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Page last updated at 17:42 GMT, Saturday, 4 July 2009 18:42 UK

British pair suffer Henley defeat

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GB pair reflect on Henley defeat

By Martin Gough
BBC Sport at Henley

Peter Reed and Andy Hodge
Reed and Hodge suffered a second successive defeat by New Zealand

Great Britain's top pair of Peter Reed and Andy Hodge suffered their second successive defeat by New Zealand in the semi-finals at Henley Royal Regatta.

Seeking revenge for defeat in Munich a fortnight ago, the duo lost to Eric Murray and Hamish Bond by two lengths.

But with another race looming in Lucerne next week, Hodge said: "We are confident that we will improve."

However, GB single sculler Alan Campbell beat Olympic champion Olaf Tufte in an epic race.

Campbell, from Coleraine, came from a length down to win by two lengths, beating Norwegian Tufte for the third time this season.

"It was a fantastic race to be in and I could feel people on the bank willing me to win," he said.

"He attacked more than I expected but I found the strength to push through."

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In the final, Campbell will face New Zealand's Olympic bronze medallist Mahe Drysdale, after he destroyed Belgium's Tim Maeyens, who was less than two seconds behind him in the Beijing final.

"It's going to be harder and I'm going to have to find something from somewhere," said Campbell of taking on the man he beat in the final in 2007.

"He had an easier race, will be fresher and is in fantastic form so it will be more of a case of me going out to beat him."

Campbell has chosen not to race in the final World Cup regatta next weekend, saving himself for the World Championships in August, but Hodge and Reed look set to face New Zealand again in Lucerne.

The British pair, racing for their clubs Leander and Molesey, had a slightly faster start but the longest distance they led by was three feet.

The duo have experimented this week with switching Reed into the stroke seat but they were unable to raise their rate to hold onto the Kiwis as they steadily moved clear.

Alan Campbell
Campbell made it through to the single scull final at Henley

"We have started off the last few days very confident but this race was an immense battle," said Reed.

"We were aggressive with our rate and very speedy whilst moving freely but the Kiwis were just faster than us.

"We need to change our finish, which will be a tall order."

A young GB men's quadruple scull will face the Polish Olympic champions after a close, half-length victory over a Californian crew.

And the new GB women's quad face a tough challenge against their New Zealand counterparts after battling to a two-length win over the NZ lightweight crew in the semi-finals.

Great Britain's men's coxless four of Matt Langridge, Alex Gregory, Richard Egington and Alex Partridge went straight through to the final after their American opponents withdrew.

They will face New Zealand's lightweight crew, who rowed down an Italian heavyweight four before the latter hit the wooden booms that line the course late in their race.

The GB men's eight have a straight final against a US eight on Sunday in Henley's blue riband event, the Grand Challenge Cup.

The British women's eight beat their own squad's Under-23 crew and will take on Yale University on Sunday.

And Olympic bronze medallists Matthew Wells and Steve Rowbotham beat a double sculls combination from Sichuan, China by a length and three quarters to book a place against Kiwis Matthew Trott and Nathan Cohen in the final.



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see also
Grainger set for new Henley role
30 Jun 09 |  Rowing
GB rowers disappoint in Germany
21 Jun 09 |  Rowing
Campbell secures victory in Spain
31 May 09 |  Rowing
Rowing weight classes explained
30 May 08 |  Rowing
Rowing boat classes explained
30 May 08 |  Rowing
Power to your pull, with Andy Hodge
06 Jun 08 |  Rowing
Rowing on the BBC
07 May 08 |  Rowing


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