Frankie Allen pays tribute to absent teammate after World gold

Frankie Allen pays tribute to absent teammate after World gold

Frankie Allen and Britain’s para rowers paid an emotional tribute to absent cox Erin Kennedy after storming to World Championship PR3 mixed coxed four gold in the Czech Republic.

Oxfordshire star Allen, Edward Fuller, Giedre Rakauskaite, Oliver Stanhope and stand-in cox Morgan Baynham-Williams set a new world lead of 6:48.34 to grab glory in Racice.

Kennedy is currently undergoing chemotherapy as part of her treatment for breast cancer and after being replaced by Baynham-Williams following their European Championship gold in Munich, the crew dedicated their victory to their battling teammate.

Allen, 20, said: “We’ve been talking to Erin the whole time we’ve been out here, just communicating with her.

“She’s been so supportive to us and it’s just really nice to have done this for her.

“We’ve done most of our season with her, so just to finish it off was amazing.”

Baynham-Williams added: “It’s been an absolute pleasure. I’ve moved over from the women’s team and stepped into another high performance group. I’ve learnt so many things over the past few weeks.

“It’s been a massive privilege, it’s been a huge opportunity to go out there and really make a mark on the world stage, and especially go out and do it in the world’s best time. It’s pretty special.”

The quintet missed out on setting the world lead by a second in their heat, and were thrilled to finally break that mark on their way to gold on Saturday.

Fuller said: “To miss it by a second yesterday, and to go under it by a second today, it’s absolutely incredible. It’s a credit to this whole team that we managed to do it today and I’m thankful that we got the right weather for it.”

Rakauskaite added: “That was the plan, to be honest, We did have a bit of a headwind coming in in the first 250m and all I could think about was ‘go away, it’s my day - we’re going to get this.’”

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