Birthday boy Tom George is not celebrating just yet despite he and Ollie Wynne-Griffith making a late surge to pip rivals Romania in the World Championship semi-final. 

A mammoth push in the last 200m saw the pair finish 0.37 seconds clear of Romanian duo Marius Cozmiuc and Sergiu Bejan, who snatched gold ahead of the Brits at last month’s European Championships. 

The result means the Cheltenham rower and his crewmate have their choice of lanes for Saturday’s crunch final. 

But Olympic bronze medallist George, who turned 28 on the day of the semi-final, did not get carried away with the win and recognises improvements need to be made ahead of the showpiece.

“I think there’s a few things to work on for the final but we are just pleased to win the semi and get the best lane,” said George. 

“It’s going to be hard. It’ll be tight. We know Romania are good and Spain have come back really strong since the Europeans.  

“We’ve raced them a lot this year, but they seem to have really stepped up. And obviously Australia have got an Olympic champion [Alexander Hill] stroking so it’s going to be hard.” 

And Wynne-Griffith, who was in the same men’s eight boat as George that medalled in Tokyo last year, is relishing the chance to put Munich behind them and battle the Romanians once more. 

“It’s quite nice to see the yardstick of where we were six weeks ago, but it’s a new day on Saturday,” he said.

“They’re a good crew. I’m really excited and looking forward to it.

“I think we went out there just trying to level up what we did in the heat and row the best race we could on the day.

“We got large parts of it right. As Tom said, there’s a bit more to work on, but we’re happy to take the win.”

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