Rio 2016 Olympian Will Fletcher announces his retirement from international rowing

Will Fletcher has announced his retirement from international rowing following a decade of exceptional performances for Great Britain

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(c) Naomi Baker

Fletcher leaves the sport after spending ten years at the top of British lightweight rowing, covering both sculling and sweep disciplines. He can reflect on an impressive haul of international medals including silver and bronze at the World Rowing Championships, gold at the World U23 Championships and four consecutive wins at Henley Royal Regatta.

Fletcher was selected for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the lightweight men’s double sculls alongside Richard Chambers. The two finished seventh, winning their B final on the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. Fletcher describes his Olympic experience as “a challenge like no other, but an amazing experience nonetheless.”

A current member of Leander Club, Fletcher first started rowing at Chester-le-Street Rowing Club in 2002 inspired by his sister Frances, herself an U23 World silver medallist in 2005. He gained his first international vest in the 2006 GB v France J16 Match with a gold medal in the junior men’s four.

During this Olympiad, Fletcher has battled – and tenaciously overcome – an extended period of injury. His stand out performance at the 2019 GB Final Trials, where he won the Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls by open water, paid testament to his enduring spirit, unwavering determination and racing grit.

Having taken the decision to retire from competition, Fletcher now plans to apply his technical and leadership skills as a rowing coach.

GB Rowing Team lightweight coach Darren Whiter said: “Will’s contribution to a hugely successful period for GB’s lightweight men is a legacy he can be proud of. Achieving World Championship medals in each of the two lightweight boats during the Rio Olympiad, his place in our team’s annals of success is well earned and richly deserved.

“The fondest memory for me will always be Will and Richard Chambers qualifying the double in style at the 2015 World Championships and coming away with a wonderful silver medal.

“I wish him all the best in his coaching career and look forward to working with him again.”

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