‘Still time’ for new British PR1 female rower to be discovered

Nick Baker, High Performance Coach with the GB Paralympic squad, spoke to Agility Magazine about the team’s preparations in the lead-up to the Tokyo 2020 Games

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Nick Baker pictured by Pete Reed

It’s been three years since Rachel Morris stormed to glory in the PR1 women’s single sculls at the Rio Paralympics.

One of three golds for the GB Rowing team in Brazil, it was a fitting finale for Morris who had shoulder surgery following the Games and left the squad in 2017.

Since then, British Rowing have been searching for a new PR1 woman to contest the medals at Tokyo 2020.

High Performance Coach with the GB Para-Rowing squad, Nick Baker, insists there is still time for a suitable candidate to be identified, developed and classified ahead of ‘the big one’ next year.

Speaking in his interview in the July issue of Agility Magazine, Baker said: “I’ve learnt in this job to never say never because in 2015 Lauren Rowles arrived. We had around six months to teach her how to row from scratch and she ended up with a silver medal at the World Champs.

There is still time for a suitable candidate to be identified, developed and classified ahead of ‘the big one’ next year

“Even I sometimes underestimate the power of our system. People can accelerate to quite a high level in a really short period of time.

“Yes, it’s looking less and less likely but if someone like Ellen Buttrick or Lauren turned up who’s relevant to that boat class then we could absolutely have someone at the top of the field again. It took Rachel very little time to get into the medals, so it’s just about finding the right person.

“We obviously have to get someone classified so the absolute deadline would be the final qualification regatta next year, which is April, so we still have time… just!”

Read more from Nick Baker’s fantastic interview in the July issue of Agility Magazine here

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