Belfast Telegraph

Ulster duo Peter Chambers and Joel Cassells in gold rush

By Frank Brownlow

Ulster duo Peter Chambers and Joel Cassells gave their hopes of Olympic glory a massive boost with gold in the lightweight pair event in the European Championships in Poznan, Poland.

Coleraine rower Chambers and his Ballymoney partner set a European record of 6:28.58 to get home ahead of France with Germany in third.

Peter's brother Richard - with Englishman Will Fletcher - secured silver behind France in the lightweight double sculls.

It was the pair's first international meeting together.

Chambers and Cassells led from start to finish and held off a fast finish from the French boat - Augustin Mouterde and Theophile Onfroy - to win by just three-tenths of a a second.

The lightweight pair is not an Olympic event but the Ulstermen hope this result will apply pressure on the current GB lightweight four quartet ahead of the second World Cup regatta in Varese, Italy in three weeks.

Peter Chambers won a world title in the lightweight pair in 2011 before going on to take silver at the London Olympics a year later in the lightweight four, while Cassells was making his international senior debut.

Richard Chambers and his partner are beginning what they hope will be a journey that ends with medals at next year's Rio Olympics.

They held the defending European champions and world silver medalists France stroke for stroke through the first 1250m before Stany Delayre and Jeremie Azou moved away over the closing quarter of the race to win in a new European record of 6:11.38.

Chambers and Fletcher came home in 6:14.33 ahead of Norway in third while the O'Donovan brothers, Gary and Paul, finished fifth for Ireland.

Enniskillen's Leonora Kennedy and partner Monika Dukarska, rowing for Ireland, were third in the 'B' final of the women's pair to finish the regatta in ninth place.

Belfast Telegraph


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