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Page last updated at 10:32 GMT, Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Searle delight as GB eight crews book final spots

WORLD ROWING CHAMPIONSHIPS 2010
Venue: Lake Karapiro, Waikato, New Zealand Dates: 31 Oct-7 Nov Coverage: Live coverage & highlights on BBC TV, Red Button and online (UK only)

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Speaking before the event began, Searle targets world gold in New Zealand

Britain's men's and women's eights have advanced to the finals at the World Rowing Championships in New Zealand.

The men's progression leaves Greg Searle, 38, with the chance of securing a second world title having recently returned after 10 years in retirement.

"To become a world champion again would be phenomenal," said Searle, who returned to the sport in May.

"It would be ahead of anything I expected this early on when I came back into the sport."

He added: "I would be so proud if I'm able to do that and so happy to be able to do it with such a good bunch of people."

Searle won gold in the coxed pairs with brother Jonny and cox Garry Herbert in Barcelona in 1992 and they also won the world title in 1993.

GB ROWER ANNABEL VERNON'S BLOG

And the veteran's attempt to take another world title with the men's eights in New Zealand on Sunday remains on course after the team won their heat on Lake Karapiro having pulled away from Australia over the final kilometre.

"It was a really good step for us to put together everything we've trained for, everything we've been working on," stressed Searle.

"To go out and win your heat, you can't look for much more than that so I'm pretty happy."

Britain's women's eight team, which included Wales' Victoria Thornely, reached their final as they secured the top-two finish they needed by coming in behind reigning champions United States.

Crew member Olivia Whitlam said: "It certainly woke the lungs up. For a first run down the track, it was pretty enjoyable, and I think we put a decent run down. In an eight, a length is a lot, that's a very comfortable lead."

The lightweight men's pair of Chris Boddy and Adam Freeman-Pask also qualified for their final after finishing second in their repechage and nine British crews have now made it through to finals with seven other boats still to contest semi-finals.

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GB women's eight have a laugh in front of camera



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see also
GB shine at World Championships
01 Nov 10 |  Rowing
Veteran Searle makes GB comeback
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Chambers brothers in British team
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Raynsford back in GB rowing team
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Rowing weight classes explained
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Rowing boat classes explained
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Power to your pull, with Andy Hodge
06 Jun 08 |  Rowing
Rowing on the BBC
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