Monday, 18 December 2017

GB Olympic champions to compete at regatta

OLYMPIC champions from London 2012 will appear at next month’s Henley Royal Regatta.

OLYMPIC champions from London 2012 will appear at next month’s Henley Royal Regatta.

British gold medallists such as Andy Triggs Hodge, Pete Reed, Alex Gregory and Helen Glover look set to be among a strong home contingent.

This is the first royal regatta since they won their Olympic medals last summer.

Olympic champions in the single sculls, Mahe Drysdale, of New Zealand, and Mirka Knapkova, of the Czech Republic, will be attempting to recapture the Henley trophies that they have held before.

Drysdale has won the Diamond Challenge Sculls three times previously and could meet Olympic bronze medallist Alan Campbell, of Great Britain, as well as two of his own countrymen, Joseph Sullivan, Olympic champion in the double sculls, and Duncan Grant, an ex-lightweight world champion.

Knapkova has won the Princess Royal Challenge Cup twice but will be challenged by Emma Twigg, from New Zealand, who finished fourth in last year’s London Olympics. Kiwi Olympic champions in the men’s pair, Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, will want to continue their unbeaten run by winning the Silver Goblets for the third time.

The double sculls will feature the newly-formed combinations of Michael Arms and Robert Manson, of New Zealand, and Great Britain’s Bill Lucas and Matt Langridge.

The Great Britain rowing team has entered 13 crews in eight events.

Triggs Hodge, Reed and Gregory will appear in The Grand Challenge Cup for eights, rowing as Leander Club and Molesey Boat Club. Their opponents will be the Polish national eight, rowing as WKS Zawisza and RTW Lotto, and the undefeated American university champions from the University of Washington.

In the Stewards’ Challenge Cup the new British combination of Oxford Brookes University and University of London will face the New Zealand heavyweight and lightweight fours as well as the Olympic champions in lightweight fours — TUKS Rowing Club from South Africa.

Glover, winner of the first Olympic gold medal for Team GB last year, when she and Heather Stanning won the women’s pair title, is in the British first quad, racing as Leander Club and Minerva Bath Rowing Club, in the Princess Grace Challenge Cup.

A total of 470 crews have entered this year’s regatta, including 86 crews from 22 overseas countries. Regatta chairman Mike Sweeney said: “In this post- Olympic year I am very pleased to welcome so many London Olympians to this year’s regatta. In the club, student and school events we have another huge entry and can be certain of a great week’s racing.”

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