Britain’s Rachel Morris achieved the world best time in the Para women’s single sculls competition to earn gold at the World Rowing Cup in Poznan.
The Briton had been beaten by Norway’s Birgit Skarstein in the heats but was able to get the better of her rival in a highly competitive final, with reigning world champion Moran Samuel of Israel among the favourites for victory.
Morris was able to hold off their challenge to claim victory in a time of 5min 9.280sec, with Skarstein ending narrowly adrift on 5:10.570.
Samuel, who was named Female Athlete of the Year at the Israeli Paralympic Committee’s annual awards in January, faded in the latter stages of the race to finish third in 5:18.300.
“I wasn’t really aware of where I was, so there was only one option - just go for it,” said Morris.
“It was the first time I really felt like a rower.”
Ukraine’s Igor Bondar prevailed in the men’s event in a time of 4:34.710, with his team-mate Roman Polianskyi crossing second in 4:35.610.
It proved a key result for Bondar as his triumph ensured him of the sole Ukrainian place at the Rio 2016 Paralympics in the event.
Australia’s Erik Horrie completed the podium in 4:39.510.
Perle Bouge and Stephane Tardieu of France celebrated victory over Australia’s world champions Gavin Bellis and Kathryn Ross in the Para mixed double sculls competition by clocking 3:57.140.
The Australian crew finished second in 3:57.770, while a time of 3:58.650 proved enough for the Netherlands’ Esther Van Der Loos and Marinus De Koning to win bronze.
Canada were victorious in the Para mixed coxed four final in the absence of the world champions Britain, by clocking a time of 3:22.810
South Africa and Ukraine completed the podium spots in 3:26.580 and 3:27.880 respectively.