Katherine Copeland looking to learn from Rio 2016 experience in run up to third Olympic Games

After a frustrating Rio 2016 campaign, Katherine Copeland starts 2017 in good form with a win in the GB Rowing Team Senior and U23 Trials


Katherine Copeland at the 2017 GB Rowing Team Senior and U23 Trials - Naomi Baker

Four years on from her memorable gold medal at London 2012, Katherine Copeland endured a frustrating experience in her second Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro last August.

The Teessider shot to fame at the London Games as she won gold in the lightweight women’s double scull alongside Sophie Hosking and went into Rio 2016 among the favourites in the same event, this time rowing with Charlotte Booth (nee Taylor).

The pair eventually finished 14th overall in Brazil – the culmination of a difficult year – but Copeland, who won the women’s lightweight single event at the GB Rowing Team Senior and U23 Trials, is keen to learn from the experience ahead of what could be her third Olympic experience at Tokyo 2020.

“It’s nice to actually start racing [at Trials] because it means the summer racing is about to come and that’s what we do it for,” Copeland said.

“I feel a bit different this year because I had the chance to look back at the Olympiad as a whole and compare it to London, to see what things I did differently and what things worked.

“I feel like this year I’ve been a bit more confident in myself and tried to make it more of a building [process] rather than hitting everything full throttle. That will put me in a better place; mentally I’m feeling more relaxed and I’m enjoying it a bit more.”

Copeland and the rest of the GB Rowing Team are building to their main goal for the season, the World Rowing Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida. The team begins its season at the first World Cup event in Belgrade between 5-7 May, before heading to the European Championships in Racice, Czech Republic between 26-28 May.