World Champs Double England gold
World Champs team and individual glory in Portugal
IT WAS double cause for celebration for the England Under-23 team in the World Championships in Portugal as they took both team and individual gold.
The six-man side dominated both days of the event on the River Sorraia in Coruche as it recorded a 28-point score, 11 ahead of second-placed Italy.
And in the individual stakes Alex Clements was crowned World Champion with three points, to cap a memorable trip for the side.
It was the first time in nine visits that any English side of any coarse discipline had won in Coruche, which manager Mark Downes described as a ‘Portuguese and Italian stronghold’.
“The team of Alex, Bradley Gibbons, Rory Jones, Matt Barnett and Ricky Marshall have performed brilliantly and really pulled together over the practice week and the two matches,” he told Angling Times.
“It’s very difficult to win these events, as our anglers only fish a couple of international style rules events every year while
the other nations fish them every week! Our anglers have really grown in stature and were very professional in difficult conditions.
“The average temperature was 38°C but on the Sunday match it was 44°C – by the end some of them had virtually passed out!
“Alex, in particular, has developed into one of the strongest anglers on the bank and was duly rewarded with the individual gold.
“I’d like to thank Drennan and Sensas for their continued support for the team and also Darran Bickerton, who has come in as coach,” added Mark.
Target fish on the Sorraia were carassio, small catfish and small barbel, and for these the team relied mainly on a pole line at 13m, which was fed with a heavy groundbait mix of Sensas Carp Lake Fine and Terre De Riviere containing worms, joker and sticky mag.
One half of the match length was dominated by barbel, and here the team fed plenty of hemp and sticky mag, with the waggler playing its part too.
For Petersfield, Hampshire angler Alex, an opening day section win with an impressive 7.737kg was followed up by a solid section second on day two and an unbeatable three-point score.
“I’m over the moon and the feeling is incredible. It makes all the hours tying hooklengths and rigs worthwhile!
“It’s been a real honour to represent my country for the sixth year and I’d like to thank the sponsors and The Angling Trust for helping us to create so many memories!” he said.
Result, team: 1 England, 28; 2 Italy, 39; 3 Portugal, 47; 4 Serbia, 48; 5 Spain, 47.
Individual: 1 A Clements (England), 3; 2I L Tamarit (Spain), 5; 3 F Beltrami (Italy) 5; 4. B Gibbons (England), 6; 5. A Nunes (Portugal) 6.