Fri, 07 Jun 2019
Credit: Nick Middleton
MATTHEW Rossiter returned to form in style at exactly the right time as he claimed victory at the European Rowing Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland at the weekend, writes Peter Metalli.
Despite a disappointing performance at the British Rowing final trials earlier in the season, where he and his partner Moe Sbihi could only manage a win in the B final, Rossiter’s pedigree was still enough to secure him a place in the 16-boat GB squad.
Alongside former pair’s partner Ollie Cook, this time back in the men’s four, they were joined for the first time by 24-year-old
Sholto Carnegie, who has been studying and training in the US for the past three years, and debutant Oxford Brookes’ Rory Gibbs.
They started as they meant to go on by winning their heat in the fastest qualifying time in 5:53.70, with the Germans and Italian crews winning the others.
In the semi-final the British quartet went even faster with 5:52.32, while Germany won the second semi ahead of the Italians in 5:55.51.
In the final, it was almost a three-boat blanket at the 500m mark, with Germany just edging it over Poland, with the GB boat in third with less than half-a-second separating the crews.
Pushing on in the second quarter, however, Rossiter and his teammates gained a second and now led by half-a-second at the halfway point and then pushed on further to claim the gold in their fastest time yet, 5:51.01, with Poland taking silver in 5:53.90 and the Germans holding on for third.
Matt’s younger brother George was also included in the squad in the men's pair with Harry Glenister after their impressive showing at Duisberg a few weeks’ ago.
The pair started well, taking the second qualifying slot behind the eventual silver medallists Romania and once again proving that their victory over the Onfroy brothers in Germany had been no fluke by repeating the feat here.
However, the French pair gained revenge in the semi-final, where they just edged the British duo as Rossiter and Glenister could only manage fifth.
Not to be finished, however, the British boat then reversed it yet again as they finished second in the B final just behind Belarus and ahead of France, to make it 2-1 in their little mini-battle and showing impressive potential for such a young crew.