Maddie Arlett expects another feisty race in lightweight quadruple sculls World Championships final

Maddie Arlett knows the GB lightweight women’s quadruple sculls will be in for a tough race in their medal final on Friday


Maddie Arlett strokes the lightweight women's quadruple sculls at the 2018 World Championships (Naomi Baker)

It’s a final that anyone can win and Maddie Arlett is hoping that Great Britain’s lightweight women’s quadruple sculls can be the one that comes out on top.

GB came through the repechage to make the final in Plovdiv, having finished third in their heat, with both races being feisty affairs among the seven crews entered.

Arlett is expecting a similarly exciting race on Friday and believes the best way to succeed is to stick to their race plan and ignore the early moves of their rivals.

“We’re certainly expecting a good half of the field to really jump out off the start ahead of us and we’re expecting it to race to the line,” she said. “Maybe they’ll jump out and then fall back towards the end, which makes it unpredictable and it could go any way.

“It’s so tempting to go with them [when they go off hard], especially on finals day when you think you need to go the same speed as them.

“But ultimately we have to do what we’ve prepared for in training and if we don’t row the way we’ve trained we’re not going to get the best out of ourselves, so it’ll be eyes in the boat for this one.”

Arlett is one of a host of Scottish rowers in the GB squad for this World Rowing Championships and is one of the numerous lightweight rowers to compete for GB from the University of Edinburgh in recent years.

Under the tutelage of Colin Williamson and John Higson at Edinburgh University Boat Club, Arlett has become one of the best young lightweights in the UK.

“I have gone from never having taken a stroke before to being able to come to the senior World Championships for the second year running and that has all come from the base of Edinburgh.

“Obviously the weather isn’t ideal in the winter, which affects us a little bit, but as a university and as a boat club the support there is amazing.

“John and I have a friendship as well as a coach-to-athlete relationship. He started coaching the senior women as I came into the programme so he’s been learning as I’ve been progressing as well. I do put a lot of my success down to him.

“Colin has had a huge influence; he writes the programme every day but he has also created great relationships with people to be able to bring in more money to the Boat Club and help us fund the boats.

“We’re getting a whole new boathouse built, which is going to help being at Strathclyde Park as we’ll now have a base there. It’ll help change the face of Edinburgh again and build the standard even further.”

Arlett is one of a number of young lightweights to represent GB from the University of Edinburgh in recent years, including Junior, U23 and senior World Championships medallist Gavin Horsburgh.

“Being around those guys and seeing how they train is good and it keeps you accountable to what you’re doing, which brings the whole standard of the programme up as well. Colin keeps raising the standard of the programme so it helps massively to have World Championship rowers there.”

Arlett and crewmates Fran Rawlins, Gemma Hall and Ellie Lewis race in the lightweight women’s quadruple sculls final at 10.44 BST on Friday – one of three British crews in medal races that day.

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