Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Leander athletes dominate largest GB World Cup squad

NO less than 34 Leander athletes have been selected to take part in the GB team that will contest the

NO less than 34 Leander athletes have been selected to take part in the GB team that will contest the second World Cup regatta of the year on the familiar waters of the Olympic rowing lake at Eton Dorney in two weeks’ time.

They are part of the largest GB rowing team in history as a total of 81 rowers across 29 boats will contest the event.

When the World Cup last took place at Eton Dorney, in 2005, GB boated just 63 rowers in 17 boats.

Among the women’s crews Edinburgh medical student Polly Swann retains her place in the pair alongside Olympic champion Helen Glover, after the duo’s win in Sydney three months ago.

The new-look women’s eight features former U23 athlete Katherine Douglas with established favourites Katie Greves and Lou Reeve, in a crew that is coxed by Zoe de Toledo. Vicky Thornley, who stroked the crew last August, will compete in a single scull.

The double scull will include Fran Houghton and Vicky Meyer-Laker, winners of the bronze medal in Sydney, while the quad, a boat class where GB has a considerable pedigree, features Ro Bradbury and Monica Relph as the bow pair.

Once again the big names among the heavyweight men, such as Pete Reed, Will Satch, Alex Gregory, Tom Ransley and cox Phelan Hill feature in the eight, who will be hoping to emulate their gold medal success in Australia against much stronger competition. A second men’s eight, featuring five more Leander athletes, will also race at Dorney, giving a number of younger athletes valuable experience in racing a world-class field in front of the home crowd. Olympic bronze medallist Matt Langridge returns to competition at Dorney, where he will partner London’s Bill Lucas in the double. Leander’s Charles Cousins retains his seat in the quad, in which he reached the Olympic final, and is joined by his clubmate, Pete Lambert, at stroke.

Leander’s Will Fletcher and Jono Clegg join Olympic silver medallist Chris Bartley in the lightweight men’s four, while two more members of last year’s crew, Richard and Pete Chambers, join forces in the lightweight double. Leander representation is completed by Jamie Kirkwood and Chris Boddy who will race in the lightweight singles event.

The competition at Eton Dorney, which takes place from June 21 to 23, also features para-rowing, the discipline in which the GB four won gold last August. Leander’s Pam Ralph retains her seat at bow in the new-look crew, which also features Ollie James in the cox’s seat.

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