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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 August 2006, 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK
GB oarsmen celebrate double gold
Great Britain's coxless four celebrate
Partridge, Hodge, Williams and Reed defended their crown
Britain's men's coxless four successfully defended their title at the World Rowing Championships at Eton.

Steve Williams - who won Olympic gold in Athens - Peter Reed, Alex Partridge and Andy Hodge finished half a length clear of fast-finishing Germany.

Zac Purchase also claimed a gold medal, winning the lightweight men's single scull in a new world record time.

And Matthew Wells and Stephen Rowbotham came from sixth at halfway to take bronze in the men's double sculls.

Annie Vernon and Anna Bebington were pipped to a medal in an exciting finish to the women's double sculls, in which Australia caused a big upset by beating the Evers-Swindell twins.

British duo Tom James and Colin Smith were sixth in the men's coxless pairs while heavyweight sculler Alan Campbell came last in his final, snatched at the line by Mahe Drysdale in a new world record.

It was not the most beautiful display of rowing but all that matters is that gold medal

Steve Williams

Drysdale just pipped Marcel Hacker on the line, adding insult to injury by taking the German's world record with a new mark of six minutes 35.40 seconds.

Hacker's previous record was 6:36.33, which he set at the 2002 World Championships in Seville.

Williams admitted that the coxless four had not been at their best in the final but said he was delighted to retain the title and extend the crew's winning streak to 24 races.

"It was not the most beautiful display of rowing but all that matters is that gold medal," said the 30-year-old.

Zac Purchase
Purchase set a new world's best for lightweight singles

"I clipped the water and I thought that was game over. With about 15 strokes to go I was digging deep.

"We knew the Germans finished strongly but we were confident with 500m to go.

"We all wanted the feeling of winning in front of this home crowd. I'll be replaying this for many years to come and the pressure and expectation we felt was perfect preparation for Beijing."

I always knew it was going to be down to the last 500m

Zac Purchase

Purchase, 20, was third after 500m and moved up to second at 1,000m before taking the lead in the second half.

Spain's Juan Zunzunegui Guimerans staged a late challenge but Purchase was able to hold him off.

Purchase finished in a new world record time of 6:47.82 while Duncan Grant of New Zealand took the bronze medal.

"I didn't panic and I just stuck to my race plan. I always knew it was going to be down to the last 500m," said the Gloucestershire sculler.

"I felt the Spaniard edging closer. I just had to stay ahead for another 10 strokes."

Wells and Rowbotham were delighted with their bronze medal.

"We didn't have a great semi-final," said Wells.

"We knew that if we stayed calm in the first 1,000m in the second 1,000m we're the quickest crew. It just happened so well. It's just really good for us to finish on the podium."

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25 Aug 06 |  Rowing
Men's coxless four star at Eton
24 Aug 06 |  Rowing
GB crews ease into semi-finals
23 Aug 06 |  Rowing
GB quadruple scullers claim win
21 Aug 06 |  Rowing
GB boats to watch
18 Aug 06 |  Rowing
Find out where to start rowing
19 Oct 05 |  Rowing

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