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Page last updated at 12:10 GMT, Wednesday, 3 November 2010

GB double sculls reach World Championship finals

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)


Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter
Purchase and Hunter saw off fierce competition from the home favourites

Great Britain's men's and women's lightweight double scullers have all made it through to the finals of the World Championships in New Zealand.

Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase won their semi-final, beating defending world champions Storm Uru and Peter Taylor.

Meanwhile, Hester Goodsell and Sophie Hosking won their semi-final, beating the Greek reigning champions.

The men's quad became the 14th British boat into the finals after qualifying in the final race of the day.

The 14 comprise nine Olympic-class crews, three Paralympic and two International-class finalists.

Olympic champions Hunter, from Romford, and Cheltenham-born Purchase, had taken a break from their partnership in 2009 but were thrilled to see off the challenge of home favourites Uru and Taylor.

Hunter said: "A semi-final is probably the race of death. We had a plan in mind that we wanted to execute and it went perfectly, it was a comfortable win in the end.

"To turn them over on home water, they won't be best pleased with that, but they're a good crew and I'm sure they'll sit down and work out what they're going to do and come back with a new race plan.

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Martin Gough

"We're here to do our thing and it's up to everyone else to try to match us."

Meanwhile, London-based duo Goodsell and Hosking had to overhaul the Greeks who had dominated the first half of the race.

Goodsell said: "We had two crews in our mind - the United States, who had beaten us in Bled, and the Greeks, who had beaten us last year in Poznan, so we wanted to go out and do our absolute best against those two crews ready for the final."

Hosking added: "It's a real boost to get our noses in front and also to see them (Greece) at the finish line looking pretty exhausted.

"But we've got to draw a line under the result - we got what we wanted but it's going to be a whole new race on Friday."

Meanwhile, the first British quad crew to reach a world final since 1982 - Sam Townsend, Charles Cousins, Bill Lucas and Stephen Rowbotham - are feeling the pressure, according to Reading oarsman Townsend.

Having edged out New Zealand in the repechage, Townsend said: "After our race on Monday we were really annoyed with ourselves, it was the worst thing we'd ever done.

"Since then there was that inevitable build-up feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, because we knew it was going to be a big, hard race.

"We know we've had a really good summer's racing and we've done the job to make the final now. It was a big, big thing for us to get through."



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see also
GB eight crews book final spots
02 Nov 10 |  Rowing
GB shine at World Championships
01 Nov 10 |  Rowing
Veteran Searle makes GB comeback
18 May 10 |  Rowing
Chambers brothers in British team
21 Sep 10 |  Rowing
Raynsford back in GB rowing team
21 Sep 10 |  Disability Sport
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
15 Oct 10 |  Rowing


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