GB Rowing Team Announce Squad for World Championships

posted by Roy Sinclair - 17 Jul 2014, 10:53 a.m.

Including Inverness members Imogen Walsh and Alan Sinclair

GB Rowing Team Performance Director Sir David Tanner and his Chief Coaches Jurgen Grobler and Paul Thompson have today underlined their confidence in a national squad which has so far delivered 31 medals at World Cup and European level this season, 12 of them gold.

The trio named a largely-unchanged GB Rowing Team to compete at the World Championships next month of 66 rowers (including spares) in 19 crews.

Eye-catching wins from the men's four at two World Cups, the European Championships and Henley this year have made them one of the crews to watch in Amsterdam when the event takes place from 24-31 August.

Double Olympic Champion Andrew Triggs Hodge is named as stroke of this crew which includes 2012 Champion Alex Gregory with 2013 World men's eight champions George Nash and Mohamed Sbihi.

Hodge talked of his excitement at a World Championships in a country like Holland. He said: "Holland is a great rowing nation, with a huge following. Having a chance to race in Amsterdam will be akin to racing at our Olympic home in Dorney. The crowd make any sporting event and I'm eager to see what the Dutch will do and, knowing the Dutch a little, I think this will be a Worlds to remember".

Olympic Champions Helen Glover and Heather Stanning have been back in harness together in the women's pair since the World Cup in France four weeks ago and now have two 2014 World Cup wins under their belt. Glover also took the 2013 World title in this event with Polly Swann with whom she added the European title in May of this year - when Stanning was on active British Army duty for a year.

Glover explained: "It's an exciting team announcement because after a year with a few chops and changes I am excited about how the project continues to grow. After a strong start, I feel we've got a lot of improvements to make in the next few weeks".

Stanning said: "I am clearly delighted to be selected. It was always my main aim to get back into the boat with Helen. I wasn't always sure I'd be able to achieve this in the one season especially after my year back with the Army and returning to training later than normally would be expected.

"Obviously I have had my ups and down but we've had some really great racing and now with a solid block of training ahead of us before the Championships we can definitely continue to move forward. Working with Helen again is a dream come true".

Swann is named amongst a group of nine women for eight seats, in the GB Rowing Team women's eight for Amsterdam. This unit, stroked in the last two events by Caragh McMurtry and coxed by Zoe de Toledo, has won medals at World Cup and European level already this season. Jess Eddie, Louisa Reeve and Katie Greves are all seasoned competitors selected into this boat class.

In Lucerne the eight were just pipped to silver by Romania in a race won by Canada. The intensity of their own disappointment at missing out on silver will be a significant motivation as they head to the training camps.

Meanwhile there is a new kind of pressure of expectation on the men's quadruple scull crew of Graeme Thomas, Sam Townsend, Charles Cousins and Peter Lambert since they won Britain's first medal of all-time in this event at senior World Championships level in Korea in 2013.

"Now a big aim for the men's squad is to defend that medal", said Grobler recently whilst Thomas, a rugby player who came into the sport through "Start", the GB Rowing Team's talent identification and development programme, added: "It's a new pressure to deal with. When you are an underdog there is no pressure, now you've got that internal pressure. You want to achieve and everyone else is now expecting it".

By contrast the men's double scull of John Collins and Jonny Walton have the verve and bounce of newcomers who have nothing to fear. They have reached the final in both world cups and the European Championships this season.

Alan Campbell is the only big name missing from the open men's sculling line up. After an unexpectedly below par showing at the Europeans and at the World Cup this weekend, he will not race in Amsterdam.

The men's eight completes a strong men's open weight squad for Amsterdam. This boat is the exception to the "tried and tested" rule in 2014 as it has been shaped and sorted through the racing season to reach its current line-up.

One of the key features in this crew in 2014 has been the continuity and pedigree offered by double Olympic men's four Champion Pete Reed, particularly after his health problems during the winter's training, and the consistent presence of Will Satch, latterly at stroke, who was a World Champion with Reed in the eight in Korea.

Matt Gotrel and Paul Bennett moved into the boat after winning a men's pair bronze at the World Cup in France in late June. Tom Ransley, World Champion in 2013 is back from injury and 2012 bronze medallist Constantine Louloudis won a seat after finishing his University studies for this year.

The "new' crew were tested in six-lane international racing for the first time at the World Cup in Lucerne at the weekend. They won a bronze there after which cox Phelan Hill said: "We can go away with confidence now to the training camps. That gives us a good platform on which to build".

With the eight settled, James Foad and Matt Langridge have been named in the men's pair. As a new line-up they seized the opportunity to race in Lucerne where they not only qualified for the final but won an exciting silver.

Veteran Olympian Frances Houghton is named, subject to medical clearance, in the women's double scull alongside Victoria Thornley who raced in the single scull at the weekend's World Cup where she qualified for the final in style from a field which included the Olympic and World Champion.

The open weight women's quadruple scull has been selected and features Beth Rodford, Vicky Meyer-Laker and Kristina Stiller. Lucinda Gooderham's return to the boat from a period of illness is still under scrutiny and the final place in this boat and the final selection of the women's eight will be made at a later date. Olivia Carnegie Brown substituted into this boat at Henley and in Lucerne.

Britain also fields a lightweight line-up with strong medal potential in Amsterdam. Three of the lightweight men's four are already Olympic silver medallists and their new bowman Mark Aldred came into the line-up via a World lightweight men's pair bronze in Korea last year.

In Lucerne at the weekend they were bronze medallists. This is a tightly contested boat class at the very top of the sport with Denmark and New Zealand as well as several other nations vying to get a podium slot. Chris Bartley underlined the crew's determination to better their Lucerne result when he said: ""I am looking forward to going away to the training camps and getting some good work done there and coming back stronger".

Kat Copeland, the Olympic champion with Sophie Hosking two years ago, is back in the squad after a year out. She and Imogen Walsh won the World Cup in Aiguebelette a month ago and added a second gold in Lucerne. Both women were pleased with the way they performed under the scrutiny of enhanced expectation compared to the prior World Cup.

Behind them there is a very promising group of lightweight women's scullers who are also vying for a slot in one of only two places for this section of the sport at the Olympic Games. In Amsterdam Ruth Walczak, 2013 World single scull bronze medallist, World U23 gold medallists Brianna Stubbs and Ellie Piggott along with exciting senior debutante Charlotte Taylor will race in a lightweight quad.

In 2014 Great Britain has a new lightweight men's double scull of Will Fletcher and Jamie Kirkwood. They have had mixed fortunes since finishing in the top two slots in the GB Rowing Team Senior Trials in April as they learn their craft at senior international level. Last year this boat class was raced by the Chambers brothers who took World bronze.

Adam Freeman-Pask, the Olympic reserve in 2012 and bronze medallist in the four in Korea, will race the lightweight single scull. Jono Clegg and Sam Scrimgeour complete the lightweight line-up. They have already tasted medal success in the lightweight men's pair this season.

In the para-rowing squad Rachel Morris has made a breakthrough into the sport this season, having switched from cycling where she was a Paralympic Games champion in 2008.

She won silver at the World Cup in Aiguebelette in her debut international regatta. In Amsterdam she will race the arms and shoulders single scull.

Tom Aggar, winner in Aiguebelette and a 2008 Paralympic champion, is named in the equivalent men's boat.

Stiff competition for a seat in the legs-trunk-arms mixed coxed four will see three returning 2013 World champions - Pamela Relph, James Fox and cox Oliver James - joined by 2014 newcomers Grace Clough and Dan Brown GB were World Cup winners in Aiguebelette but know that the competition will be fiercer in Amsterdam.

The reserves, called "Spares" in rowing, for Amsterdam are: Phil Congdon, Oliver Cook and Monica Relph with others to be named after the World U23 Championships.

CREW LISTS

World Rowing Championships 2014
(listed bow to stroke with cox)
Amsterdam, 24-31 August

OPEN

WOMEN

Pair

Helen Glover (Minerva Bath RC/Penzance/17.06.86)/
Heather Stanning (Army RC/Lossiemouth/26.01.85)
Coaches: Robin Williams & Paul Thompson

Eight (cox + eight from nine rowers to be selected from):

Rosamund Bradbury (Leander Club/Banstead/17.12.88)/
Olivia Carnegie-Brown (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Oxford/28.03.91)/
Jessica Eddie (London RC/Durham/07.10.84)/
Donna Etiebet (Sport Imperial BC/London/29.04.86)/
Katie Greves (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)/
Zoe Lee (Imperial College BC/Richmond, N. Yorks/15.12.85)/
Caragh McMurtry (Reading Univ BC/Southampton/22.08.91)/
Louisa Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)/
Polly Swann (Leander Club/Edinburgh/15.06.88)/
Zoe de Toledo (cox) (Leander Club/London/17.07.87)
Coach: James Harris

Double scull

Frances Houghton (Leander Club/Oxford/19.09.80)/ (subject to medical clearance)
Victoria Thornley (Leander Club/Wrexham/30.11.87)
Coaches: Paul Thompson/Robin Williams

Quadruple scull

Kristina Stiller (Tees RC/Yarm/23.06.87)/
ANO Rower
Victoria Meyer-Laker (Leander Club/Premnay/18.03.88)/
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Gloucester/28.12.82)
Coach: Nick Strange

Open women spares:

Monica Relph (Leander Club/Cambridge/15.01.88)/
+ 1 from Eight group

OPEN

MEN

Pair

James Foad (Molesey BC/Southampton/20.03.87)/
Matt Langridge (Leander Club/Northwich/20.05.83)
Coach: Rob Dauncey

Coxed Pair

Alan Sinclair (Leander Club/Inverness/16.10.85)/
Scott Durant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Lancaster/12.02.88/
Henry Fieldman (cox) (Molesey BC/London/25.11.88
Coach: John West

Four

Alex Gregory (Leander Club/Wormington/11.03.84)/
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)/
George Nash (Molesey BC/Guildford/10.02.89)/
Andrew Triggs Hodge (Molesey BC/Hebden, N. Yorks/03.03.79)
Coach: Jurgen Grobler

Eight

Nathaniel Reilly-O'Donnell (Univ of London BC/Durham/13.04.88)/
Tom Ransley (Leander Club/Cambridge/06.09.85)/
Paul Bennett (Univ of London BC/Leeds/16.12.88)/
Matthew Gotrel (Leander Club/Chipping Campden/01.03.89)/
Pete Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth, Glos/27.07.81)/
Constantine Louloudis (OUBC, London, 15/09/91)/
Matthew Tarrant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Shepperton/11.07.90)/
Will Satch (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/09.06.89)/
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Putney & Bedford/21.07.79)
Coaches: Christian Felkel & Jurgen Grobler

Double scull

John Collins (Leander Club/Twickenham/24.01.89)/
Jonathan Walton (Leander Club/Leicester/06.10.90)
Coach: Mark Banks

Quadruple scull

Graeme Thomas (Agecroft RC/Preston/08.11.88)/
Sam Townsend (Reading Univ BC/Reading/26.11.85)/
Charles Cousins (Leander Club/Willingham/13.12.88)/
Peter Lambert (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/03.12.86)
Coach: Paul Stannard

Open men's spares

Oliver Cook (Univ of London BC/Windsor/05.06.90)/
Phil Congdon (Molesey BC/Bury St Edmunds/06.06.89)

LIGHTWEIGHT

WOMEN

Double scull

Imogen Walsh (London RC/Inverness/17.01.84)/
Kat Copeland (Tees RC/Ashington/01.12.90)
Coach: Paul Reedy

Quadruple scull

Ruth Walczak ((Molesey BC/Rochdale/15.09.88)/
Eleanor Piggott (Wallingford RC/Olney/16.05.91)/
Brianna Stubbs (Wallingford RC/Headington/13.07.91)/
Charlotte Taylor (Putney Town RC/Bedford/14.08.85)
Coach: Tom Evens

MEN

Pair

Jonathan Clegg (Leander Club/Maidenhead/14.07.89)/
Sam Scrimgeour (Imperial College BC/Kirriemuir/28.01.88)
Coach: Rob Morgan

Four

Mark Aldred (London RC/London/18.04.87)/
Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Coleraine/14.03.90)/
Richard Chambers (Leander Club/Coleraine/10.06.85)/
Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Chester/02.02.84)
Coach: Rob Morgan

Single Scull

Adam Freeman-Pask (Reading Univ BC/Windsor/19.06.85)
Coach: Darren Whiter

Double scull

William Fletcher (Leander Club/Chester-le-Street/24.12.89)/
Jamie Kirkwood (Leander Club/Creswell/30.08.89)
Coach: Darren Whiter

PARA SQUAD

Arms & Shoulders Men's Single Scull
Tom Aggar (Royal Docks RC/Maidenhead/24.05.84)
Coach: Nick Baker

Arms & Shoulders Women's Single Scull
Rachel Morris (Guildford RC/Farnham/25.04.70)
Coach: Nick Baker

Legs-Trunk -Arms Mixed Coxed Four
Grace Clough (Nottingham RC/Sheffield/ 21.06.91)/
Pamela Relph (Leander Club/Aylesbury/14.11.89)/
Dan Brown (Upper Thames RC/Reading/29.11.82)
James Fox (Univ of London/Peterborough/02.05.92)/
Oliver James (cox) (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/05.10.90)
Coach: Tom Dyson

MANAGEMENT AND TEAM SUPPORT
Performance

Sir David Tanner, Performance Director / Team Manager
Jürgen Grobler, Chief Coach Men
Paul Thompson, Chief Coach Women & Lightweights
Louise Kingsley, ATM - Para

Medical & Science

Ann Redgrave, Doctor
Liz Arnold, Physiotherapist
Roz Brawn, Physiotherapist
Sally Brown, Physiotherapist
Pat Dunleavy, Physiotherapist
Mark Homer, Physiologist

Media & Logistics

Caroline Searle, Press Officer
Maggie Netto, ATM - Admin
Maurice Hayes, ATM - Resources
John Tetley, Boatman



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