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Page last updated at 17:19 GMT, Sunday, 22 June 2008 18:19 UK

GB win World Cup with three golds

Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter celebrate their doubles sculls gold
Purchase (left) and Hunter are gold medal favourites in Beijing

Britain's rowers boosted their hopes ahead of August's Olympic Games by winning five medals in Olympic-class finals at the World Cup in Poland.

There were golds for the men's lightweight double and women's double sculls and for the men's eights.

After a season disrupted by injury, the men's four took silver while the women's eight claimed bronze.

The performances meant Great Britain won the overall title at the final World Cup of the season.

Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter won their third World Cup gold as they edged out Denmark to win the lightweight doubles final in six minutes 45.86 seconds.

The victory makes them gold medal favourites for Beijing but Purchase played down their chances in China.

"The biggest pressure is the pressure we put on ourselves, to be honest," he said. "There's a long way to go yet".


Laverick and Bebington fought off a late challenge from Italy to claim gold in 7:15.62.

The men's eight kept the gold rush going as they carved out a dominant victory over world silver medallists Germany and Poland in a small field.

In the women's event, the British crew came back strongly to overhaul Germany for a morale-boosting bronze.

"We had a difficult start to the season but that was pleasing," said cox Caroline O'Connor. "We have worked really hard in the last few weeks."

The men's four were able to field their chosen line-up of Tom James, Steve Williams, Peter Reed and Andy Hodge for the first time this season.

But the quartet did not employ their usual explosive start and were not able to claw back the Netherlands' lead in the closing metres, settling for second.

"I thought that was a great effort", said James, who missed the first two World Cup regattas with back trouble.

"We stuck at it and there were lots of good parts to the race. I've been out of the boat for five weeks so it's good to be back."

The men's lightweight four struggled for pace and finished sixth, as did the women's lightweight double.

see also
Coxless four lead GB medal haul
11 May 08 |  Rowing
Team GB for Beijing
21 May 08 |  Team GB
Rowing on the BBC
13 May 08 |  Rowing

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