North-East trio through to World Rowing Championship finals

MEDAL HOPE: Durham's Jess Eddie is one of three North-East rowers through to a final at the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam

MEDAL HOPE: Durham's Jess Eddie is one of three North-East rowers through to a final at the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

NORTH-EAST trio Jess Eddie, Zoe Lee and Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell will compete for medals on Monday as the World Rowing Championships come to a conclusion in Amsterdam.

But Olympic champion Kat Copeland will only be contesting a B final after her new-look lightweight double combination with Imogen Walsh suffered a surprise failure to progress beyond the semi-final stage.

Eddie, who is from Durham, and Lee, who is from Richmond, form part of the women’s eight crew that is expected to compete with Romania for a bronze medal.

The United States and Canadian crews are almost certain to claim gold and silver, but there is little to choose between Britain and Romania in the battle for bronze.

The Romanian crew laid down a marker when they edged out their British rivals in the repechage earlier this week, but the British eight have come out on top of previous battles between the two nations.

Britain’s men’s eight, which features Durham-born Reilly-O’Donnell, has improved as the season has gone on, and will start Monday’s World Championship final as genuine medal prospects.

They beat a strong Russian crew to win their repechage and will fancy their chances of claiming a top-three finish in what looks like being a closely-contested final.

“We are a crew that can step up through the regatta,” said Tom Ransley, who rows in the number seven seat. “We certainly haven’t shown all the power we’ve got yet.”

Copeland travelled to Holland looking to add a World Championship gold medal to the Olympic title she claimed in 2012, but a lacklustre semi-final showing alongside Walsh saw her only finish fourth.

Similarly, Yarm’s Tina Stiller failed to make the A final in the women’s quadruple scull, and the all-North-East pairing of Jamie Kirkwood and Will Fletcher failed to qualify for the men’s lightweight double final.

The British team claimed two medals yesterday, with Alan Sinclair and Scott Durant winning silver in the final of the men’s coxed pair, and Sam Scrimgeour and Jono Clegg claiming bronze in the lightweight men’s pair.

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