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Great Britain Rowing duo Imogen Grant and Emily Craig ease into European Championship final

Cambridge rower Imogen Grant. Picture: Nick Middleton (48974565)
Cambridge rower Imogen Grant. Picture: Nick Middleton (48974565)

By Will Jennings

Imogen Grant and Emily Craig believe backing their ability after nine months apart propelled them into the European Championship final in Munich.

Cambridge star Grant, 26, sailed through her lightweight double sculls heat on the opening day of the multi-sports championship to progress to this weekend’s showpiece.

Grant and Craig, 29, crossed the line in a time of 7:42.44 to triumph over Ireland, Poland, Switzerland, Germany and Spain at Munich’s Olympic Regatta Centre.

The duo had not joined forces in the water together for almost a year but hit it off immediately to deliver a dazzling display in the historic German city.

Craig said: “It was good – we didn't have the craziest start but we knew it was going to be a long race.

“We really just wanted to get into our solid rhythm and knew when we got that and did it right, we’d end up going through everyone, which we did.

“The plan was to move and keep on moving and I think we did that. It’s good to be back.”

Great Britain rower Emily Craig. Picture: Nick Middleton (48974553)
Great Britain rower Emily Craig. Picture: Nick Middleton (48974553)

Grant added: “I’m feeling really good. We’ve not raced a double together for nine months so it’s really exciting to see what we’ve gained individually.

“Munich is a really cool venue.

“I’ve never been before and it’s long races – but we’re really sticking to that plan. Being consistent really paid off for us.”

For the second edition in 2022, the innovative multi-sports European Championship brings together the existing championships of the continent’s leading sports into one event that elevates the champions of Europe.

And Grant has every chance of grabbing one of the 177 gold medals on offer after her opening day display.

Rowing kicked off the 11-day German bonanza on Thursday morning, with cycling, gymnastics and sport climbing also featuring.

Athletics gets underway at Munich’s iconic Olympic Stadium on Monday while triathlon, canoe sprint, table tennis and beach volleyball also star in the revamped event.

Grant is buzzing to be part of it and after booking her place in the A Final, added: "Anyone who plays sport to a high level loves sport at a high level.

“Knowing other sports are competing at the same time as us is really exciting.

“Cycling, athletics and other events are really fun.

“There's definitely a sense of excitement - coverage is slightly different and it feels like we're part of something a little bit bigger than ourselves."

*The multi-sport European Championships Munich 2022, featuring athletics, beach volleyball, canoe sprint, cycling, gymnastics, table tennis, triathlon, rowing, sport climbing, takes place 11th-21st August on the 50th anniversary of the Olympics Games in the Germany city. Follow online at bbc.co.uk/sport

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