Joel wins silver medal at U23 World Championship

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COLERAINE rower Joel Cassells has won a silver medal at the World Under-23 Championships in Linz, Austria.

It was one of five medals – one gold, three silvers and one bronze – won by the GB Rowing Team at the five-day regatta.

Cassells, 19, competed in the lightweight men’s four alongside Charles Waite-Roberts, Thomas Marshall and Timothy Richards.

The quartet were drawn in lane 5 for the final and they made a great start in Linz.

By 250m they had a canvas lead over the pre-race favourites Italy and a third of a length by halfway.

Coached by Mark Earnshaw, the GB combination knew that the threat was to come but had put themselves in the best possible place for the second half.

At 1500m the British boat still held the lead but only just from Italy and Spain. With 300m to go GB were overhauled by three-time previous champions Italy with Spain, France and Germany all on the attack for the medals.

During a heroic last 250m the British boat proved they had enough left to hold on to take silver in 5:59.92. France finished third and Spain came home fourth.

“This crew was only formed after Henley Royal Regatta so to make that kind of progress in so short a time was excellent”, said GB Rowing Team Performance Director, Sir David Tanner.

Searing temperatures in Linz meant that racing was brought forward on health and safety grounds.