European Rowing Championships: Chambers get silver boost ahead of worlds
Coleraine brothers Richard and Peter Chambers clinched a silver medal for Great Britain in the men's lightweight four at the European Rowing Championships in Belgrade yesterday.
The duo, along with Chris Bartley and Mark Aldred, were taking part in their first international regatta as a quartet and were beaten to the gold by defending champions Denmark who also hold the world title.
But there was enough evidence to suggest that the GB foursome will be pushing them hard for that championship when the world comes together in Amsterdam at the end of August.
After rowing together as a lightweight double scull last year, this was their first final back in the four since they won Olympic silver in London in 2012.
They never led the Danes, who blasted out from the start, but they held off a challenge from the French and pulled away in the final 500m, closing the gap to within a length by the finish.
"It's disappointing not to beat the Danes but they are a very fast crew but not unbeatable. The race was not our finest piece of work. We have many things we want to work on and change and we will try some of that over the next three weeks. Today was a start that we can build on," said Richard.
His younger brother Peter added: "That wasn't too bad for our first attempt together, a good start to the racing season. We got right into a strong rhythm and did our plan well but we needed to be a bit quicker off the start."
However it wasn't such a good day for Alan Campbell who was sixth in the final of the men's single sculls.
The race started well enough and the Olympic bronze medalist was only 0.16 off the lead at the end of the first 500m but from that moment in he slipped off the pace and further down the field eventually finishing almost eight seconds behind winner Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic.
The Irish team had a strong European Championships highlighted by a bronze medal for Sanita Puspure in the women's single sculls, behind winner Mirka Knapkova from the Czech Republic.
Enniskillen's Leonora Kennedy and Lisa Dilleen also performed well finishing fourth in the women's pairs won by GB world champions Helen Glover and Polly Swann.