Rowing: Record five Scots in GB team for Slovenia

A RECORD five Scots have been named in the Great Britain rowing team for the world championships in Slovenia, which start at the end of next month.

Katherine Grainger, Scotland's five-time world champion and three-time Olmpic silver-medallist - and Englishwoman Anna Watkins will defend the women's double world title they won in commanding fashion at Lake Karapiro last November.

Lossiemouth's Heather Stanning and Helen Glover, silver medallists last year, are genuine title contenders after beating the world champions from New Zealand to take gold in the Lucerne World Cup regatta earlier this month. Other Scots included are Edinburgh's Lindsay Maguire (women's eight), Inverness's Imogen Walsh (women's lightweight quadruple sculls) and David Smith of Dufermline (adaptive coxed fours).

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Pete Reed and Andy Triggs Hodge will continue their quest to beat New Zealand's dominant men's pair at the Rowing World Championships in Slovenia.

The British crew, 2008 Olympic champions as part of the men's four, lost their 13th consecutive race to Eric Murray and Hamish Bond at Lucerne

That led to fresh questions about whether men's coach Jurgen Grobler would move Hodge and Reed back into the four.

That remains a distinct possibility for next season and the 2012 London Olympics. But Grobler has kept Reed and Hodge in the pair for the world championships and left the successful four of Matt Langridge, Ric Egington, Tom James and Alex Gregory - gold medallists in Lucerne - unchanged.

The world championships this year double up as the main Olympic qualification regatta and Britain head to Bled on the back of an encouraging week in Lucerne, where they won a total of four gold medals, four silvers and two bronze.

"Lucerne was an excellent curtain-raiser for the world championships", said David Tanner, the GB Rowing Team performance director.

"We had some great performances which we would hope to carry through as the competition steps up."

Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter, who blew away the rest of the field to win gold in New Zealand, will want to end a frustratingly disrupted season with a successful defence of their title.

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Purchase is on the way back from illness and has been provisionally named in the British squad, as has Chris Bartley from the world champion lightweight four.

Bartley missed their confident victory in Lucerne but is set to rejoin Richard Chambers, Paul Mattick and Rob Williams in the boat.

Great Britain have also named a strong adaptive contingent, led by reigning world and Paralympic single scull champion Tom Aggar.

Army Captain Nick Beighton will make his world championships debut in the mixed adaptive double scull with Sam Scowen.Britain will also field a strong mixed adaptive coxed four, coxed by Lily van den Broecke and featuring Dave Smith who has come back from major neck surgery to win a place in the boat.