GB Rowing Team in shape to do the nation proud

GB Performance Director David Tanner has today spoken
with confidence of the GB Rowing Team’s ability to
“do the nation proud” on home waters in July and August
this year.

The man who has overseen the preparations for every
squad going into the Games since 1996 was in buoyant
mood today.

“We have already qualified 47 from a possible 48
rowers for the Olympic Games thanks to strong
results, including 10 Olympic-class medals, at the
2011 World Championships. That’s our best ever”, he said.

“We are an ambitious team and although the rest of the
world is likely to raise its game and make it tough
for us to win medals, I am still sure that our lottery
and Siemens-backed squad will do us proud on home
waters in July and August”.

Beijing Olympic gold medallist Andrew Triggs Hodge
backed his Performance Director’s sentiments and talked
of the competition for places within the GB squad:

“Thinking forward to London 2012 we are a big team, everyone’s
pushing for it at the moment. Everyone is fighting for those top
seats. Already there is furious racing going on. It’s great to be part of
the team and I’m really looking forward to it.

“We have young guys fighting out there for their first Games and
their first gold medal. They have to prove themselves over and over
again and we’ve got to do no less. If ever we think we’ve got our name
on our seats, if ever we think ‘oh yes, we’ve got this in the bag’ someone
else will take the opportunity to improve”, he said.

The rowers were back at their UK training base at the six-month to
go marker with two and, for some, three training sessions on the day
and more testing to face over the weekend. They have recently been to overseas
camps in South Africa (men’s squad) and Portugal (women and lightweights) to get
consistency of training away from recent blustery conditions at home.

“I am sure that the home Olympic Games will be an amazing
experience”, said three-times Olympic medallist Katherine Grainger
who will be competing in her fourth Games. Grainger, who won
world gold in 2010 and 2011 with Anna Watkins in the women’s
double scull is part of a women’s squad which includes rowers
who won World Championships gold, silver and bronze last year.

“Already more people are aware of the Games, they are more
switched in. We have to concentrate on the task in hand but It
will also be fantastic to have that wave of home support”.

Britain has always been traditionally strong at the open men’s
sweep (one rower, one oar each) events at the Olympic Games
and World Championships – with the GB Rowing Team’s men’s
four currently reigning World and Olympic champions – but in
recent years the nation has expanded its medal successes at world cup,
World Championships and Olympic Games to the women’s and lightweight
sweep and sculling (one rower, two oars) events, too.

Britain has had world champion women’s crews in almost every year
since 2006 and the lightweight men’s double scull are reigning
world champions alongside the open weight men’s four.

There is also a strong open men’s sculling squad headed by names like
Alan Campbell (World Championships medallist in 2009, 10 and 11) and
Matt Wells (Olympic bronze medallist). Campbell says that the excitement
is already there for him.

“Hopefully, this will be my year”, he said. “Not just for me but for British
sculling, too. We haven’t got the tradition that the sweepers have but at
the same time it’s quite a unique and special position we’re in. We’re not
emulating something that’s been done before. It is something that is new

“We’re hoping to do something similar to the women’s team since 2000
– to develop success in the same way across the board”. he added of the
squad which includes new combinations since 2000 in the men’s
double and quadruple sculls.

Matt Wells, a veteran of every Games since Sydney 2000 said:
“Racing in front of a home crowd is an enticing prospect. Before that
time, though, we’ve got a big job to do every day in training so that
we can make all that hard work pay off when it counts in August”.

In 2008, GB rowers enjoyed their finest Games of the modern era
winning two golds (men’s four and lightweight men’s double, two silvers
(women’s quad and men’s eight) and two bronzes (women’s and men’s
double sculls).

The GB Rowing team also marked today’s milestone by inviting
the British public to experience a taste of the training they undertake
through “the Nation on Trial” scheme which is being backed
by big-name rowers like Sir Matthew Pinsent, Katherine Grainger
and Mark Hunter.

Members of the public can register from today at
to train for and record their best possible 2k (the Olympic distance)
time before 29 February on an indoor rowing machine.

Training guides and top tips will come from the GB Rowing Team
and all entrants will enter a prize draw to have the chance to
join the Team at their Trials on the Olympic course at Eton in March.

More details of this scheme are available at:


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For media enquiries about the GB Rowing Team please contact:

Caroline Searle – This release and national and general enquiries:

M: Caroline Searle (07831) 755351


For press enquiries about the Nation on Trial and regional
media please contact:

Andy on (01225) 443998 or 07714 168391


GB Rowing Team website – full biogs available

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