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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 // Lightweight Men's Squad Date of Birth: 18th Apr 1987 (35 years old)
Club: London Rowing Club Hometown: Birmingham
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Mark Aldred made his Olympic debut in Rio having firmly established himself in the highly-competitive lightweight men’s squad during the past four years.
Mark Aldred has raced in the lightweight four since 2014, helping to qualify the boat for the Rio 2016 Games.
A qualified UK and European patent attorney, Mark has won medals at the World and European Championships including silver in the latter during 2016.
Mark has raced in the lightweight four since 2014 and made his Olympic debut in the boat at Rio 2016
©Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images
European Silver Medallist Lightweight Men's Four
World Bronze Medallist Lightweight Men's Four
European Silver Medallist Lightweight Men's Four
World Bronze Medallist Lightweight Men's Pair
After a tough winter of training and trialing, Mark was once again selected alongside Chris Bartley, Jono Clegg and Peter Chambers in the lightweight men’s four for the 2016 season. They made an impressive start, finishing runners-up to the World Champions from Switzerland at the European Championships in Brandenburg. The GB four then finished fifth at the World Cup in Lucerne but returned to the podium at the Poznan World Cup after winning bronze.
The four were runners-up in their opening heat at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games but had to settle for fourth place in the semi-final. They ended the regatta on a strong note, though, by winning the B final to finish seventh overall.
Mark and the lightweight four had a challenging 2015, finishing ninth at the World Championships, but achieved their main objective by qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
In a season where different combinations were tested, Mark and Chris Bartley were the only rowers to race in all four international regattas. After fourth-placed finishes at the European Championships in Poznan and World Cup in Varese, they missed out on the A final in Lucerne but won an exciting B final after an excellent race for the line with Spain.
Mark made his GB Rowing Team debut in 2013, partnering Sam Scrimgeour to lightweight men’s pair gold at both Eton Dorney and Lucerne in his first two World Cup races. The duo impressed again at the World Championships in Chungju, winning a bronze medal.
Mark was selected for the Olympic-class lightweight four in 2014 alongside Chris and the Chambers brothers, Richard and Peter. After winning a hard-fought silver at the European Championships, third-placed finishes followed at the World Cups in Aiguebelette and Lucerne before another bronze was secured in a competitive World Championships final in Amsterdam.
Mark took up sculling in late 2010 and improved under the eyes of the London RC coaching team, with additional input from Beijing 2008 Lightweight Olympian James Lindsay-Fynn.
Club: London Rowing Club
Boat: Lightweight Men’s Squad
Coaches: Rob Morgan
Learnt to Row: Downing College, Cambridge
Original Club(s): Downing College, Cambridge, Cambridge University Lightweight Rowing Club
Original Coach(es): Ian Watson, Phil Bourguignon
Beyond the Boat
Mark graduated in Physics at Downing College, Cambridge and is a qualified UK and European patent attorney, working for Gill Jennings & Every LLP in the City of London.
He has recently dusted off his golf clubs and returned to the driving range, while basketball legend Michael Johnson is the sportsperson he would swap places with for a day.
However, it is cycling that is one of Mark’s major pastimes – he enjoys tinkering with bikes in his spare time and would like to be an independent bike shop owner. Lance Armstrong would be one of his ideal dinner party guests, along with Jeremy Clarkson and Albert Einstein, and he would take his bike to a desert island, along with his girlfriend and an iPhone.
A fan of Cool Runnings, GBK burgers and Oreo milkshakes, Mark’s favourite travel destination is Cornwall – “good walks, good ice cream and good fish and chips. Also not too hot.”
Mark is Lottery funded through UK Sport.
When Vicky Thornley and Katherine Grainger crossed the finish line in their double scull final today they not only won a silver of Goliathan proportions but propelled Grainger into the all-time records books.
Rio’s Lagoa was a place of joy for four GB crews and a theatre of considerable pain for another two today.
The Rio Olympic Games opens tomorrow and rowing will be take place at one of the Games' iconic venues
Britain’s “bankers” for gold - the women’s pair and men’s four - came home with the goods from the European Championships in Brandenburg an der Havel, Germany, today and there was an exciting bonus win from the new-look women’s eight in the Olympic classes as well as superb win for the lightweight men’s pair.