OLD Monmothian rowing coach Robin Williams saw his Olympic champion women's pair Helen Glover and Heather Stanning blow the field away in world record style at the world rowing championships in Holland.

But Wales cap Graeme Thomas agonisingly missed gold in the men's quadruple scull by just a tenth of a second.

And Olympic silver medallist Chris Bartley from Wrexham settled for a second successive world bronze in the men's lightweight four.

Cardiff Metropolitan graduate Glover paid tribute to her Chepstow coach Williams coming into the Amsterdam championships, hailing the former Monmouth School pupil as "the world's best" after the 54-year-old overcame a life-threatening illness over the winter.

And after retaining the title she won with Polly Swann last year in Korea and shaving a full three seconds off the 12-year-old world best time, she said: "The record hasn't sunk in yet. When we crossed the line, Heather noticed the time. I think our coach Robin will be more pleased with that than the win!"

The Olympic champion duo were reunited this year after army officer Stanning took a year off to serve in Afghanistan, and dominated the World Cup season after Glover had taken European gold with Swann.

And they were quickly into a 3/4L lead at 500m from the Romanian duo on Amsterdam's Bosbaan course, and had stretched out to 1 1/4L at half way.

Americans Megan Kalmoe and Kerry Simmonds pushed through to second in the third quarter, but out front GB could watch the race unfold behind them with clear water to spare.

And without pushing the rating through the roof for the run in, they still came home well inside the world best mark, crossing in six minutes 50.61 seconds to land gold by just over a length from the US with New Zealand taking bronze.

"This feels different to last year," added Glover. "Because of the history that Heather and I have, this win was more expected. Last year, with Polly, it was all very new.

“When Heather turned round to look at me at the finish, I was saying ‘thanks’. It's something I am really proud," said Glover.

Th GB men's quad of Welshman Thomas, Sam Townsend, Charles Cousins and Peter Lambert knew Ukraine would be the crew to beat as the only boat to beat the Brits all year, at the Europeans at the start of June.

And the east Europeans held on to win by just 0.09 seconds, with Germany some 2L back in bronze.

Thomas said: "We came for gold, but I can't fault the guys on a scull like that. It is the best race I have ever delivered. I don't think we could have done anything more."

Bartley's lightweight four went head-to-head with the Kiwis and defending champion Danes, with just six feet separating the trio at half way but in the run-in the Danes exploded clear, winning by 2/3L from World Cup champions New Zealand.