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WELSH ROWERS MAKE MUNICH SPLASH

3 Sep 2007

There was triple medal joy for Welsh rowers at the world rowing championships in Munich yesterday as Tom James and Tom Lucy took bronze in the GB eight and Dave Currie matched them in the lightweight quadruple scull.

GB coach Robin Williams, from Chepstow, also made a giant splash as his four took the world title for the first time since 1992, and his lightweight crews added silver and two bronzes.

Cambridge Blue James, from Wrexham, only came into the men’s eight last Monday when bowman Tom Parker fell ill.

And Raglan rower Lucy became the second youngest GB international ever to medal at the worlds at just 19 years and four months.

"I think we’re going to be unstoppable in Beijing next year," said the delighted teenager, who only 12 months ago was lifting the world junior fours title in Amsterdam.

"I don’t care how good world champions Canada are, or anyone else, we’re a young crew and we’re only going to get better.

"Last year I was world junior champion, but winning bronze in the men’s eight a year later at the senior worlds is dreamworld."

Things didn’t look so hopeful for GB early on in their final on the Munich Olympic regatta course, though, as they went through 500m and the halfway mark in fifth.

But hitting a storming rhythm, they set the quickest third-quarter time to power past first Russia and then Olympic champions the US before the last 500m mark.

Still moving quicker than anyone else in the field, they all but caught defending champions Germany on the line, who took silver three-quarters of a length down on the Canadians.

Lucy said, "We were near the back of the field early on, but still in the pack and going well.

"We didn’t want to go off too fast, as we aimed to step it on in the second half. We knew we had that strength endurance to damage other crews. We did exactly that and gave it a great crack – now it’s Beijing or bust."

World Cup champions Canada were first in 5min 34.92secs with Germany, roared on by the bulk of a 20,000 crowd, second in 5min 37.19secs and GB in bronze in 5min 37.95secs. The US were fourth, a length and a quarter back, with Russia fifth and Poland sixth.