‘As soon as I finished I thought ‘I want more’’ – Beth Bryan on her World Championships bronze medal

Beth Bryan has her sights set on even greater things having become a World Championships bronze medallist in the women’s quadruple scull this summer

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Beth Bryan (right) with her women’s quad crewmates Holly Nixon, Jess Leyden and Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne at the 2017 World Rowing Championships (photo: Naomi Baker)

Moments after she was crowned a World Rowing Championships bronze medallist in Sarasota-Bradenton, Beth Bryan knew she wanted more.

Bryan, 23, was part of the women’s quadruple scull that surged to third place in Florida at the end of September, qualifying for the final directly from their heat and then showing their speed again to get a well-earned spot on the podium.

But the Stockton-on-Tees rower has already set her sights on her next targets. More success on the world stage and qualifying the quad for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are on Bryan’s agenda for the next few years.

“It’s weird because everyone says it must have been an awesome feeling to get the bronze medal, which it was, but at the same time you’re constantly thinking about what’s ahead,” she said.

“As soon as I finished I thought ‘I want more’. I want to get a better colour medal, I want to qualify the boat for Tokyo, I want to go to Tokyo.”

Bryan was joined by Jess Leyden, Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne and Holly Nixon in the quad for much of last season, although injury and illness meant their final race outing together before the World Championships was at the European Championships back in May.

“We’re still hungry and so passionate about getting better and you can feel that within the team”

Alice Baatz stepped into the boat in place of an injured Jess Leyden in Lucerne, while Georgia Francis also deputised during training at various points throughout the season. Indeed, Bryan herself had to spend several days on dry land before the team flew to Florida after having her wisdom teeth extracted.

“We always said that no matter what seats we’re in or who’s in the boat it shouldn’t make a difference to the way we row. That was the same attitude when Jess came back into the boat,” Bryan added.

“It’s not just the four of us, it’s six who have pushed the project on. We’re all at Caversham now and it’s good to have everyone pushing each other.”

The World Championships squad is now back in full-time training, looking ahead to another busy season in the summer of 2018.

Having had three weeks off to recharge the batteries, Bryan and the others are working their way back to full fitness as the winter assessments and training camps approach.

“We have to trust the training programme and know that we will get the fitness and strength back quite quickly,” she said.

“Every time we are training we are looking for improvement and that’s a positive thing for the team. We’re still hungry and so passionate about getting better and you can feel that within the team.”

Beth Bryan is a graduate of British Rowing’s World Class Start programme, which takes young athletes with the right physical attributes and aims to turn them into medal-winning rowers on the international stage. Click here for more information and how to sign up.

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