Stewart starts new chapter for British rowing with World Championship gold

Stewart starts new chapter for British rowing with World Championship gold

Will Stewart started a new chapter in the storied history of the British men's four with gold at the World Rowing Championships.

The British quartet of Stewart, Samuel Nunn, Freddie Davidson and David Ambler roared to victory in the men’s four in Račice, Czech Republic.

The boat class is a storied one for British rowing with a run of five successive Olympic triumphs coming to a dramatic end in Tokyo last summer.

These four have worn the crown lightly, however, laying down a marker for Paris 2024 with qualification up for grabs next year.

Stewart said: “We're all new into the team this year. (Pressure) is not really quite on our shoulders in the same way.

“We're here really just to sort of get out and do what we can do. Regardless what's come before us, we’re going to make a name for ourselves.

Surrey's Stewart is a key member of the youthful crew that showed maturity beyond their years to hold off the challenge of Olympic champions Australia and Netherlands.

Nunn said: “You wouldn't have put money on it at the start of the year but here we are.

“I worked really hard through the rehab from the operation and get as much training in as I could with the lads

“As soon as I was given the opportunity to start training again, I was right back on it, really pushing.

“I knew deep down in my mind that I wanted to get in any boat, not necessarily the four, and really give it a good shout. Luckily that all paid off.

“It’s credit to the crew, the way we built the foundations and just looked for that extra 1% on each session.”

The victory crowned a superb season for the men’s four who also took top step at August’s European Championships.

The Australian crew boasted three Olympic gold medallists and they led through the first 500m, firmly in the sights of a British boat all in their first season on the senior squad.

The Brits turned up the heat in the crucial third 500m of the race and extended clear to take victory by more than two seconds in a time of 05:48.29.

Davidson said: “It was a toughie. We said we were going to go out and just get rhythm and see if we can move on everyone through the middle but everyone else stuck in pretty well. “The move came a lot later. I don't think it was necessarily a conscious decision from us but I'm pretty proud of it.

“We kept calm and Sam called it really well. We all knew where we were, we knew what we had to do and managed to execute it on the line.”

The triumph came after a disrupted build-up that saw regular crew member Matt Aldridge withdraw due to illness just days before the heats.

Ambler ably stepped in and paid tribute to Aldridge, who played a crucial part in the European triumph.

Ambler said: “Our thoughts go out to Matt, he’s been crushing it all season and working hard all year with this crew.

“Getting ill this week is a tough thing but the result is a reflection of his work with the crew throughout the year. We’re delighted to get a great result from it.”

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