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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 // Men's Squad Date of Birth: 16th Dec 1988 (32 years old)
Club: University of London Boat Club Height: 207.00 Hometown: Leeds
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Paul Bennett enjoyed a memorable Olympic debut as he added Rio 2016 gold to the back-to-back World Championship titles he had won with the men’s eight.
Paul Bennett is an Oxford Blue and is in his fourth season with the senior squad, having made his GB Rowing Team debut in the first international race of the Rio Olympiad.
The tallest rower in the GB squad at 6’8”, Bennett has also won European silver and bronze plus a of World Cup medals during an impressive start to his international career.
Paul followed up back-to-back World Championship titles by winning Olympic gold with the men's eight at Rio 2016
©Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images
Olympic Champion Men's Eight
European Bronze Medallist Men's Eight
World Champion Men's Eight
European Silver Medallist Men's Eight
Bennett was once again selected in the men’s eight for the 2016 season and won a bronze medal at the European Championships in Brandenburg, with GB taking third place on the finish line. Alan Sinclair subbed in for the ill Pete Reed for the Lucerne World Cup, where GB finished fourth. Reed returned for the World Cup in Poznan, where the GB eight enjoyed a good tussle with the Olympic champions from Germany on their way to a silver medal.
The eight saved their best until last and at Rio they won their Olympic heat in fine fashion. The Olympic final saw them lead from the front and they produced a devastating performance to record an emphatic victory and were crowned as Rio 2016 gold-medallists.
Bennett’s second World title came at the end of an enthralling 2015 for the GB men’s eight, who enjoyed a season-long battle with Germany.
Earlier in the season, the Germans had enjoyed the upper hand at the European Championships in Poznan, Poland but the tables were turned at the World Cup in Varese, where GB produced a thrilling late surge to win gold by three-tenths of a second. It was even closer in Lucerne as Bennett and his crew held on the narrowest of victories.
The World Championships in Aiguebelette promised even more drama and did not disappoint as the rivals went head-to-head once again. This time the GB eight won by two-tenths of a second to claim gold for a third successive year.
Bennett had first raced with the eight at the Lucerne World Cup in 2014, winning a bronze medal. He retained his place for the World Championships in Amsterdam and helped GB return to the top of the podium with a convincing victory.
Before that he had raced in the men’s pair, first at the Eton Dorney World Cup in 2013 when he and Karl Hudspith placed seventh. He was then paired with Matt Gotrel at the start of the following season, winning a fine bronze at the Aiguebelette World Cup.
Bennett raced in the men’s eight at the 2012 FISU World University Rowing Championships in Kazan, winning a silver medal.
Club: University of London Boat Club
Boat: Men’s Squad
Coaches: Sean Bowden
Learnt to Row: University of London Boat Club
Original Club(s): University of London Boat Club
Original Coach(es): Brian Young, Rusty Williams
Bennett was actively involved with sport from a young age, and went on to graduate from King’s College London in 2012 with a first-class honours degree in Mathematics.
He then studied for a masters degree in Computer Science at Oxford University and raced in the victorious Blue boat in the men’s Boat Race in 2013.
Bennett is Lottery funded through UK Sport.