GB Rowing Team on their marks for 2015 European Championships
The GB Rowing Team’s 52-strong squad will race in 17 boats at the 2015 European Championships, which begin on Poznan’s Lake Malta in Poland tomorrow and run until Sunday 31st May.
Some last-minute changes to the pre-announced line-ups have been made and include Jack Beaumont, a World U23 double scull medallist, subbing in for an injured Charles Cousins in the squad’s high-achieving men’s quadruple scull, to join Graeme Thomas, Sam Townsend and Peter Lambert. The quartet have been drawn in the opposing heat to the World Champions from the Ukraine.
Joel Cassells, a newcomer at senior international level, has moved to row in a lightweight pair with his Bann Rowing Club colleague Peter Chambers. The duo both went to the same primary school in Coleraine.
Lake Malta will see the first run-out of the 2015 GB Rowing Team men’s eight. Britain took the World title in this boat class for the first time in history in 2013 and repeated the feat in 2014.
The heats of this event, which also feature Olympic Champions Germany, will round-off the morning’s racing tomorrow and the GB crew will race France, Russia, and the Netherlands.
Reigning men’s four World Champions Mohamed Sbihi, Alex Gregory and George Nash feature in this men’s eight with 2014 eights World Champions Matt Gotrel, Paul Bennett, Peter Reed, Will Satch and cox Phelan Hill in a crew which includes international senior debutant Stewart Innes.
“Everyone has pushed very hard in training over the winter because only two people in the open men’s squad didn’t get a World Championships medal last year so everyone is aware of how strong this squad is. We have been using each other to improve”, said Sbihi.
Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell, Tom Ransley, Alan Sinclair and Scott Durant will take up the historic mantel of the GB Rowing Team men’s four in Poznan in an event in which GB are the defending European Champions. The former were both World Champions in the eight last year whilst the latter duo were silver medalists in the coxed pair.
James Foad and Matt Langridge, who took World men’s pair silver in 2014, remain the specialist pair. They posted the fastest time by a GB men’s pair in history in winning that 2014 silver, overhauling the time set by James Cracknell and Sir Matt Pinsent in 2002.
Sir David Tanner, Performance Director for the GB Rowing Team, said: “We have 11 World Champions and five other World medallists, returning from last year in our open men’s sweep squad. However, we are not complacent. This is an Olympic qualifying year and other nations will be stepping up. The depth of competition will be stronger and, against that background, we are looking at honing a squad that gives us the best possible chance of qualifying all of our men’s boats for Rio.
“The European Championships are an important event in their own right, too, and everyone selected will also want to add medals and titles”.
Jonny Walton and John Collins will race their heat of the men’s double scull in mid-morning tomorrow and will face the biggest field of the weekend with 21 crews entered, including the Croatian Sinkovic brothers who set a World Best Time last year in an unbeaten season.
Olympic and World Champions Helen Glover and Heather Stanning will have the opportunity to defend the women’s pair title won for GB by Glover with Polly Swann a year ago. This time round Swann misses out with injury.
Glover said: We anticipate an incredibly tough field this year but the aim is to win medals whilst not losing sight of the main goal which is Rio next year”. Stanning added: “If you look back 12 months I’m in far better shape than I was then. I’ve had a really solid winter and training has been going very well”.
Cristine Grigoras and Laura Oprea of Romania were the silver medalists behind Glover and Swann a year ago whilst the Dutch duo of Elisabeth Hoogerwerf and Olivia van Rooijen won the season’s opening World Cup a few weeks ago. Neither of these nations have been drawn in Glover and Stanning’s heat.
A year ago Katherine Grainger was watching from the lakeside as a BBC pundit in Serbia when Vicky Thornley raced to sixth place with Frances Houghton in the women’s double scull. Houghton races the single in Poznan.
No doubt the fledgling Grainger-Thornley combination will attract some attention beyond rowing fans. Grainger, of course, is the Olympic champion in this discipline, a title she won with Anna Watkins in 2012, and is coming back into the sport after a gap of over two years.
The new-look GB double races in a heat mid-morning tomorrow and Grainger has said about the Europeans: “I’ve never been to a European Championships so I am extremely excited. In a long career you rarely get to do firsts, so that will be good.
“It’s slightly embarrassing how excited I am, I’m kind of giddy all over. Having had the break, it’s a new beginning in some ways but very familiar in others. It’s exciting doing something that I love without really knowing where I stand at the moment”.
The British duo have bene drawn in the same heat as 2013 World Championships silver medallists Magdalena Fularczyk and Natalia Madaj of Poland.
“The selections in this boat class have been very, very tight’, said Tanner. “We needed a photo-finish to separate Taylor and Walsh at the Trials and this continues to be a very competitive section of our team”.
“To be selected for your country is a great honour”, said Taylor. “ I am really looking forward to racing”.
The new-look GB women’s quad includes 2013 World Junior Champion Jess Leyden, seasoned Olympian and 2010 World Champion Beth Rodford with Melanie Wilson, who qualified as a doctor only a couple of months ago, and Tina Stiller from the 2014 crew. They have been drawn in the same heat as the 2014 all-conquering Germany who have only made one change to their crew this year.
The women’s eight is coxed once more by Morgan Baynham-Williams who has been flown in as a last minute replacement for Zoe de Toledo. This crew also features experienced Olympians Jess Eddie, Katie Greves and Louisa Reeve.
Britain won eight medals, including two golds, at the 2014 European Championships which took place in Belgrade, Serbia. Poznan’s Lake Malta, home of the 2015 Championships has hosted many top international rowing events including the 2007 European Championships and the 2009 World Championships.
The event will be broadcast live by BBC TV with transmission times on Sunday May 31st as follows:
Rowing: European Championships, 09:30-13:45, BBC Red Button
Rowing: European Championships, 11:30-13:50, BBC Two
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CREW LISTS (Includes club, home town, date of birth)
GB Rowing Team for the 2015 European Championships,
Poznan, 29-31 May
Katie Greves (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)
Olivia Carnegie-Brown (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Oxford/28.03.91)
Lucinda Gooderham (Leander Club/Garboldisham/09.06.84)
Donna Etiebet (Sport Imperial/London/29.04.86)
Jessica Eddie (London RC/Durham/07.10.84)
Louise Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)
Rosamund Bradbury (Leander Club/Banstead/17.12.88)
Zoe Lee (Imperial College BC/Richmond/15.12.85)
Morgan Baynham-Williams (Leander Club/Ross-on-Wye/28.6.94)
Coach: James Harris
Frances Houghton (Univ of London Tyrian Club/Oxford/19.09.80)
Coach: Nick Strange
Melanie Wilson (Imperial College BC/London/25.06.84)
Kristina Stiller (Tees RC/Yarm/23.06.87)
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Gloucester/28.12.82)
Jessica Leyden (Leander Club/Todmorden/22.02.95)
Coach: Nick Strange
Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell (Univ of London BC/Durham/13.04.88)
Alan Sinclair (Leander Club/Munlochy/16.10.85)
Tom Ransley (Leander Club/Ashford/06.09.85)
Scott Durant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Lancaster/12.02.88)
Coach: Christian Felkel
Matt Gotrel (Leander Club/Chipping Campden/01.03.89)
Stewart Innes (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/20.05.91)
Pete Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth/27.07.81)
Paul Bennett (Univ of London BC/Leeds/16.12.88)
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)
Alex Gregory (Leander Club/Wormington/11.03.84)
George Nash (Molesey BC/Guildford/02.10.89)
Will Satch (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/09.06.89)
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)
Coach: Jurgen Grobler
Angus Groom (Leander Club/Glasgow/16.06.92)
Coach: John West
Jack Beaumont (Leander Club/Maidenhead/21.11.93)
Sam Townsend (Reading Univ BC/Reading/26.11.85)
Graeme Thomas (Agecroft RC/Preston/08.11.88)
Peter Lambert (Leander Club/Maidenhead/03.12.86)
Coach: Paul Stannard
Sam Scrimgeour (Imperial College BC/Kirriemuir/28.01.88)
Jonathan Clegg (Leander Club/Maidenhead/14.07.89)
Mark Aldred (London RC/Birmingham/18.04.87)
Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Chester/02.02.84)
Coach: Rob Morgan
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2015 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS TIMETABLE
Provisional timetable (all times BST)
Friday 29 May
08.30 -12.25 – Heats
14.30-16.00 – Repechages
Saturday 30 May
08.30- 08.45 – Semis C/D
08.50-11.15 – Repechages and Semis A/B
11.25-11.30 – Finals D
11.35 -12.15 – Finals C
Sunday 31 May
08.00-09.15 – B Finals
09.33-13.33 – Finals
Official website for full timetable: http://www.erch2015.com/
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A LOOK BACK TO THE 2014 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Last year’s event in Belgrade, Serbia, was the first time that the GB Rowing Team had taken a full team to the European Championships and they were rewarded with eight medals, including two gold.
Those results put GB on top of the medal table and set the team up for a successful year on the World Cup circuit and at the World Championships in Amsterdam.
2014 European Championships Medals
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GB Rowing Team website, including full rower biogs: www.gbrowingteam.org.uk
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