MATT Aldridge and Harry Brightmore stormed to gold at the European Championships on the Munich Olympic course, while fellow Welsh rower Ollie Wynne-Griffith took silver in the men’s pairs and Ben Pritchard battled to bronze in PR1 singles, reports NICK HARTLAND
Aldridge’s GB men’s four dominated their final into the strong headwind, leading by 1/4L from the Dutch boat at the 500m mark before squeezing away to win by clear water in 6.15.43.
The Wales cap, who shared gold with Sam Nunn, Will Stewart and Freddie Davidson, said: “We knew we were in a good place when we were getting ready for today.
“We just kept our cool, raced our own race and didn’t get flustered by the boats around us.
“We just kept it internal, and we came out good in the end. It’s very exciting to be European champion.”
The 8, steered by fellow Brookes product Brightmore, were even bigger winners, hitting the first quarter mark a length to the good before crossing a full 2L up on the Dutch in silver in 5.49.67.
But the men’s pair of Wynne-Griffith and Tom George were a tad disappointed with silver following World Cup success, after the Romanians got away early on and stayed in front to win by a length.
Tokyo 8s bronze medallist Ollie said: “For me it’s disappointing, but at the same time that’s a lesson that we have to learn.
“We have to take something from the lessons that you learn, from the races you win and the races you lose.
“The losses are always going to be the more difficult ones to take something away from, but they are valuable ones to learn from.”
Benjamin Pritchard won bronze in the PR1 men’s single sculls (PR1 M1x), chasing home Italy’s Giacomo Perini in gold and Ukraine’s Roman Polianskyi in silver after going through half-way in second.
The City of Swansea rower said: “I tried to go for it but I completely blew it.
“I gave it my all, but there was nothing left in the tank. We had a good race today, I’m happy with the medal, it’s just not the colour I wanted!”
Former Wales Home Countries singles winner Graeme Thomas finished fifth in the men’s single sculls final, with even German world champion Oliver Zeidler out of the medals in fourth, as Dutch Olympic doubles medallist Melvin Twellaar took gold, Greek Olympic singles champion Stefanos Ntouskos silver and Bulgaria’s Kristian Vasilev bronze.
Welsh Rowing and Cardiff University graduate Tom Barras and the GB men’s quad scull placed fourth just over a length off the medals, with Italy in gold, Poland silver and Romania bronze.
Photos British Rowing.
Full results at https://worldrowing.com/event/2022-european-rowing-championships