6:30pm Sunday 17th June 2012
Guiseley’s Debbie Flood is rowing into top form in time for the Olympics after claiming a bronze medal at the World Cup event in Munich.
It was an encouraging performance from the women’s quad of Melanie Wilson, Flood, Frances Houghton and Beth Rodford, who improved on their fifth-placed finish from their previous race in Lucerne.
But there was disappointment for Hebden’s Andy Hodge in the men’s four – Britain’s flagship heavyweight crew – forced to accept silver after losing out to Australia.
Hodge, Pete Reed, Tom James and Alex Gregory will try to win a fourth successive gold for Britain in the flagship boat made famous by the likes of Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell.
But after winning the first World Cup meeting in Belgrade when the Australians were absent, and edging them out in Lucerne last month, the Australians took charge at halfway in Munich and never relinquished it.
Hodge said: “We found a different rhythm (in the final) and that was a lot better. I think we have learned a lot here and we can take that away to training camp in the next six weeks.”
There were British victories in the women's pair, the women’s double scull and the men’s lightweight four and bronze medals for the men’s and women’s eights, the women’s quadruple scull and Alan Campbell in the single scull as Britain topped the medals table for the 2012 World Cup series.
Disappointingly, reigning Olympic champions Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter finished a lowly sixth in the lightweight double.
For Helen Glover and Heather Stanning in the women’s pair it was their third consecutive World Cup gold medal.
The victorious pair have dominated the three-regatta series and will head into London 2012 in 40 days’ time as favourites to become Britain’s first-ever female Olympic rowing champions.
And it is Britain’s women who are are carrying the flag to Eton-Dorney, with the world champion double scull of Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins now unbeaten in 21 races following a one-length victory over their Australian rivals.
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