THE Olympics may be over, but 20 Leander athletes are back in contention for medals this
THE Olympics may be over, but 20 Leander athletes are back in contention for medals this week at the World Championships in Rotterdam.
Combining the non-Olympic boat classes with the world U23 and junior championships the regatta has attracted a massive entry of more than 2,000 athletes, taking part on the new Willem-Alexander course on the outskirts of the city.
The all-Leander GB U23 quad has progressed through to the finals, along with the rest of their clubmates. Harry Leask, Rowan Law, Harry Glenister and Andy Joel won the Queen Mother Challenge Cup at Henley last month and, after a hiccup in their heat, won Tuesday’s repechage comfortably.
Leander’s Jess Leyden and Reading University’s Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne are hot favourites for a medal in the U23 women’s double sculls having won both their heat and semi-final in style.
Single sculler Tom Barras, who won GB U23 trials earlier in the year to place himself in contention for Rotterdam, slipped to second place in his heat but put in a strong performance to win his quarter-final and progress to the semis.
Meanwhile lightweight contender Sam Mottram, out of last year’s GB quad, is also progressing well. The GB U23 four includes Leander’s Tom George and James Johnston with Lewis McCue and James Rudkin. The crew contested the Stewards’ Challenge Cup at Henley and have won both their heat and semi-final in Rotterdam to place themselves well in contention for a medal.
At senior level the GB women’s four, including Leander’s Holly Nixon, Holly Norton and Fi Gammond, with Molesey’s Donna Etiebet, are coached by Jane Hall, and cruised to victory in their heat and qualified direct for their final this weekend.
It was a similar story for Leander vice-captain Callum McBrierty in the coxed pair. Partnering Ollie Cook of University of London, the pair are steered by last year’s world champion, Henry Fieldman, and recorded the fastest time in Monday’s heats, where they beat Canada and Ukraine to the line.