Victories in Belgrade, Lucerne and Munich gave Katherine and Anna Watkins the overall title in the 20102 Rowing World Cup series and showed that they remain on-target for their joint major goal – gold at the London Olympic Games in August.
During the season, Katherine and Anna came up against all of the nations they will be racing in London.
In the opening event final in Belgrade, they took a lead at 500m that they were never to lose. They were chased all the way by a new German combination but, from being less than a second ahead at halfway, Katherine and Anna kept the pressure on, to eventually cross the line just under a length up. Afterwards, Katherine said, “I really enjoyed that race. It’s been such a long time since we raced competitively. We wanted a quality race here and the Germans gave us that. But if anyone thinks they have seen our full-on finish, well, they haven’t. We will wait to unleash that in the Olympic final”.
Three weeks later, at the second World Cup stop in Lucerne, the Germans were again in the line-up but this time, Katherine and Anna led from the first stroke. Also racing this time were the 2009 world champions from Poland who, with Katherine and Anna clear again by over two seconds, just pipped Germany for second place.
After this race Anna spoke for herself and Katherine when she said, ““today was a very challenging race. There are several crews out there who are performing very well. We are happy to have such good international quality in these races now”.
Munich was the venue for the final World Cup and this time, Katherine and Anna faced the very real threat of world silver medallists Australia, who had posted a much faster time in their qualifying heat. However, once again Katherine and Anna dominated the final from the first stroke, using a fast start to grab hold of the race in the early stages. Australia challenged time and again down the course, but, each time, Katherine and Anna provided an answer before, at 1500 metres gone, they raised the power and moved a length ahead – a lead that they kept all the way to the line without having to unleash their full final sprint. They beat Australia into second place and Poland into third. However, with this performance, Australia showed that they will be real rivals for gold in London.
Afterwards, Katherine said, “we were tested there, but we felt in control. We’re very pleased to have been challenged, but we had the answers”.
With these morale-boosting victories under their belts, Katherine and Anna now join the rest of the GB Olympic rowing team at training camps in Germany and Italy, as they put the final touches to their Olympic preparations, all geared to having the race of their lives in the double sculls final on Friday 3rd August.