Given Great Britain’s gold rush at the World Championships in New Zealand, it was perhaps surprising that performance manager David Tanner’s highlight was not a winning performance but the silver medal for Pete Reed and Hebden’s Andy Hodge in the men’s pairs.

The duo went into the final on Saturday trying to end a sequence of 12 consecutive losses to their New Zealand rivals Hamish Bond and Eric Murray.

In the race of the regatta, the crews matched each other stroke for stroke, with the British a fraction ahead for most of the race only for the home team to snatch gold on the line.

Tanner and coach Jurgen Grobler now have to decide whether to keep their best two rowers as a pair or move them back into the fours, where they won gold at the Beijing Olympics.

Tanner said: “We need to qualify all three Olympic sweep (rowing) boats next year at Bled for the World Championships. That’s our first priority. In a way, the Olympic selection I suspect will look after itself.

“They (Hodge and Reed) are our best two sweepers – they’re best in the pairs, they’re best in the fours and they’d probably be best in the eights as well. Yes, there are choices but it’s a nice position to be in.

“For them, what they do now is stand tall. They’ve shown to our team and the world that was watching the level they’re at. Everybody knows now the New Zealand pair and our pair are outstanding.

“They’ve demonstrated the good people they are and how’s that for being persistent. The fairy tale didn’t happen but they’ve shown the outstanding athletes they are.”