Chambers and Cassells win European Championship gold

Peter Chambers and Joel Cassells celebrate winning gold in Poznan
Peter Chambers and Joel Cassells celebrate winning gold in Poznan

Coleraine duo Peter Chambers and Joel Cassells raced to the gold medal in the lightweight pair at the European Championships in Poland on Sunday.

Chambers and Cassells set a European record of 6:28.58 to edge out France with Germany in third.

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

The GB crew, competing in their first international meeting together, was three seconds behind winners France.

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 a non-Olympic class event but the Coleraine pair hope this result puts 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 win Olympic silver a year later in the lightweight four, while Cassells was making his international senior debut.

Richard Chambers and his partner Fletcher are beginning what they hope will be a journey that ends at the Rio Olympics next year.

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 best time 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 ninth overall.

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