ENGLAND’S ladies had to overcome a midweek bout of serious food poisoning in their efforts to secure a medal in the World Ladies Championships on Portugal’s Tamega River, but they still managed to secure a valiant bronze medal.

Indeed several of the team were in hospital on drips for a period, and although there was a full squad to pick from come match day, it was hardly an ideal preparation.

Not that they had any chance of winning the gold. On their own water, the Portuguese ladies were in a class of their own, winning all five sections on day two and finishing 14 points clear of silver medallists Italy. England just grabbed the bronze, two points ahead of Poland.

Portgual led from the word go, racing into an impressive eight point lead on day one, ahead of Italy, who returned 17 points, leaving England and Poland stranded with 22 points for joint third place. France were fifth place on 30 points and Croatia sixth with 35 points.

The competition organisers had stemmed the flow of the usually swift Tamega River for the 11th Ladies World Championship, fished near Cavez in North Portugal.

The venue had been specially prepared for the event in a picturesque setting located in the middle of the mountains. The target fish were bogas (Iberian nase, a bit like small barbel), bleak, chub, barbel and sun perch, which were the target species in 1.5 to 3.5 metres of water at 11 metres.

Former World Champion, Chester’s Wendy Locker, gave England some hope when she won her section and was placed fourth on day one.

But the day belonged to the host country Portugal who boasted two section winners and all five team members in the top six for an incredible first day total of nine points.

England’s Claire Dagnall (Redditch) was 14th with three points and England’s ‘golden’ girl, Sandra Scotthorne from Rotherham was 17th with four points. Emma Pickering (Doncaster) was 23rd with five points and Wendy Lythgoe from Warrington was 42nd with nine points. Wendy was replaced on day two by Warrington’s Helen Dagnall.

Portugal hot rod Fatima Ferreira won her section again on day two and claimed the individual crown with a perfect score of two points and a total weight of 5.525 kg. Teammate Virginia Ferreira also returned a perfect score from 5.120 kg to earn silver and third placed Franca Tagliaferri from Italy was second in her section after claiming one point the first day to net bronze with three points from a total weight of 4.415kg.

Portugal were worthy World Champions on their own river claiming a ‘perfect’ score of five points on day two (every team member won her section!) earning them an astonishing total for two days of 14 points – a perfect two-day score in these World Championships is ten.

Only weight difference prevented Portugal from making a clean sweep of the Individual medals. Franca Tagliaferri (Italy) totalled 4.415kg to finish third, ahead of Portuguese ladies, Ana Simoes and Paula Barros who both scored three points but were beaten on weight.

The best of British was Wendy Locker who won her section on day one and was third the next day, giving her a total of four points and 3.010kg for an overall placing of eighth. Rotherham’s Sandra Scotthorne finished with section positions of fourth and third which gave her 12th position overall with a total weight of 3.065kg.

“We knew it was going to be difficult on this venue and to be fair Portugal walked it. What a score,” said England coach Tom Pickering. “To finished 14 points ahead of Italy and 34 points ahead of us and to claim all five sections on day two is fantastic. We picked up a team bronze and I still believe we are the best all-round team in the world and we will have to prove it again next year.”





TEAMS: 1 Portugal 14 points, 21.795kg:  2 Italy 28 pts, 16.715kg:  3 England 48 pts, 11.720kg:  4 Poland 50 pts, 11.990kg  5 Croatia 68 pts, 9.750kg;  6 France 70 pts, 8.460kg: 7 Serbia & Montenegro 75pts 7.705kg:  8 Hungary 87 pts, 7.340 kg:  9 Luxemburg 90 pts, 6.920 kg:  10 Czech Republic 93 pts, 6.955 kg:  11 Germany 100 pts, 6.190 kg:  12 South Africa, 101 pts, 5.890 kg:  13 Finland 102 pts, 5.335 kg:  14 Bosnia & Hercegovina 124 pts, 3.515 kg.


INDIVIDUALS:  1 Fatima Ferreira, Portugal, 2 pts, 5.525 kg:  2 Virginia Ferreira, Portugal, 2 pts, 5.120 kg:  3 Franca Tagliaferri, Italy, 3 pts, 4.415 kg:  4 Ana Simoes, Portugal, 3 pts, 3.585 kg:  5 Paula Barras, Portugal, 3 pts, 3.085 kg: 6 Teresa Carvalho, Portugal, 4 pts, 4.480 kg:  7 Stefania Conforto, Italy, 4 pts, 3.710 kg:  8 Wendy Locker, England, 4 pts, 3.010 kg:


White Acres/NFA Team England Positions:  8th Wendy Locker, Chester, 4 points 3.010kg:  12th Sandra Scotthorne, Rotherham 7 pts. 3.065kg:  17th Emma Pickering, Doncaster 9 pts. 2.235kg:  27th Claire Dagnall , Redditch 14 pts. 2.070kg:  65th Helen Dagnall, Warrington 5 pts. (caught 590 grams on day two)  69th Wendy Lythgoe, Warrington 9 pts. (caught 750 grams on day one).