18 May 2019
GB rowing quartet lay down 'marker' with second gold in Gavirate
Ollie Stanhope believes GB’s mixed coxed four rowers have laid the gauntlet down to their rivals after claiming a second gold in as many days at the Gavirate International Regatta.
Stanhope joined Ellen Buttrick, Giedre Rakauskaite, Paralympic champion James Fox and cox Erin Wysocki-Jones in storming past the opposition to win the PR3 mixed coxed four final on the last day of racing on the Italian waters.
Their time of 7:02.03 was enough to push the Australian quartet into second and the Ukrainian four into third – the same result as 24 hours earlier – to leave the regatta with two gold medals.
Stanhope said: “Gavirate has been a great start to the racing calendar and it was good to be able to put such a good marker down.”
And cox Wysocki-Jones added: “I am really excited by our performances this weekend. We have learnt a lot over the four races.
“I’m looking forward to moving into the training camp now and hopefully finding even more speed.”
That mixed coxed four gold was one of three identical results to the regatta’s first races for the British boats as Paralympic gold medallists Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley took another silver in the PR2 mixed double sculls, and Ben Pritchard again sealed PR1 men’s single sculls bronze.
Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley took two silver medals in their first regatta together since 2017
Rowles has missed the last two seasons due to rehab but the British partnership showed plenty of promise in their first races since 2017, as their time of 8:25.06 was again enough for second spot behind the Dutch boat.
“Winning two silver medals after two years away from racing is incredibly promising,” said Rowles. “We came into the regatta with little race experience over 2k and have come out of it with lots of learnings.
“We are looking forward to building on our performances here and improving for the rest of the season.”
For the second day in a row, the only men to finish ahead of Pritchard in the PR1 single sculls were Paralympic champion Roman Polianskyi from Ukraine and Australian world champion Erik Horrie, while fellow Brit Andy Houghton came fifth.
Andy Pritchard claimed another impressive bronze in Gavirate
“It was a tough race for me,” said Pritchard. “Having exceeded expectations in the first race, I wanted to prove to myself that it was not a fluke.
“Having a teammate in the lane next to you is always difficult but the plan was to focus on my own race and I did that. I’m really happy to finish in third again in such a stacked field.”
GB’s rowers will now turn their attention to next month’s World Cup before the World Championship in August – where Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games qualification spots will be up for grabs.
Picture credit: All Mark One (@allmarkone)
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