Edinburgh’s Polly Swann and her partner, Olympic champion Helen Glover, won Britain’s only Olympic-class gold medal as they dominated their women’s pairs final here at the Rowing World Cup finals yesterday in Lucerne.
That meant the pair kept their unbeaten record intact, completing a clean sweep of wins in this season’s three World Cups, while being crowned overall World Cup champions. The British pair set themselves up well in Switzerland with a fast start and were never headed. They were put under pressure in the closing stages by a fast-finishing New Zealand, but hung on to win by just under a second, with USA third.
Swann said: “Three wins out of three – it’s pretty surreal but very good. We keep pushing ourselves every day in training, and hopefully that comes out in the races. Three World Cup golds is great, but ultimately, it’s the World Championships that matter. That’s when it counts”.
Later, Glaswegian Imogen Walsh, a member of the Inverness club, and her partner Kathryn Twyman, were just pushed out of the medals in lightweight double sculls, losing out for bronze to New Zealand by just nine-hundredths of a second, behind winners Italy and second-placed USA. But their podium finishes in the previous two World Cup rounds meant they were crowned overall World Cup series champions.
Walsh said: “Maybe in a day or so winning the World Cup will cheer me up a bit, but right now I just feel the pain of being on the wrong side of that finish. it’s bitter-sweet”.
In the women’s double sculls, Aberdeenshire’s Victoria Meyer-Laker teamed up with Frances Houghton to finish fifth overall, while Perth’s Colin Williamson was in the second British eight that came in behind Italy in their “B” final, to rank eighth overall. The British “A” eight, with Olympic champions Andrew Triggs Hodge, Peter Reid and Alex Gregory aboard could only muster a fourth place, making this British Rowing’s poorest performance at an individual World Cup event in more than ten years. Despite this, having been strongly represented at all three events during the season, Britain were declared overall World Cup winners for this year.
In the other Scottish performances, Alan Sinclair from Inverness was in the British coxless four that finished fourth in yesterday morning’s “B” final, to rank tenth, while in the non-Olympic categories, Forfar’s Sam Scrimgeour and his London-based partner Mark Aldred won lightweight pairs on Saturday.