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Lucas sprinting to raise chances of medal, with rubber duck in hand...

By Herald Express  |  Posted: June 21, 2012

  • GOING FOURTH: Above, Bill Lucas and Sam Townsend, closest to camera, in the semi-finals of the double scull at the Samsung FISA World Cup III in Munich; left, Marcus Bateman (third from rear) racing in the men's eight boat PHOTOS: Peter Spurrier/ Intersport Images

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BILL LUCAS has pledged to work on his sprint finish after he was pushed out of the medal places at the Samsung FISA World Cup III in Munich last weekend.

Lucas this week attended the 'Team GB Experience' at Loughborough, mainly involving receiving official kit for London 2012.

A remarkable 67 pieces of kit were handed out to each and every squad member – including bermuda shorts, an MP3 player and a rubber duck.

Team GB rowers were among the first to go through the experience, which will see sportswear firm Adidas issuing more than 175,000 pieces of kit alone.

"It's been a really nice day – there's so much stuff," said Lucas afterwards.

"It's a nice day to come round."

On the water, however, Lucas has also admitted he and double sculls partner Sam Townsend have some work to do.

The pair only qualified for the final in Munich via the repechage, having finished fourth in their heat.

As a new combination this season they lined up with the Olympic champions David Crawshay and Scott Brennan of Australia as well as the World Champions Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan of New Zealand and a range of other former World Champions and Olympic medallists.

Lucas and Townsend were second throughout the first half behind race-leaders Norway, who went on to win in 6:35.09. But in a fantastic finish which set the crowd on its feet, Lucas and Townsend faded and were overhauled by New Zealand, who took the silver and Germany, who took the bronze.

Lucas said: "Obviously we didn't want to come fourth – we thought that we could go a little bit better than that, but the good thing is that three-quarters of the race is looking good.

"We just need to work on our sprint finish, as it let us down all weekend."

Bateman, meanwhile, once again proved worthy of a medal despite performance director David Tanner describing the final as a 'slightly disappointing' race.

After a sluggish start, the men's eight boat were unable to catch winners Poland and silver medal winners Australia.

And both the German World Champions and Canadian Olympic Champions were missing from the field.

Bateman also attended the kitting out day in Loughborough, but once again found himself missing out due to the selectors' indecision.

He said: "Four of us went to get all the stuff, and basically we didn't get to pick it up."

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