Sunday, 17 December 2017

Leander duo thrilled to be at Youth Olympics

ALL kitted out in GB colours, Leander Club rower Jamie Copus can’t quite articulate how special it is to represent GB

ALL kitted out in GB colours, Leander Club rower Jamie Copus can’t quite articulate how special it is to represent his country once again after being selected for the Australian Youth Olympic Festival.

And primed to compete in three events on the Sydney waters later this month, the 19-year-old doesn’t see any reason why he can’t return from competing in the sun with three gold medals to match.

Copus, who lives in Watlington and was part of the men’s eight that won silver at the 2011 World Junior Championships, admitted representing the country is an honour that will never get old.

All Copus wants to do now is focus on producing at the Sydney International Regatta Centre with winning very much a possibility. He said: “Getting kitted out made it all seem really special. It was a great experience and now we all can’t wait to get out there and compete.

“Being able to represent the country is great and you get a real kick out of it and it will never get old.

“Adding the Olympic rings to the kit just takes it to a whole new level and I hope it is the first of many experiences just like it.

“I was in the eights in the 2011 World Junior Championships and we won a silver medal which was fantastic. Out in Australia we are hoping to medal again and we believe we can.

“I am competing in three events and we are hoping that we can bring back three medals all of the right colour and if we prepare properly there is no reason why we can’t do that.

“It is a brilliant way to prepare for the big events and being in a village multi-sport scenario will be brilliant. It is close to the real thing and it will be a great experience.”

Joining Copus as part of GB’s 120-strong team set to compete against 1,700 athletes from 30 different countries across 17 sports from January 16 to 20 is Leander team-mate Jack Beaumont.

Facing the prospect of competing against fellow Britons in the singles class, 19-year-old Beaumont said: “I just can’t wait to get out to Australia now and get racing. I have represented Great Britain before at Junior World Championships back in 2011 so I do have some experience of what it is like but when you see the Olympic rings on your kit it just adds something to it and it is difficult.

“We came seventh in the quad at the world juniors but hopefully we can improve on that out in Australia.

“It is quite funny though because we are also actually racing each other in the singles so as well as taking on other countries there is a bit of rivalry between us too.

“When we race against each other we are pretty much dead level so I am sure it will be a good race between us.”

The British Olympic Association prepares and leads British athletes at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. It works in partnership with sport National Governing Bodies to enhance Olympic success and is responsible for championing the Olympic values.

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