Birthday boy Tom George is not celebrating just yet despite he and Ollie Wynne-Griffith making a late surge to pip rivals Romania in the World Championship semi-final writes Alec McQuarrie.
A mammoth push in the last 200m saw the pair finish 0.37 seconds clear of Romanian duo Marius Cozmiuc and Sergiu Bejan, who snatched gold ahead of the Brits at last month’s European Championships.
The result means the Cheltenham rower and his crewmate have their choice of lanes for Saturday’s crunch final.
But Olympic bronze medallist George, who turned 28 on the day of the semi-final, did not get carried away with the win and recognises improvements need to be made ahead of the showpiece.
“I think there’s a few things to work on for the final but we are just pleased to win the semi and get the best lane,” said George.
A fantastic push in the last 200m sees Tom and Ollie pull in front of Romania 🇷🇴 to finish in first place and win their spot in the A Final 🏆
Bring on the final on Saturday!
and Happy Birthday @TGtomgeorge 🥳#WRChamps #GBRowingTeam pic.twitter.com/ps0CDESEvv
— British Rowing (@BritishRowing) September 22, 2022
“It’s going to be hard. It’ll be tight. We know Romania are good and Spain have come back really strong since the Europeans.
“We’ve raced them a lot this year, but they seem to have really stepped up. And obviously Australia have got an Olympic champion [Alexander Hill] stroking so it’s going to be hard.”
And Wynne-Griffith, who was in the same men’s eight boat as George that medalled in Tokyo last year, is relishing the chance to put Munich behind them and battle the Romanians once more.
“It’s quite nice to see the yardstick of where we were six weeks ago, but it’s a new day on Saturday,” he said.
We had some great racing and our first medals of the competition were won today at the World Championships in Racice! 🥇👏
Read our race report here 👇https://t.co/9dggDbXN70
Tune in tomorrow to catch more finals!
— British Rowing (@BritishRowing) September 23, 2022
“They’re a good crew. I’m really excited and looking forward to it.
“I think we went out there just trying to level up what we did in the heat and row the best race we could on the day.
“We got large parts of it right. As Tom said, there’s a bit more to work on, but we’re happy to take the win.”
British Rowing is responsible for the development of rowing in England and the training and selection of rowers to represent Great Britain. The GB Rowing Team is supported by the National Lottery Sports Fund. To find out more, and to follow the ongoing World Championships in Racice, head to https://www.britishrowing.org/