World Rowing Championships: British eight battle Germany again

By Richard WintonBBC Sport
GB men's eight
The GB men's eight will fight for one of five Olympic qualification spots in France
Rowing World Championships
Venue: Lake Aiguebelette, France. Dates: 30 August- 6 September
Coverage: Finals live on BBC One and BBC Two

Alex Gregory has insisted there is no bad blood between Britain's men's eight and their German counterparts as they prepare to reprise their rivalry at the World Championships.

The crews will race over the next eight days as Britain look to defend their title against the European and Olympic champions.

"I speak to those guys off the water and we're all the same," the four-time World gold medallist told BBC Sport.

"We're just born in a different place."

Rowing World Cup: GB eight win gold

The 2012 Olympic champion added: "Any one of them could fit in our squad and vice versa so I have enormous respect for them but still want to beat them."

Gregory's crew is one of 24 entered by GB Rowing into a regatta at Lake Aiguebelette that boasts a record 1300 athletes from 77 countries and also serves as the Rio 2016 qualifying competition.

The leading British women's boat is the pair, with reigning world, Olympic and European champions Helen Glover and Heather Stanning looking to extend an unbeaten record that stretches back 27 races and four years.

"The project continues to excite me as we are still finding areas to improve and ultimately we are getting faster," said Stanning.

Britain won 10 medals in last year's event, with golds in the eight and pair added to by wins in the men's four and the para-rowing mixed coxed four.

Katherine Grainger has six world golds of her own and the 2012 Olympic champion continues her international comeback alongside Vicky Thornley in the double.

"It is all about Rio and the Olympics and we're hoping to put a really big marker down and show what we are capable of," Thornley said. "All we want is that bit of shiny metal."

Thursday, 3 September - Para-rowing finals
15:40 Women's Arms/-shoulders single16:10 Mixed trunk/-arms double
15:55 Men's Arms/-shoulders single16:25 Para-rowing mixed four
Friday, 4 September - International class finals
10:50 Women's four 11:50 Lightweight women's single
11:05 Men's coxed pair 12:05 Lightweight men's quad
11:20 Lightweight men's pair 12:20 Lightweight women's quad
11:35 Lightweight men's single
Saturday, 5 September - Olympic class finals
11:00 Women's pair11:40 Men's four
11:10 Men's pair11:50 Women's quad
11:20 Lightweight men's double12:00 Men's quad
11:30 Lightweight women's double
Sunday, 6 September - Olympic class finals
11:00 Women's double11:30 Women's eight
11:10 Men's double11:40 Men's single
11:20 Lightweight men's four12:00 Men's eight

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