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The GB Rowing Team is the high performance arm of British Rowing. Rowing is the nation’s most continuously successful Olympic sport, having won a gold medal in every Olympic Games since 1984, and has won six Paralympic golds since the sport was introduced to the Paralympic Games programme in 2008.
GB Rowing Team
Rower // Lightweight Women's Squad Date of Birth: 17th Jan 1984 (36 years old)
Club: London Rowing Club Height: 162.00 Hometown: Inverness
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Imogen Walsh is one of GB's most successful lightweight women's rowers having won multiple medals at World and European Championships, as well as on the World Cup stage.
Imogen Walsh is a former cox turned rower who used to work as an extra for TV programmes. She once again played a starring role on the international stage when she won World Championships gold in 2016.
A former cox turned rower, Imogen won the second World Championships gold of her senior career in 2016
©Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images
World Champion Lightweight Women's Quadruple Scull
European Champion Lightweight Women's Single Scull
World Silver Medallist Lightweight Women's Single Scull
2012 & 2014
European Bronze Medallist Lightweight Women's Double Scull
After a third-placed finish at the 2016 GB Rowing Team Trials, Imogen was selected to race in the lightweight women’s single scull at the European Championships in Brandenburg and finished sixth overall. She then joined Brianna Stubbs, Emily Craig and Ellie Piggott in the lightweight women’s quadruple scull for the World Championships in Rotterdam. After winning their race for lanes, the GB quartet showed their quality once again in the final to win gold in impressive style – Imogen’s second world title.
She had gone into the Rio Olympic year having won gold at the 2015 European Champion and silver at the World Championships.
After a winter disrupted by illness, she showed she was back to fitness by winning a closely-fought lightweight women’s single scull final at the GB Rowing Team Senior Trials. She was selected to race in that boat at the European Championships in Poznan and produced a perfectly-judged race to win gold.
Imogen raced in a second GB lightweight double with Ellie Piggott at the World Cup in Varese, finishing a fine fourth, before returning to the single for the Lucerne World Cup and World Championships in Aiguebelette. She put in brilliant performances at both to win silver medals.
Imogen started the Olympiad in a new-look lightweight double with Kathryn Twyman. At the three World Cup regattas they won bronze in Sydney, silver at Eton Dorney and finished fourth in Lucerne – a result they repeated at the World Championships in Chungju.
Olympic champion Kat Copeland returned from a year out to join Imogen in the lightweight double for a 2014 season that began with bronze at the European Championships in Belgrade.
They then won World Cup gold in Aiguebelette and Lucerne but there was disappointment at the World Championships in Amsterdam as Imogen and Kat lost out in a rush of four boats to the line in their semi-final. They responded by winning the B final in a world’s best time.
Imogen first trialled for the GB Rowing Team in 2010 and made her debut the following year at the Holland-Beker International Regatta in Amsterdam, winning double gold in the lightweight women’s double with Stephanie Cullen. The duo then teamed up with Kathryn Twyman and Andrea Dennis to win a fine gold in the lightweight women’s quadruple scull at the 2011 World Championships in Bled.
The 2012 season saw Imogen race in a second GB lightweight double scull with Andrea at the Munich World Cup, finishing sixth overall. She was then partnered with Ruth Walczak for the European Championships in Varese, winning a bronze medal.
Club: London Rowing Club
Boat: Lightweight Women’s Single Scull
Coaches: Paul Reedy
Learnt to Row: Glasgow University Boat Club
Original Club(s): Inverness Rowing Club
Original Coach(es): Mike Foster
Imogen had first got into rowing in 1995 after answering an appeal by Inverness RC for small people to become coxes. She took up sweep rowing in 2003 during her second year at Glasgow University, where she studied for an MA in Philosophy and Politics, before eventually settling on sculling after joining Clyde ARC.
While at university, Imogen worked as an extra for TV programmes like Taggart and River City – “kind of a Scottish version of Eastenders” – and once got a part in a Volvo advert. “I was supposed to be a lifeboat person going to the rescue of a struggling yacht, only to find it was a Volvo yacht so everything was OK.”
Imogen’s favourite travel destination is India. “I love the variety of everything there – of landscape, culture, religion, food – and the people are so friendly.” She first visited there aged 17 while working for an international development charity, which is something she hope to return to post-rowing. She is currently studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in International Development and says: “Hopefully I will have a more hands-on role overseas.”
Another of Imogen’s aims is to “live near the hills somewhere, so I’ll be able to take my ‘future’ spaniel for walks.”
As well as yoga and exploring galleries and cafes in London, Imogen really enjoys cooking. Her favourite TV programmes are Great British Bake Off and Masterchef, “although you don’t survive in the women’s squad without liking Game of Thrones”. Her dream dinner party guests are Boris Johnson – “a marmite figure but he would be pretty entertaining!” – and David Attenborough, plus her dad’s stepfather. “He died when I was in my early teens and I regret not getting to know him more, I think he probably had some pretty good stories to tell.”
Imogen is Lottery Funded through UK Sport.
The GB Rowing Team claimed a golden hat-trick on Saturday to finish top of the medal table at the Senior World Rowing Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Big gusts of wind were unable to prevent GB Rowing Team’s defending champions making smooth progress on Monday afternoon as the Senior World Championships got under way in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
British Rowing has announced two more senior crews for the 2016 World Rowing Championships, completing selection for this month’s regatta in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Defending champions Joel Cassells, Sam Scrimgeour and Henry Fieldman are among the senior athletes announced today by British Rowing for the 2016 World Rowing Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.