the final on Sunday.

“We are both very excited about the final”, Houston said. “All six crews are capable of winning and it may come down to whoever is mentally stronger on Sunday.”

Tom Gibson (TAS) and Sam Beltz (TAS) followed up with a third place in the Men’s Lightweight Double Scull semi final to safely qualify for the A Final and also secure a place in Beijing next year.

James Tomkins was unable to inspire the Men’s Eight as they finished fourth in their semi final to be relegated to the B Final. They will have to win this race to qualify the boat for the Olympic Games next year.

The Men’s Lightweight Four (Rod Chisholm (NSW), Ben Cureton (WA), Anthony Edwards (VIC) and Todd Skipworth (WA) came fourth in their semi final which relegated them to the B Final on Sunday.

Both the Men’s Quad Scull (Chris Morgan (SA), James McRae (SA), James Gatti (WA) and David Kelly (WA)) and the Women’s Quad Scull (Catriona Sens (VIC), Brooke Pratley (NSW), Sonia Mills (ACT) and Amy Ives (NSW)) came fourth in their semi finals.

For more information please call David Polglase
on 0401 453 041

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Firday 31 August

Australians shine at World Rowing Championships

Two of Australia’s adaptive rowing crews have produced the highlight of Day 5 at the World Rowing Championships in Munich, Germany.

Dominic Monypenny (TAS), reigning two time world champion, was exceptional in his semi final of the Men’s Arms Only Single Scull as he led from start to finish to complete the 1000 metre course in a time of 6:06.75.

Monypenny had finished second in his heat earlier in the week and was primed for a stronger performance in his second hit out of the regatta. By reaching the A Final, Australia has qualified the boat for the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, which is the first time that rowing will be offered at the Paralympic Games.

Equally impressive was the newly formed combination of John MacLean (NSW) and Kathryn Ross (VIC), who are rowing in their first regatta together in the Trunk and Arms Double Sculls.

Having finished second in their first race together on Monday, MacLean and Ross defeated the reigning world champions and 2007 silver medallists in the semi final to qualify fastest for the A Final and also qualify the boat for Beijing.

Monypenny said he was far happier with his performance.

“Monday was a bit of a setback but I felt that I was moving the boat better in the water today”, Monypenny said. “Saturday will be a tough race but I am looking forward to giving it my best shot”.

Both crews will compete in their finals on Saturday and will enter their respective races confident of a medal.

For more information please call David Polglase
on 0401 453 041

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Thursday 30 August

Olympic fever sweeps through Australian camp

Australia has had a mixed day at the FISA World Rowing Championships in Munich, Germany.

Following the qualification of the Women’s Pair of Sarah Cook (ACT) and Kim Crow (VIC) only the Men’s Pair made it through to the A Final and consequently book a place at Beijing next year.

The second semi final of the Men’s Pair was delayed due to one of the German oars breaking on the start line. Upon the restart Drew Ginn (VIC) and Duncan Free (QLD), favourites to win the gold medal, rowed dominantly to open a lead of four boat lengths during the race to eventually cross the finish line in a time of 6:47.62.

Lyall McCarthy, Head Coach of the Australian Women’s team, said he was pleased with the performance of the pair.

"It was a really controlled effort by Sarah and Kim”, McCarthy said. “They jumped out well, held a good pace through the middle of the race and were only just covered in the shadow of the post by the very experienced Romanian crew.”

The Men’s Four of James Chapman (NSW), Francis Hegerty (NSW), Sam Loch (NSW) and Nick Baxter (NSW) were not able to match the pace of the more fancied crews and finished fifth in their semi final.

The Women’s Double Scull crew of Kerry Hore (TAS) and Amber Bradley (WA) and the Men’s Double Scull of Scott Brennan (TAS) and David Crawshay (VIC) both finished fourth in their semi finals and will need to finish in the top five crews in the B Final on Saturday to confirm a place in Beijing.

For more information please call David Polglase
on 0401 453 041

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Thursday 30 August

Women’s Pair book tickets to Beijing

Sarah Cook (ACT) and Kim Crow (VIC) have become the first Australian crew to qualify a boat for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on day five of the FISA World Rowing Championships in Munich, Germany.

Cook and Crow came home second in their semi final of the Women’s Pair behind the well established Romanian crew who are the reigning Olympic champions.

They will enter the final on Saturday with confidence as they look to build upon the gold and bronze medals they won in earlier World Cups this season.

Lyall McCarthy, Head Coach of the Australian Women’s team, said the girls should be pleased with their efforts.

"It was a really controlled effort by Sarah and Kim”, McCarthy said. “They jumped out well, held a good pace through the middle of the race and were only just covered in the shadow of the post by the very experienced Romanian crew.”

“They've qualified the boat for the Olympics and now have a chance to race for the medals on Saturday. It was a superb row from a young crew. They've got a great attitude and work ethic".

Peter Hardcastle (NSW) earlier finished in fifth place in his semi final and now will have his sights set on finishing in the top five places in the B Final on Sunday to qualify the boat for next year’s Olympics.

For more information please call David Polglase
on 0401 453 041

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Wednesday 29 August

Veteran Edwards leads the way for Australia

Australia continued their success on Day Four of the FISA World Rowing Championships in Munich, Germany with all three boats that raced qualifying for the semi finals.

The Men’s Lightweight Four reaffirmed their standing as one of the favoured crews with a strong win in their quarter final.

Anthony Edwards  (VIC), returning from a lay off after the Athens Olympic Games, partnered Rod Chisholm (NSW), Ben Cureton (WA) and Todd Skipworth (WA) to win the race in a time of 6:13.70.

The Tasmanian duo of Sam Beltz and Tom Gibson qualified from their quarter final in the Men’s Lightweight Double Scull as they look to improve on their fourth placing in last year’s World Championships.

Antonio Maurogiovanni, coach of the Men’s Lightweight crews, said it was good to get the Men’s Lightweight Four through but there was room for improvement.

“They did perform well but like the double they can take another step forward in the semi final”, Maurogiovanni said. “They didn’t perform at 100% which is good from my point of view but we need to learn to get that consistency in our effort.”

The Men’s Quadruple Scull crew of Chris Morgan (SA), David Kelly (WA), James Gatti (WA) and James McRae (SA) also won their quarterfinal, narrowly pipping the Cubans who had led the whole race.

The International Rowing Federation (FISA) announced this morning that three athletes, Vladimir Varfolomeev and Denis Moiseev from the Russian lightweight men’s double and Svetlana Fedorova from the Russian women’s eight have been declared ineligible for a period of two years for a violation of Article 2.2 of the Anti-Doping Bye-Laws; Use of a Prohibited Method. (Read more here.)

The semi finals begin on Thursday evening Australian time. Qualification for the Olympic Games will be on the line for the majority of crews.

For more information please call David Polglase
on 0401 453 041

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Tuesday 28 August

Successful day of qualifying for Australian rowers

Australia has continued with its impressive form at the 2007 FISA World Rowing Championships in Munich, Germany.

Five out of six Australian crews progressed to the semi finals and finals as the quest to qualify boats for the 2008 Beijing Olympics continued.

Fergus Pragnell (NSW) and Jason Heard (VIC), coxed by Marty Rabjohns (NSW) in the Men’s Coxed Pair, qualified for the final and will be confident of pushing the other five crews for a medal.

Kerry Hore (TAS) and Amber Bradley (WA) were extremely impressive in the repechages of the Women’s Double Scull and won their race to comfortably make it through to the semi finals, while David Crawshay (VIC) and Scott Brennan (TAS) finished second in their repechage to safely qualify for the semis finals. Both these crews will be looking to feature in the A Final on Saturday but only need to finish in the top eleven crews to qualify a boat for Beijing.

Peter Hardcastle (NSW), who only came into the Men’s Single Scull after a late injury withdrawal, continued his impressive form and gained qualification for the semi finals after finishing third in his repechage, whilst the Men’s Coxless Four of Nick Baxter, Francis Hegerty, Sam Loch and James Chapman also qualified for the semi finals.

Zoe Uphill narrowly missed out on a place in the semi finals of the Women’s Single Scull after finishing fourth in her repechage.

Rowing Australia High Performance Director Noel Donaldson said the team was well pleased with results to date.

“We have positioned ourselves really well for the second half of the week when we will find be faced with some very tough racing”, Donaldson said. “We are on track with our goals for Olympic qualification and the team is looking forward to the remainder of the regatta.”

For more information please call David Polglase
on 0401 453 041

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Monday 27 August

Australian rowers shine in Munich

The Australian Women’s Eight have produced an exceptional performance on the second day at the 2007 FISA World Rowing Championships in Munich, Germany.

With only one crew directly qualifying for the Final from each of the two heats, Australia chased down the reigning world champions from the United States to claim victory and move a step closer to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

The Men’s Eight also produced a barn storming finish to overhaul the Great Britain crew and claim a spot in the semi finals, avoiding the unneeded pressure of a repechage.

But it was the Women’s Eight, who finished in a time of 6:12.79 that stole the show. They joined Romania as the two qualifiers for the final on Sunday 2 September, and by avoiding last place in the 6 boat final will qualify for Beijing.

Kim Crow (VIC) said the feeling within the group has been special over the past weeks.

“The atmosphere in the eight is exceptional. We have been producing great times in training so it was nice to show today that we could make the boat go fast in competition.”

Women’s Head Coach Lyall McCarthy was pleased with the result but said there was a lot of confidence within the group.

“The girls have been amazing in training and there is a lot of self belief within the group”, McCarthy said. “We are very confident in the way we are rowing.”

The Women’s and Men’s Lightweight Double Scull crews both won their heats to progress to the next stage of the competition, whilst the Men’s Lightweight Four were also impressive as they won their heat.

For a full list of Australian race results please visit www.rowingaustralia.com.au

For more information please call David Polglase
on 0401 453 041

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Monday 27 August

Australian crews gain early qualification for final

Australian crews have had a successful start to the second day of racing at the 2007 FISA World Rowing Championships in Munich, Germany.

In the Lightweight Men’s Pair, a non–Olympic event, Ross Brown (WA) and Michael McBryde (QLD) led from start to finish in Heat 2 to complete the course in 6:47.51.

With only one crew qualifying for the final from each of the two heats, the Australians will join Italy in the final after they recorded an equally comfortable win.

The Women’s Lightweight Quad scull crew of Bronwen Watson (NSW), Miranda Bennett (NSW), Alice McNamara (VIC) and Tara Kelly (QLD) also cruised to victory in their heat. They have gained automatic qualification for the final of the non–Olympic event along with Great Britain.

Ellen Randall, coach of the Women’s Lightweight Quad Scull, was happy with the race.

“I’m pleased with what was a very even effort”, Randall said. “We got out well and held onto our pace throughout the race. The final on Sunday will be another challenge for us as we expect some strong opposition from both the Chinese and the British.”

Later today all attention will be focused upon the return of James Tomkins as he endeavours to lead the Australian Men’s Eight to the Olympics from the stroke seat.

For more information please call David Polglase
on 0401 453 041

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