GB Rowing Team’s World Championships squad announced.
Matt Langridge, Alex Gregory, Ric Egington and Alex Partridge, the reigning world men’s four champions, will travel to New Zealand in October to defend their title after being named today in a 61-strong GB Rowing Team for the event which runs from October 31 – November 7.
All except Gregory, who travelled to Beijing as a reserve, were part of the Olympic silver medal winning British eight. The quartet dug deep to win at the world cup finals in Lucerne but know that the Australians, amongst others, will be tough pretenders to their crown.
The squad, selected by a combination of the chief coaches, Jürgen Grobler and Paul Thompson alongside the GB Rowing Performance Director David Tanner, has been told to treat the Southern Hemisphere based event – later in the year than normal for a European-based championships – as the start of the Olympic qualifying season.
Britain will need to qualify its boats for London 2012 through the world championships in Bled, Slovenia, just nine months after the curtain falls on the 2010 event.
“These next 11 months are a crucial part of the Olympic cycle”, said Tanner. “We go to New Zealand with strength in depth and will want to assess progress to date”.
Tom Aggar, so far unbeaten at world level and winner of the Paralympic-class men’s single scull in August 2009 in Poznan, Poland, is also named today in the line-up for New Zealand as a defending champion.
Katherine Grainger, winner of single scull silver a year ago, will team up with Anna Watkins in the women’s double scull for New Zealand in a boat which has a lot of power and experience. The world cup overall winners will not, however, also race the quadruple scull as they have done throughout season to date.
Instead five rowers have been named for the women’s quad: Annabel Vernon and Beth Rodford, who won two world cup golds and a silver with Grainger and Watkins, Katie Solesbury,an Olympian in the women’s eight in Beijing who is returning from injury and Beijing quadruple scull silver medallists Debbie Flood and Frances Houghton. This mini-squad will contest the four available seats with the fifth rower as a reserve once the boat has been finalised.
Flood has returned gradually to full fitness and racing this season after a year out working for the Prison Service whilst Houghton, who grew her culinary skills in her post-Beijing sabbatical, is now coming back into contention after hip surgery.
“It would have been fascinating to try for both events but we want to focus on the double scull in New Zealand to give ourselves the strongest possible chance of success”, said Grainger, already three-times an Olympic silver medallist.
Hester Goodsell and Sophie Hosking, therefore, are the only female 2009 medal-winning crew to remain together since last year’s event. The 2009 bronze medallists in the lightweight women’s double will take on strong potential opposition from Greece, Australia and the USA but have enjoyed the strength of this season’s world cup fields.
“We are getting used to tight racing. Last year we didn’t have that experience until the world championships”, said Goodsell
after their world cup finals silver in Lucerne.
Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs Hodge will race the men’s pair – the same event in which they took silver in Poland last year. Already Olympic champions in the men’s four, the duo have chosen a hard path over the last two seasons, pitting themselves against one of the world’s stand-out crews in New Zealand’s world champion pairing of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray.
After a string of hard knocks, to gain a first world-level win against Bond and Murray, on the Kiwis’ home waters at Lake Karapiro would be the stuff of dreams.
“I’ve been really enjoying training in the pair since the project began. Of course racing is tough when you’re collecting silvers, but we are hard guys and we’re constantly improving. We’re the fastest boat the GB Rowing Team can field and we’ve moved on significantly. I can’t wait to race again”, said Reed recently.
Alan Campbell leads off a strong GB Rowing Team men’s sculling section. He races the men’s single once more, after taking silver
in 2009 behind the reigning world champion, Mahe Drysdale from New Zealand. Campbell’s season got a timely boost at the world cup finals when he took a silver behind Czech Ondrej Synek but ahead of Drysdale.
“It’s such a strong sculling squad now”, said Campbell. “We are all pushing each other on”.
Matt Wells and Marcus Bateman contend the men’s double, having taken world cup medals as a new crew this season but knowing that the Frenchmen Cedric Berrest and Julien Bahain will provide stiff opposition.
For Bateman the season has been a learning curve: “I’ve learnt a lot from racing with Matt. These intensive steps up have given me an idea of what it could be like at the World Championships”.
Great Britain’s men’s quadruple scull is also a crew with strong potential. Sam Townsend, Bill Lucas and Charles Cousins have been joined by Stephen Rowbotham this seasonand won world cup bronze in Munich and Lucerne.
Townsend, Lucas and Cousins have all come through “Start”, the GB Rowing Team’s talent identification and development scheme, which is sponsored by Siemens and supported by Lottery Funding. This scheme is coming to fruition as planned when it was launched in 2001. Five men and six women in this year’s world championships team have come through the system with three of these 11 rowers having been recruited into the scheme through UK Sport “calls to action”.
Paul Mattick, Chris Bartley, Richard Chambers and Rob Williams have already had a taste this year of what the world championships
final could be like. The GB lightweight men’s four combination timed their second half to perfection in Lucerne to take world cup finals gold from a tough field including the reigning world champions from Denmark.
“This is the toughest world cup field I’ve ever seen”, said Williams after their victory in July. “It felt like a world championships’, agreed Mattick.
In Lucerne the GB Rowing Team had its best world cup of all time, winning four golds, four silvers and three bronzes but two rowers were disappointed amongst the general jubilation there.
Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter, the 2008 Olympic lightweight men’s double scull champions, got back together this season after more than a year out. Despite early-season injury to Hunter they bounced back to win gold in Munich – described as a “shock” at the time by Hunter – but they could only muster fifth place in Lucerne and will seek to make amends in New Zealand where the home favourites are the reigning world champions Storm Uru and Peter Taylor.
Britain will also field a lightweight men’s pair, Chris Boddy and Adam Freeman-Pask, and single scull, Peter Chambers (World U23 silver medallist and brother of Richard in the lightweight men’s four) and has recently shaped a lightweight women’s quadruple scull of Jane Hall, Andrea Dennis, Stephanie Cullen and Laura Greenhalgh.
Meanwhile, Britain has two resurgent open-weight eights this season. The women have made the podium at all three world cup regattas and have a determination to do well as a group. Coxed by Caroline O’Connor, who juggles science teaching with top-level
sport, the crew have gelled well and know that they are more consistent than any other previous GB women’s eight.
The men’s eight, coxed by Phelan Hill and stroked by “Start” graduate and former swimmer Dan Ritchie, has caught the eye this season and not just because 38 year-old 1992 Olympic gold medallist Greg Searle has been on board after coming out of retirement to pursue the dream of taking part in a home Games.
Twice world cup bronze medallists and winners in Bled, the crew, coached by John West and Christian Felkel, is as hard on itself as the opposition in the search for constant improvement. A slightly new-look line-up has emerged from the summer of training and testing since Lucerne.
Tom Ransley is back from injury to claim a seat for New Zealand and Cameron Nichol has battled upwards from the second men’s pair to win his place. Tom Wilkinson and James Orme have missed out but the former will travel as a reserve alongside Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell and Brendan Crean.
Britain will have a second Paralympic champion in action in New Zealand. Helene Raynsford, winner of the inaugural rowing gold in Beijing, is back in training and remarkably came through the trials process after health problems seemed to have forced a permanent retirement earlier in the year.
The GB Rowing Team’s mixed adaptive coxed four is a much changed combination after a year-long talent identification and tough trials process. School-girl Kelsie Gibson has been selected and will join fellow newcomers Ryan Chamberlain and Kate Jones in the boat with James Roe and cox, Rhiannon Jones, who were gold medallists in 2009.
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GB ROWING TEAM CREW-LISTS
2010 World Rowing Championships, Lake Karapiro,
New Zealand, October 31-November 7, 2010
(listed bow to stroke plus cox)
Coach: Miles Forbes Thomas
Jo Cook (Leander Club/Sunbury-on-Thames/22.03.84)/
Louisa Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)/
Jessica Eddie (Uni of London BC/Durham/07.10.84)/
Victoria Thornley (Minerva Bath RC/Wrexham/30.11.87)/
Natasha Page (Reading Uni BC/Hartpury/30.04.85)/
Lindsey Maguire (Wallingford RC/Edinburgh/15.01.82)/
Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft RC/Warrington/16.09.85)/
Alison Knowles (Thames RC/Bournemouth/27.03.82)/
Caroline O’Connor (Oxford Brookes Uni BC/Ealing/25.04.83) (cox)
Coach: Miles Forbes Thomas
Coach: Paul Thompson
Quadruple scull (four from five rowers) and reserve
Debbie Flood (Leander Club/Guiseley/27.02.80)/
Frances Houghton (Tyrian Club, Uni of London/Henley/19.9.80)
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Gloucester/28.12.82)/
Katie Solesbury (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)/
Annabel Vernon (London RC/Wadebridge/01.09.82)/
Coach: Ade Roberts
Pete Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth, Glos/27.07.81)/
Andrew Triggs Hodge (Molesey BC/Hebden, N.Yorks/03.03.79)
Coach: Jurgen Grobler
Alex Partridge (Leander Club/Alton, Hants/25.01.81)/
Richard Egington (Leander Club/Knutsford/26.02.79)/
Alex Gregory (Leander Club/Wormington/11.03.84)/
Matthew Langridge (Leander Club/Northwich/20.05.83)/
Coach: Mark Banks
Tom Broadway (Leander Club/Newport Pagnell/21.08.82)/
James Clarke (London RC/London/31.12.84)/
Cameron Nichol (Molesey BC/Glastonbury/26.6.87)/
James Foad (Molesey BC/Southampton/20.03.87)/
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)/
Greg Searle (Molesey BC/Marlow/20.03.72)/
Tom Ransley (York City RC/Cambridge/6.9.85)
Dan Ritchie (Herne Bay RC/Herne Bay/06.01.87)/
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)
Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers/Coleraine/09.05.83)
Coach: Bill Barry
Matthew Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.04.79)
Marcus Bateman (Leander Club/Torquay/16.09.82)/
Coach: Mark Earnshaw
Charles Cousins (Reading Uni BC/Cambridge/13.12.88)/
Sam Townsend (Reading Uni BC/Reading/26.11.85)/
Bill Lucas (Reading Uni BC/Kingswear/13.09.87)/
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club/Winscombe, Somerset/11.11.81)
Coach: Mark Earnshaw
Brendan Crean (Agecroft RC/Lewes/07.02.85)
Tom Wilkinson (Leander Club/Reading/04.07.85)/
Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell (Uni of London BC/Durham/13.4.88)
Hester Goodsell (Reading Uni BC/London/27.06.84)/
Sophie Hosking (London RC/Wimbledon/25.01.86)
Coach: Paul Reedy
Jane Hall (Leander Club/Surbiton/20.10.73)/
Stephanie Cullen (London RC/Bury, Lancs/27.11.80)/
Laura Greenhalgh (London RC/Cuddeson,Oxon/2.9.85)/
Andrea Dennis (Reading Uni BC/Oxford/03.01.82)
Coach: Tom Gale
Chris Boddy (Leander Club/Stockton-on-Tees/16.11.87)/
Adam Freeman-Pask (Imperial College BC/Windsor/19.06.85)
Coach: Rob Morgan
Coach: Rob Morgan
Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes Uni BC/Coleraine/14.3.90)
Coach: Darren Whiter
Zac Purchase (Marlow RC/Tewkesbury/02.05.86)/
Mark Hunter (Leander Club/Romford, Essex/01.07.78)
Coach: Darren Whiter
AS Men’s Single scull
Coach: Tom Dyson
AS Women’s Single scull
Helene Raynsford (Guildford RC/Farnborough/29.12.79)
Coach: Tom Dyson
LTA Mixed Coxed four
Kelsie Gibson (Maidstone Invicta RC)
James Roe (Reading Uni BC/Stratford-upon-Avon/28.3.88)/
Ryan Chamberlain (King’s College London BC/Wandsworth, London/3.4.86)
Kate Jones (Aberdeen BC/Eskdale Green, Cumbria/28.2.86)
Rhiannon Jones (cox) (Reading Uni BC/Hereford/16.9.87)
Coach: Mary McLachlan
MANAGEMENT AND SUPPORT STAFF
Team Manager and Performance Director: David Tanner
Chief Coach Men: Jurgen Grobler
Chief Coach Women & Lightweights: Paul Thompson
Assistant Team Manager/Adaptives: Louise Kingsley
Medical and Sports Science:
Doctor: Ann Redgrave
Lead Physiotherapist: Mark Edgar
Physiotherapist: Liz Arnold
Physiotherapist: Sally Brown
Adaptive Physiotherapist: Pat Dunleavy
Psychologist: Chris Shambrook
Physiologist: Mark Homer
Nutritionist: Wendy Martinson
Assistant Team Manager (admin): Jo Bates
Assistant Team Manager (logistics): Judi Read
Press Officer: Caroline Searle
Resources Manager: Maurice Hayes
Boatman: John Tetley
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TIMINGS OF FINALS IN KARAPIRO
(Events featuring GB crews only)
Thursday 4 November (local NZ time* 15.30 – 16.30)
Adaptive (“Paralympic”): Men’s and women’s single, mixed coxed four
Friday 5 November (local NZ time* 14.03 – 15.33)
Open Men: Four and quadruple scull
Open Women: Quadruple scull
Lightweight: Men’s pair, men’s and women’s double scull
Saturday 6 November (local NZ time* 14.03 – 15.48)
Open Men: Pair and single scull
Open Women: Pair
Lightweight: Men’s four and women’s quadruple scull
Sunday 7 November (local NZ time* 14.03 – 15.33)
Open Men: Double and eight
Open Women: Double and eight
Lightweight: Men’s single
*All times are subject to change. NZ will be 13 hours ahead of
the UK during the Championships.