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The GB Rowing Team is the high performance arm of British Rowing. Rowing is the nation’s most continuously successful Olympic sport, having won a gold medal in every Olympic Games since 1984, and has won six Paralympic golds since the sport was introduced to the Paralympic Games programme in 2008.
GB Rowing Team
Rower // Women's Squad Date of Birth: 28th Dec 1982 (37 years old)
Club: Gloucester Rowing Club Height: 177.00 Hometown: Gloucester
Beth Rodford called time on her glittering international rowing career in December 2015.
A former World Champion at senior and U23 level, she was one of the most experienced members of the GB Rowing Team having made her debut in 1999.
Beth was an Olympic finalist at both Beijing 2008 and London 2012, in the women’s eight and quadruple scull respectively.
A former World Champion at senior and U23 level, Beth was a finalist at two Olympic Games
©Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images
Olympic Finalist Women's Quadruple Scull
World Champion Women's Quadruple Scull
Olympic Finalist Women's Eight
World U23 Champion Women's Four
World University Bronze Medallist Women's Four
World Junior Bronze Medallist Women's Four
The 2015 season was a frustrating one for Beth. She started it in the women’s quad with Melanie Wilson, Tina Stiller and Jess Leyden, finishing just outside the medals at the European Championships in Poznan and seventh at the World Cup in Varese. Beth then moved to the single scull for the Lucerne World Cup, finishing 16th, before being named as spare for the World Championships in Aiguebelette.
Beth raced in three different boats during 2013, finishing fourth in both the women’s double scull and eight at the Sydney World Cup. She was just off the podium again at Eton Dorney in the women’s quad before again finishing fourth with the eight at both the Lucerne World Cup and World Championships in Chungju.
The 2014 season saw Beth race in the women’s quad throughout, finishing fifth at both the European Championships in Belgrade and Aiguebelette World Cup with Tina Stiller, Lucinda Gooderham and Vicki Meyer-Laker. The injured Lucinda was replaced by Olivia Carnegie-Brown for the World Cup in Lucerne, where the quad won the B final, before returning to help GB finish ninth at the World Championships in Amsterdam.
After making her Olympic debut in the eight at Beijing 2008, Beth raced in the women’s quad throughout the London 2012 Olympiad.
She got off to a great start, winning World Cup gold in Banyoles and silver in Munich before finishing fifth at the 2009 World Championships in Poznan.
An outstanding 2010 saw Beth and the quad win gold at the World Cups in Bled and Lucerne, either side of silver in Munich. Beth, Debbie Flood, Frances Houghton and Annabel Vernon then made light of challenging conditions on New Zealand’s Lake Karapiro to be crowned as World Champions.
More medals followed during the 2011 World Cup series – bronze in Munich and silver in Lucerne – but the quad had to settle for seventh place at the World Championships in Bled.
Beth continued in the quad in 2012, winning bronze medals at the Belgrade and Munich World Cups. She was then selected for her second Olympic Games and finished sixth alongside Melanie Wilson, Debbie Flood and Frances Houghton at London 2012.
Beth made her first GB Rowing Team appearance in 1999, winning a bronze medal with the women’s four at the World Junior Championships in Plovdiv. She also competed at the 2000 Championships in Zagreb, finishing fourth in the four and sixth in the women’s eight.
After spending the 2001-02 academic year rowing at Washington State University in the United States, Beth returned to the UK to study Sport Science at Brunel University and made a successful GB Rowing Team senior debut at the Lucerne World Cup in 2004, winning gold in the women’s four. The same crew, including Anna Watkins, was also victorious at that year’s World U23 Championships in Poznan.
Beth won the pairs event at the GB Rowing Team Senior Trials in 2005 and raced in the pair and the eight at the Eton World Cup regatta, winning bronze in the latter event. She also took bronze in the four at the Lucerne World Cup before being part of the women’s eight that performed well at the 2005 World Championships in Japan, finishing 5th.
She remained in the eight in 2006, finishing sixth at the World Championships in Eton, and won World Cup silver in Linz in 2007 before switching to the pair for that year’s World Championships in Munich, finishing 12th.
Beth returned to the eight in 2008 and, after finishing fifth in Munich and sixth in Lucerne, won bronze at the World Cup in Poznan. She then made her Olympic debut in Beijing, finishing fifth.
Club: Gloucester Rowing Club
Boat: Women’s Squad
Coaches: Paul Thompson
Learnt to Row: Gloucester Rowing Club
Original Club(s): Gloucester Rowing Club
Original Coach(es): Mark and Cath Pollard
Reading a good book and being creative are Beth’s hobbies away from rowing. She enjoys cake decorating and Great British Bake Off is her favourite TV programme, along with The Killing.
Her ideal travel destination is “anywhere hot with a beach and a sense of adventure” and the three things she would take to a desert island are a solar-powered water purifier, a pillow and a wind-up radio. She listens to whatever is on the radio in training but says the “Joseph and His Technicolor Dream Coat soundtrack is a good accompaniment to an 18k erg”. Pizza and a cider is her perfect post-competition meal.
Beth remains the junior British Indoor Rowing record-holder over 2,000m in the J13, 14, 15 and 16 age groups.
Beth is Lottery Funded through UK Sport.
Helen Glover and Heather Stanning opened Team GB's gold medal count in the women's pair at Eton Dorney today and with that victory wrote themselves into the history books as Britain's first female Olympic gold medallists in the sport.
Britain made four starts at Eton-Dorney today and all four boats moved to the next round - three with relative ease, one with a big dose of drama en route.
Spectators came in their droves to Eton-Dorney from early today to watch the opening day of the Olympic Rowing Regatta.
Britain's rowers were out in force training today at the sport's Olympic competition venue at Eton-Dorney - just 48 hours before the first races take place in the 2012 Olympic Regatta.