GB Rowing Team announce squad for European Championships in Poland
The GB Rowing Team, announced today to race at this month’s European Championships in Poland, has a different look and feel from its 2014 make-up.
Reigning men’s four World Champions Mohamed Sbihi, Alex Gregory and George Nash will race from 29-31 May in the men’s eight with 2014 eights World Champions Matt Gotrel, Paul Bennett, Peter Reed, Will Satch and cox Phelan Hill in a crew which also features international senior debutant Stewart Innes. This is a boat class in which Britain has taken the last two World Championships titles.
“Everyone has pushed very hard in training over the winter because only two people in the open men’s squad didn’t get a World Championships medal last year so everyone is aware of how strong this squad is. We have been using each other to improve”, said Sbihi.
The move means that Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell, Tom Ransley, Alan Sinclair and Scott Durant will contest the men’s four, an event that GB won at the last European Championships. The former were both World Champions in the eight last year whilst the latter duo were silver medalists in the coxed pair.
James Foad and Matt Langridge, who took World men’s pair silver in 2014, remain the specialist pair. They posted the fastest time by a GB men’s pair in history in winning that 2014 silver, overhauling the time set by James Cracknell and Sir Matt Pinsent in 2002.
Andrew Triggs Hodge and Constantine Louloudis, both World and Olympic medallists, are ruled out of selection, Triggs Hodge through illness and Louloudis because he is sitting his finals at Oxford University before rejoining the squad after the season’s second world Cup.
Sir David Tanner, Performance Director for the GB Rowing Team, said: “In one sense we have an embarrassment of riches in the open men’s sweep squad, with 11 World Champions and five other World medallists, returning from last year. However, we are not complacent. This is an Olympic qualifying year and other nations will be stepping up. The depth of competition will be stronger and, against that background, we are looking at honing a squad that gives us the best possible chance of qualifying all of our men’s boats for Rio.
“The European Championships are an important event in their own right, too, and everyone selected will also want to add medals and titles there.”
GB has named an unchanged men’s quadruple scull of Graeme Thomas, Sam Townsend, Charles Cousins and Peter Lambert. The quartet were a smidgen away from World gold last year, winning silver to add to the bronze they took in 2013 – Britain’s first in this event since the World Championships began.
Jonny Walton and John Collins have kept hold of their seats in the men’s double scull despite growing pressure from 2014 World U23 medallists Jack Beaumont and Angus Groom. With Alan Campbell still returning from illness, Groom, who was fourth in the GB Rowing Team Trials in this event last month, is selected to race the single scull in Poznan.
Olympic and World Champions Helen Glover and Heather Stanning will have the opportunity to defend the women’s pair title won for GB by Glover with Polly Swann a year ago. This time round Swann misses out with injury.
Glover said: We anticipate an incredibly tough field this year but the aim is to win medals whilst not losing sight of the main goal which is Rio next year.”
Stanning added: “If you look back 12 months I’m in far better shape than I was then. I’ve had a really solid winter and training has been going very well.”
A year ago Katherine Grainger was watching from the lakeside as a BBC pundit in Serbia when Vicky Thornley raced to sixth place with Frances Houghton in the women’s double scull. Houghton races the single in Poznan.
No doubt the fledgling Grainger-Thornley combination will attract some attention beyond rowing fans. Grainger, of course, is the Olympic champion in this discipline, a title she won with Anna Watkins in 2012, and is coming back into the sport after a gap of over two years.
Charlotte Taylor has been picked ahead of Imogen Walsh in the lightweight women’s double scull and will race with Olympic Champion Kat Copeland. Walsh moves into the single.
“The selections in this boat class have been very, very tight,” said Tanner. “We needed a photo-finish to separate Taylor and Walsh at the Trials and this continues to be a very competitive section of our team.”
Britain also has a new-look lightweight men’s double scull with the experienced 2012 lightweight men’s four medallist Richard Chambers teaming up with Will Fletcher from the 2014 crew.
Joel Cassells is named as a newcomer at senior level and moves into the lightweight men’s four to race with Chris Bartley – a 2012 silver medallist – and 2014 World bronze winners Mark Aldred and Sam Scrimgeour.
Other selections include a fresh women’s quad crew including 2013 World Junior Champion Jess Leyden, seasoned Olympian and 2010 World Champion Beth Rodford with Melanie Wilson, who qualified as a doctor only a month or so ago, and Tina Stiller from the 2014 crew.
The women’s eight is coxed once more by Zoe de Toledo and features experienced Olympians Jess Eddie, Katie Greves and Louisa Reeve.
Zak Lee Green races the lightweight men’s single scull whilst the GB lightweight pair will be Jonno Clegg and Peter Chambers, a 2012 silver medallist in the four. Jamie Kirkwood who fought back from a knee injury to win his second successive GB Rowing Team senior team trials last month, misses out again because of injury.
Britain won eight medals, including two golds, at the 2014 European Championships which took place in Belgrade, Serbia. Poznan’s Lake Malta, home of the 2015 Championships has hosted many top international rowing events including the 2007 European Championships and the 2009 World Championships.
The event will be broadcast live by BBC TV.
For more pictures from the European Championships team announcement, visit our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/gbrowingteam
CREW LISTS (Includes club, home town, date of birth)
GB Rowing Team for the 2015 European Championships,
Poznan, 29-31 May
Helen Glover (Minerva Bath RC/Penzance/17.06.86)
Heather Stanning (Army RC/Lossiemouth/26.01.85)
Coach: Robin Williams
Katie Greves (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)
Olivia Carnegie-Brown (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Oxford/28.03.91)
Lucinda Gooderham (Leander Club/Garboldisham/09.06.84)
Donna Etiebet (Sport Imperial/London/29.04.86)
Jessica Eddie (London RC/Durham/07.10.84)
Louise Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)
Rosamund Bradbury (Leander Club/Banstead/17.12.88)
Zoe Lee (Imperial College BC/Richmond/15.12.85)
Zoe De Toledo (cox) (Leander Club/London/17.07.87)
Coach: James Harris
Frances Houghton (Univ of London Tyrian Club/Oxford/19.09.80)
Coach: Nick Strange
Katherine Grainger (St Andrew BC/Glasgow/12.11.75)
Victoria Thornley (Leander Club/Wrexham/30.11.87)
Coach: Paul Thompson
Melanie Wilson (Imperial College BC/London/25.06.84)
Kristina Stiller (Tees RC/Yarm/07.12.93)
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Gloucester/28.12.82)
Jessica Leyden (Leander Club/Todmorden/22.02.95)
Coach: Nick Strange
Karen Bennett (Leander Club/Edinburgh/05.02.89)
Becca Chin (Agecroft RC/Deganwy/11.12.91)
James Foad (Molesey BC/Southampton/20.03.87)
Matt Langridge (Leander Club/Northwich/20.05.83)
Coach: Rob Dauncey
Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell (Univ of London BC/Durham/13.04.88)
Alan Sinclair (Leander Club/Munlochy/16.10.85)
Tom Ransley (Leander Club/Ashford/06.09.85)
Scott Durant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Lancaster/12.02.88)
Coach: Christian Felkel
Matt Gotrel (Leander Club/Chipping Campden/01.03.89)
Stewart Innes (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/20.05.91)
Pete Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth/27.07.81)
Paul Bennett (Univ of London BC/Leeds/16.12.88)
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)
Alex Gregory (Leander Club/Wormington/11.03.84)
George Nash (Molesey BC/Guildford/02.10.89)
Will Satch (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/09.06.89)
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)
Coach: Jurgen Grobler
Angus Groom (Leander Club/Glasgow/16.06.92)
Coach: John West
Jonny Walton (Leander Club/Leicester/06.10.90)
John Collins (Leander Club/Twickenham/24.01.89)
Coach: Mark Banks
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/Maidenhead/03.12.86)
Coach: Paul Stannard
Jack Beaumont (Leander Club/Maidenhead/21.11.93)
Callum McBrierty (Leander Club/Edinburgh/13.08.92)
Matthew Tarrant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Shepperton/11.07.90)
Imogen Walsh (London RC/Inverness/17.01.84)
Coach: Paul Reedy
Kat Copeland (Tees RC/Ingleby Barwick/01.12.90)
Charlotte Taylor (Putney Town RC/Bedford/14.08.85)
Coach: Paul Reedy
Jonathan Clegg (Leander Club/Maidenhead/14.07.89)
Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Coleraine/14.03.90)
Coach: Rob Morgan
Sam Scrimgeour (Imperial College BC/Kirriemuir/28.01.88)
Joel Cassells (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Coleraine/15.06.94)
Mark Aldred (London RC/Birmingham/18.04.87)
Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Chester/02.02.84)
Coach: Rob Morgan
Zak Lee-Green (Agecroft RC/Cardiff/05.02.91)
Coach: Darren Whiter
Richard Chambers (Leander Club/Coleraine/10.06.85)
Will Fletcher (Leander Club/Chester-le-Street/24.12.89)
Coach: Darren Whiter
2015 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS TIMETABLE
Provisional timetable (all times BST)
Friday 29 May
08.30 -12.10 – Heats
14.30-15.40 – Repechages
Saturday 30 May
08.30- 08.45 – Semis C/D
08.50-11.15 – Repechages and Semis A/B
11.20-11.25 – Finals D
11.30-12.00 – Finals C
Sunday 31 May
07.45-09.05 – B Finals
09.33-13.33 – Finals
Official website for full timetable: http://www.erch2015.com/
A LOOK BACK TO THE 2014 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Last year’s event in Belgrade, Serbia, was the first time that the GB Rowing Team had taken a full team to the European Championships and they were rewarded with eight medals, including two gold.
Those results put GB on top of the medal table and set the team up for a successful year on the World Cup circuit and at the World Championships in Amsterdam.
2014 European Championships Medals
Women’s Pair – GOLD
Helen Glover, Polly Swann
Men’s Four – GOLD
Alex Gregory, Mohamed Sbihi, George Nash, Andrew Triggs Hodge
Women’s Eight – SILVER
Rosamund Bradbury, Olivia Carnegie-Brown, Katie Greves, Donna Etiebet, Jessica Eddie, Zoe Lee,Caragh McMurtry, Louisa Reeve, Zoe de Toledo (cox)
Men’s Quadruple Scull – SILVER
Sam Townsend, Charles Cousins, Graeme Thomas, Peter Lambert
Lightweight Men’s Pair – SILVER
Sam Scrimgeour, Jonathan Clegg
Lightweight Men’s Four – SILVER
Mark Aldred, Peter Chambers, Richard Chambers, Chris Bartley
Men’s Eight – BRONZE
Phil Congdon, Oliver Cook, Matthew Gotrel, Pete Reed, William Satch, Matthew Tarrant, Scott Durant, James Foad, Phelan Hill (cox)
Lightweight Women’s Double Scull – BRONZE
Imogen Walsh, Katherine Copeland