‘It’s nice to be back in training and I’m just hoping it gets easier sometime soon!’

Great Britain’s World Championship rowers are back after their end-of-season break and John Collins is among those readjusting to full-time training

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John Collins at the 2017 World Rowing Championships

“My hands hurt a lot, I can’t walk too well and I’m out of breath really quickly.”

John Collins’ words must echo the thoughts of many rowers who return to training after an extended period of time off.

Collins, along with the rest of the athletes that competed for Great Britain at the World Rowing Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton in September, is back in training at Caversham and already building up to the 2018 racing season.

“I enjoy what I do, so it’s nice to be back and I’m just hoping it gets easier sometime soon!” Collins said. He, like many others, decided to spend much of his three-week break in the US, where he enjoyed some much-needed downtime.

“It was very important to have a break,” he added. “Even with how well everything was going, I was looking forward to a break at the end of the season. Everyone has come back feeling a lot more refreshed and with a lot more energy.”

Collins was part of the men’s quad that won silver in Sarasota in memorable circumstances. Just minutes before the start of the final, strokeman Pete Lambert hurt his back and immediately knew he would not be able to race.

A mad scramble began to find backup sculler Graeme Thomas, who was racing the double scull with Angus Groom in Florida, and moments later the Lancastrian was sat in the boat on the start line.

Less than six minutes after that, Collins, Thomas, Jack Beaumont and Jonny Walton were world silver medallists, and the strength in depth of the GB Rowing Team scullers meant that Collins was confident that whoever replaced Lambert would do a good job.

“I knew that [no matter] who came in, we’d be OK – it wasn’t going to be an embarrassment. The two guys in the double, as well as Tom [Barras] are just so strong. Graeme is probably the strongest substitute in the world, so I knew we’d have a good race [with him].

“I felt over the moon to be on the podium for the first time, really delighted for Graeme because he’d had a tough couple of years, but at the same time devastated for Pete and disappointed that we didn’t get to finish that project the way we started it. It was a mixed bag of emotions, but ultimately I’m very happy with it.”

Rowers hoping to join the GB Rowing Team have the opportunity to sign up for the first Winter Assessment, in Boston, Lincolnshire, on Saturday 4 November. Click here for more details on how to sign up. 

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