Monday, 18 December 2017

Olympic champs switch boats

THE GB rowing team, including 26 Leander athletes, has now moved to the Olympic course in Sydney for this weekend?s World Cup regatta following a two-week training camp in Canberra.

THE GB rowing team, including 26 Leander athletes, has now moved to the Olympic course in Sydney for this weekend?s World Cup regatta following a two-week training camp in Canberra.

With many of the established favourites having announced their retirement from international competition after the London Games the focus is now on younger athletes, many of whom have earned their first senior vests at this regatta.

Polly Swann and Katie Greves will contest the women?s pairs event, racing in different crews, while Olympians Frances Houghton and Vicky Thornley will race in the double sculls with Vicky Meyer-Laker in another boat. All five Leander athletes will join forces when they double up in the composite women?s eight, the crew which Thornley stroked in last August?s Olympic final.

Tina Stiller and Monica Relph have been selected for the women?s quad scull, but Leander?s Rachel Gamble-Flint has been sidelined through illness.

Last year?s Henley winners Al Sinclair and John Collins have been selected in different crews in Sydney. Collins retains his place in the double scull, the event they won last summer, while Sinclair has switched to sweep and takes his place in the new-look men?s four.

But the big guns are to be found in the men?s eight, which includes three Olympic gold medallists from the men?s four ? Pete Reed, Alex Gregory and Molesey?s Andy Triggs Hodge ? as well as Tom Ransley and cox Phelan Hill from the 2012 Olympic eight. Meanwhile Dan Ritchie, twice a silver medallist as stroke of the crew at world championships, is back in the crew after injury kept him out last season.

The lightweight men?s squad features five more Leander athletes, with Olympic silver medallist Richard Chambers switching to sculling in the new lightweight double, while his former partner Chris Bartley retains his seat in the four with Chris Boddy and Jono Clegg.

Just 14 countries are represented in Sydney, which marks the first occasion when a World Cup regatta has been held in the southern hemisphere. But with quality crews attending from Canada, the USA and New Zealand, as well as the home nation there?s sure to be good racing in Sunday?s finals.

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