MATTHEW Langridge may have found the perfect partner.
The Olympic oarsman from London Road, Northwich, celebrated one of his best ever results this week by winning a World Cup race in Austria.
It was not so much that he and crewmate Colin Smith won the pairs events but the manner of their victory that has so excited the British team.
Langridge and Smith beat the favourites – Croatian Olympic silver medallist brothers Niksa and Sinisa Skelins – in style, surging forward from the very back of the field to take first place.
At the 500m mark the Skelins were a boat length ahead and, at one point, had double that to spare on Langridge and Smith, who were last at the half-way mark.
But then they launched their astonishing attack, all the more pleasing for the British squad because the two have only recently been teamed up by coach Jans Grobel.
Langridge, 24, said: ‘It’s a great feeling to win after only four weeks together. It was only our third race.’
Some commentators are already wondering whether Britain has found a ‘new fab pair’, a reference to multi-medalled Olympic heroes Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent.
By all accounts they should not be well matched.
Langridge is four inches taller and three stone heavier, but the combination clearly works.
Smith was a World Cup winner in the same event last year and a World Championship finalist and the two have rowed previously in a four together.
Both men contested the British trials in April, but in different pairs. Langridge was a winner with Leander clubmate Steve Williams while Smith rowed with Tom Lucy and it was then Grobel’s came up with the idea of the combination.
Langridge won the World Junior Championship as a single sculler in 2000 and it has always been his aim to contest the same event at an Olympics.
Last season he was in a largely unsuccessful British eight, but was singled out for praise and a prediction of great things by Redgrave himself.