Monday, 24 September 2018

Groom and Thornley lead way

LEANDER’S Angus Groom underlined his credentials for a seat in one of GB’s top Olympic boats by winning

LEANDER’S Angus Groom underlined his credentials for a seat in one of GB’s top Olympic boats by winning the GB Rowing Team winter assessment, raced last Saturday in blustery conditions at Caversham, in the open men’s single scull.

The 23 year-old saw off the challenge of Olympic bronze medallist Alan Campbell in the final 500m of the race.

His victory came just weeks after intensive treatment for a disc problem and after enduring two back-to-back time trials before the finals.

Speaking after his success, Groom said: “I feel more satisfied than surprised. I feel that I had a good training camp up in the Sierra Nevada recently and set a personal best on the ergo, so I knew that I was back to my best physically.

“I was slightly ahead at halfway and thought I would give it my best shot and I knew that Alan has a devastating sprint finish so I wanted to row that out of him early in that second half.”

Fellow Leander scullers John Collins and Jonny Walton also put in good performances finishing third and fourth respectively.

Vicky Thornley won the equivalent women’s event which was raced as two time trials from which the accumulated time counted.

Speaking after her success Thornley, who lives in Henley, said: “I won the last trial so I didn’t want to go one worse than that. Everything has been going well in training and I knew that all I needed to do was to execute it on the day. I won by a decent margin, so I’ve got to be happy with that.”

Pete Reed turned round a showing at the recent weekend’s British Rowing Indoor Championships which he described as “embarrassing, such a poor result” to win the open men’s pair final with Constantine Louloudis.

Will Fletcher was another first-time winner for Leander, taking the honours in the lightweight men’s single sculls.

A delighted Fletcher said: “It’s exciting, I’ve never won a trial before. It was a question of just going out and trying to reproduce what I’ve done in training but they were pretty tricky conditions to be honest so I just kept thinking, “don’t fall in, don’t fall in”.

Fellow Leander sculler Richard Chambers was third with his brother Peter fourth.

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