McKellar: European silver is 'redemption' for women's eight

·3-min read
Great Britain's women's eight have had a choppy 12 months but silver at the European Championships provided 'redemption' Photo: Matthias Balk / Munich2022
Great Britain's women's eight have had a choppy 12 months but silver at the European Championships provided 'redemption' Photo: Matthias Balk / Munich2022

By Will Jennings in Munich

ROWAN McKELLAR and Britain’s women’s eight rowers admit their multi-sport European Championship silver felt like ‘redemption’ after navigating a choppy 12 months both on and off the water.

Glasgow star McKellar, 28, helped fire Britain’s women’s four to one of four gold medals won on Saturday and followed up those heroics by clinching a silver on Sunday in Munich.

The Scot joined forces with Lauren Irwin, Esme Booth, Emily Ford, Rebecca Edwards, Heidi Long, Samantha Redgrave and Rebecca Shorten to finish second behind Romania and help cap a memorable weekend for British Rowing.

Britain racked up ten medals in total to finish top of the rowing medal table and go some way towards righting the wrongs of last summer’s dismal Olympic campaign in Tokyo, where their one silver and one bronze medal marked their worst return for 49 years.

Considerable internal structural changed soon followed and Northern Irish star Edwards, 28, believes times are changing ahead of the Paris Olympic cycle.

Edwards, speaking a year after the women’s eight boat crashed out in the heats in Japan, said: “This year’s been full of emotion for both me, and everyone else.

“We gave it everything we could today and winning the silver medal feels like redemption.

“This women’s eight are going to be a force to be reckoned with.”

The women’s eight finished second in Thursday’s heats – behind eventual champions Romania – and knew they faced a tough test in Sunday’s final on the final day of rowing action at this week’s German multi-sport event.

And they were unable to turn the tables as their Eastern European opponents crossed the line in a speedy 6:26.38 to beat the British by 1.64s.

The Netherlands completed the podium by bagging bronze ahead of Italy, hosts Germany and Denmark.

Next up are the World Championships in Racice and cox Morgan Baynham-Williams believes there are significant positives to take after a memorable few days in Munich.

She said: “We executed our race plan and really built on Thursday’s race.

“Overall, we’re really happy with that and couldn’t have done anything more, so I’m really chuffed.

“We knew that we had some stuff to build on from Thursday – we just had to keep that speed we had moving into the middle 1000m, and I actually thought we built better in the final 500m today.

“We built together, definitely stepped it up and left it all out of the track.”

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. Watch daily live coverage across BBC One, Two, Red Button, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website