Brianna Stubbs and Eleanor Piggott Crowned as U23 World Champions in the lightweight Women’s Double Sculls.

Speaking to Brianna and Ellie after their success in Linz-Ottensheim I asked them about the training year lead up to the race and then the race day itself.

Following the semi-finals of the Lightweight 2x U23 at this summer’s World Championships in Austria it looked as if the final would be an extremely tight race. At the start Eleanor Piggott and Brianna Stubbs of Great Britain had the best speed and keeping a 38 stroke rate they began to inch away from the rest of the field.

Romania’s Ionela-Livia Lehaci and Andreea Asoltanei then, matching the British stroke rate, began to close the gap on the leaders. At the half-way point there was only a four second spread covering the entire field. It would take the second half of the race to really sort out the medallists.

Great Britain remained in front but still could not shake the rest of the field. New Zealand’s Sophie MacKenzie and Lisa Owen had made a huge push and they had overtaken a slowing Romania with Fabienne Knoke and Leonie Pieper of Germany hanging right in there.

The final sprint looked brutal for these lightweight rowers. The crowd was on their feet. The huge contingent of British supporters who had made the trip to Linz was going wild. Holding it together until the end, Piggott and Stubbs had pulled off the gold.

Knoke and Pieper had grabbed the silver and MacKenzie and Owen were extremely happy with the bronze. Romania had missed out on a medal by just half a second.

Speaking to Brianna and Ellie after their success in Linz-Ottensheim I asked them about the training year lead up to the race and then the race day itself.

They both agreed that training at the dedicated GB Rowing centre in Caversham, working with exceptional training and support staff and being surrounded by world class athletes had been key to their recent success.

The road to becoming World champions has been a long one, Brianna first realised she wanted to sit on the start line in a GB vest at 16 when she was selected as the spare in the J16 GB v France Match. The more recent lead up to this summer’s success started last September when the GB selection process began. The girls raced as singles from September last year through to the final selection trials in April this year.

They both agree that working in a partnership allows the sharing of ideas, goals and successes as well as making training less lonely and much more enjoyable. They also concluded that winning is all the sweeter when you have someone to share it with.