Morris and Aggar miss out on Trials

Rachel Morris has swapped from cycling to rowing but the 2008 Paralympic Hand-cycling Champion like her single scull counterpart and Beijing rowing gold medallist Tom Aggar, missed out on the trials a fortnight ago with illness.

They now wait to see if they will travel to Varese, Italy, for a training camp and could race at the Varese International over the weekend of 16-18 May.

Competition at the Trials was hottest for seats in the World Champion mixed adaptive coxed four – featuring 2012 Paralympic Champion Pamela Relph and her 2013 World Champion crew-mates Oliver James (cox), Oli Hester and James Fox – alongside a batch of emerging rowers.

Grace Clough and Rose Linden are both keen to secure the spot left by the retirement of Paralympic Champion Naomi Riches. Sam Murray and Dan Brown are also potential future challengers.

The GB Rowing Team are reigning Paralympic and World Champions in the mixed adaptive coxed four.

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WHITELEY NEEDS A GOOD WOMAN IN HIS LIFE TO BE RIO-BOUND

Laurence Whiteley, who took up rowing at Tees RC, raced against the clock in a single at the Trials. However, the swimmer-turned-rower whose bone cancer left him with a knee impairment, would prefer to be racing in a mixed para-rowing double scull (TA2x).

Having made the move to be near the national training base in Reading, the GB Rowing Team is mounting a concerted search for a female to race with Whiteley in the trunk-and-arms double.

“I can’t race in the single scull in Rio because of my classification”, said Whiteley. “So to get a chance to race at the Paralympics I need to find a female partner”.

Helen Blamey, GB Rowing Team para-rowing development officer said: “Contenders for this category would be females who have an impairment in one or both knees which mean that they can’t bend at the knees and are unable to use a sliding seat for rowing”.

“Obviously, it would be preferable if any candidates were relatively fit or had trained for another sport but that’s not essential”.

Meanwhile Morris, the inaugural women’s hand-cycling Paralympic champion in 2008 and a medallist in 2012 is relishing the switch to rowing.

GB Rowing Team lead coach for para-rowing, Tom Dyson said: “We are delighted to have Rachel in our squad. She is a consummate professional and is learning quickly about our sport”.

Morris will seek a spot in Varese and her aim after that could be selection for the World Cup in Aiguebelette, France, in June.

“The weekend’s trials were about assessing the impact of the winter training to date,” added Dyson, “we will have a training camp in Varese prior to the event which is part of the traditional calendar for para-rowing where we will evaluate our next steps for the Aiguebelette world cup and the World Championships that follow in August.

“Standards within the GB Rowing Team are high and we intend only to take rowers to the World Championships who can perform to the right level”.

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THE SEASON AHEAD

GB Rowing Team Diary Dates for 2014:
April

5
GB Rowing Team Para-Rowing Trials, Caversham

19-20

GB Rowing Team Senior Team Trials – Caversham

30

NEW – Windermere Cup (GB men’s and women’s eights only)

May

16-18

Varese International (para-rowers only)

28 – 1 June

European Championships, Belgrade

June

20-22

World Cup II, Aiguebelette, France (includes para-rowing)

July

2-6

Henley Royal Regatta – TBC

12-13

World Cup III, Lucerne, Switzerland

23-27

World U23 Championships, Varese, Italy

August

6-10

World Junior Championships, Hamburg, Germany

16-28

World Youth Olympic Games, Nanjing, China

24 – 31

World Championships, Amsterdam

September

13-14

NEW – World University Championships, Gravelines, France (U23s only)

October

19-20

NEW – British Championships – TBC

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CONTACT DETAILS

For media enquiries about the GB Rowing Team please contact:

The GB Rowing Team Press office at Matchtight Ltd on (01225) 384211 or [email protected]

For pictures please e-mail [email protected]

GB Rowing Team website, including full rower biogs: www.gbrowingteam.org.uk

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Youtube: www.youtube.com/gbrowingteam

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