Monday, 25 May 2020

Olympic trials dominated by Leander Club athletes

Olympic trials dominated by Leander Club athletes

THIS year’s GB Rowing Olympic team took their first big steps to gain selection for Tokyo last weekend.

A total of 45 Leander athletes raced at the Redgrave and Pinsent Lake in Caversham, all vying for the chance to impress head coach Jurgen Grobler.

On Friday evening, all boat classes raced a 1,900m time trial. Semi-finals were held in the early morning of Saturday where 23 of the 36 possible A-final spots were filled with Leander athletes.

The first A-final to race down the course was the men’s pairs where Leander athlete Matt Rossiter and his partner Rory Gibbs (Oxford Brookes) finished the weekend victorious. Ollie Wynne-Griffith came in second with Moe Sbihi (Molesey) and the full Leander pair of Jacob Dawson and Tom Ford completed the top three. Leander’s club-based pair of James Robson and James Johnston, coached by Matt Beechey, came 10th.

The women’s pairs saw Rowan McKellar triumph with her partner Rebecca Shorten (Imperial). There was a tight finish for second and third where Emily Ford and Polly Swann finished in front of Anastasia Posner and Rebecca Girling (Molesey).

Leander’s developments club-based pairs, coached by Ross Hunter, raced well with Chloe Brew and Rebecca Edwards finishing ninth. Alice Davies and Natasha Harris-White finished 10th while Susie Dear and Heide Long were 11th.

The men’s singles saw Leander’s Harry Leask, Jack Beaumont and Seb Devereux, coached by Ali Brown, finish second, third and fourth respectively.

Former Leander Club captain Vicky Thornley finished the weekend off in style by winning her eighth consecutive final trials in the women’s single. Holly Nixon and Jess Layden from Leander Club were fourth and fifth.

Speaking after the trials, Leander’s director of rowing and chief coach Mark Banks said: “It has been a great day for the club with this unprecedented number of Leander athletes being invited to race this Olympic trial.

“Leander have a strong and experienced team of coaches who prioritise helping athletes gain selection for GB.

“It’s fantastic to see many athletes who have come through our development programme doing so well.”

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