Belfast Telegraph

Campbell pain as Chambers bag bronze

By Nigel Ringland

Alan Campbell was unable to add to the bronze medal won by Richard and Peter Chambers as he finished fourth in yesterday's final of the men's single sculls at the World Championships in Korea.

It was the first time since the Beijing Olympics five years ago that the Great Britain sculler has failed to make the podium at a major championships.

The Coleraine oarsman gave all he could in the final but after being in the medal positions for the first 1000m a strong surge from Angel Fournier Rodriguez of Cuba pushed him down to fourth with favourite Ondrej Synek taking gold.

After taking a long break after the Olympics, Campbell wasn't complaining about the result.

"I didn't feel it was a race too far. The final is always a big step up and before the race I felt I could take a medal," he said.

"But when you saw what the Cuban did I just couldn't hold on to that but it's not that I'm not capable of doing it.

"I'm not angry or disappointed, of course I would have loved a medal but if I'm completely honest I didn't train as hard as I have done in the past four years.

"I trained well for four months leading into the worlds but I didn't put enough in before that and I paid for it in the final.

"I'm more motivated moving forward, I want to be part of this event and I'm more willing now to put that effort in over the next few months to make sure that in Amsterdam next year I'm not in the same position as I am now."

Brothers Richard and Peter Chambers, also from Coleraine, produced a gutsy performance on Saturday to take bronze in the men's lightweight double sculls.

The duo chased down early leaders Italy and moving into the final 500m were actually leading.

But Norway and then Switzerland managed to row them down with the Chambers siblings gamely holding on for third.

"We gave it everything in that third 500m but we couldn't hold on," said Peter afterwards as Richard received treatment for exhaustion.

"I think that is the worst I have ever felt after any race," added Peter. "The pain is all over but all credit to the other crews.

"You can't think you will come into an event in your first season and beat the guys who have been there for some time. We couldn't do any more."

Once recovered Richard commented: "I wouldn't change anything about our race plan. We delivered the best race we could."

The brothers will now try to step back into the lightweight four moving forward to Rio 2016.

In her first World Championships, Enniskillen's Leonora Kennedy was 10th for Ireland with partner Monika Dukarska in the double sculls after finishing fourth in the 'B' final.

Kennedy said: "I see this as a building block for the ultimate performance in Rio."

Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin applauded the success of the Ulster rowers.

"To compete on the global stage takes dedication, skill and determination in abundance. These athletes dedicate their lives to get to this level," said the Minister.

"I congratulate all of you for the commitment you make daily to the sport you love.

"You are an inspiration to all of us and your performances have certainly added to the growing popularity of rowing at home."

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