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Victory earns gold and a place in Great Britain squad; ROWING.

RIVER Taff oarswomen pulled off a masterstroke with two golds, three silvers and a bronze at the British University Championships.

The results at Nottingham's National Water Sports Centre saw seven of the medal rowers earn Great Britain selection for the European University championships in Poland later this year.

Cardiff University's Catriona Kay and Emily Parry set the ball rolling with victory in the intermediate pairs , followed by gold for GB Under-19 cap Lottie Burgess in lightweight singles and silver for Kate Evans, plus seconds in women's championship fours and novice eights, and a third in the intermediate fours.

Kay and Parry won their heat by two lengths from Durham to make the six-boat final, where clubmates Amy Nihad and Vicki Williams also qualified by finishing second in their repechage, ahead of Birmingham, Bath, Loughborough and Worcester.

"We pretty much led the final all the way, and held off Imperial's half-way burst to come home just over a length in front," said Kay, after pushing the London club into second place, with Durham just pipping their Cardiff clubmates for bronze.

Burgess, who won junior singles for Wales on Cardiff Bay last summer, as well as gold for GB at the Australian Youth Olympics, in Sydney, in January, led all the way to take victory for Reading University in the lightweight championship singles by three lengths.

Evans, who trains on Cardiff Bay with the other women under Wales national coach Ian Shore, chased her home for silver in Swansea University colours as she finished two lengths clear of the Teeside sculler in bronze to also earn EU selection.

Cardiff's Emma Cockcroft and Bethan Smith found the pace hot in a women's championship pairs final dominated by GB caps, finishing sixth.

But with intermediate gold medallists Kay and Parry, they found a silver lining in the fours after chasing home London and Durham to qualify third in their semi-final.

In the final, they got the jump on Durham off the blocks and steadily pulled clear in second. Leaders London, containing a GB under-23 cap, had a length on Cardiff at halfway and a length and a half with 500m to race, before the Taff crew closed slightly in the run-in to get an overlap and take a clear silver behind the Thames crew.

"We''re pretty pleased with that, which has won us selection for Poland and it bodes well for Henley Women's Regatta in two weeks, where we are hoping to land a first-ever win for the club," said Cockcroft.


The Cardiff silver medal four in action. Below, Lottie Burgess with her medal
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 10, 2009
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