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Imogen Grant earns silver for GB at the European Rowing Championships

Imogen Grant was racing in the lightweight double sculls with Emily Craig, and won silver in Italy. Picture: Naomi Baker
Imogen Grant was racing in the lightweight double sculls with Emily Craig, and won silver in Italy. Picture: Naomi Baker

Imogen Grant’s return to international competition had a silver lining at the European Rowing Championships in Italy.

The former Cambridge University Boat Club and Hills Road Sixth Form College student partnered Emily Craig in the lightweight women’s double scull in Varese.

Having made smooth progress through the heats and semi-final, they were out to add to the bronze medal that they won at the World Rowing Championships in 2019.

The Italian crew made a fast start, and were ahead by a canvas from the GB duo by the 500m. At halfway, Romania had edged into second spot, but Grant and Craig maintained a relaxed rhythm to return to second spot and held off a late charge to claim the silver medal.

Italy secured the gold.

“I think it was actually a really good race – we talked a lot about just sticking to our race plan and doing our own thing, as that’s what is going to get us from A to B the fastest,” said Craig.

“We had kind of an average heat, a good semi and felt we had another gear to give, but to be honest I’m just so gutted that we couldn’t quite pip the Italians and get the gold.

“But we stuck to our race plan, and couldn’t have given it any more to be honest.”

“This is our first race since 2019, and Worlds in 2019 was our first race together in this combination, so that’s really exciting.

“And I think the whole experience of lockdown has really bonded us as a crew – and with our coach as well, Darren – and we just have so much clarity that I know we’ll take this weekend and turn it into something incredible.”

Former Cambridge University cox Henry Fieldman was part of the men’s eight that won the gold medal.

Germany had made the fastest start, but they were slowly reeled in by the GB crew, who took the lead around the 1,200m mark.

They then held off challenges from the Romanian and Dutch crews to take first place.

Rower Ollie Wynne-Griffiths said: “That felt really composed. Obviously we didn’t get out to the best start, but no one panicked and we found a rhythm. We know what works for us from the race for lanes, and the boys just dug in.

“There were some really good shouts from the middle of the boat, Henry coxed it really well and kept letting us know where we were, and we just built as we went down the track.”

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