Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Welsh Rowers head to Lucerne

Welsh Rowers Chris Bartley and Victoria Thornley have been named as part of the GB Rowing Team for the third and final World Rowing Cup of the year in Lucerne but Wrexham’s Graeme Thomas has missed out because of injury.
The regatta from July 12-14 will provide the squad with one of their final chances to test themselves against world-class opposition ahead of next month’s World Championships in South Korea.
Wrexham-born Bartley will continue in the lightweight men’s four – the boat in which he won Olympic silver in London last year.
The 29-year-old, a former World champion in the discipline, has already appeared on the World Cup podium twice this year.
He picked up a bronze medal on his home waters of Eton Dorney last month, which followed a solid silver in Sydney at the start of the season.
The four-man crew will also include Adam Freeman-Pask, along with 2013 newcomers Will Fletcher and Jonno Clegg.

Victoria Thornley, meanwhile, who showed so well in the women’s single at Eton-Dorney (finishing fourth) remains in the same boat.

Britain did not field a single representative in the event at the London Olympics, so Thornley will be looking to make it her own as she continues the road to Rio 2016.

Thomas had been due to compete at Henley Royal Regatta last weekend and in Lucerne  in the men’s quadruple scull but is out with an injury.

Elsewhere, Vicky Meyer-Laker and Frances Houghton will race in the women’s double following their win at Dorney. The quad line-up is Kristina StillerMonica Relph and Rosamund Bradbury plus a soon to be named substitute for a poorly Caragh McMurtry.
Alex Gregory, Olympic men’s four champion, is back in action in the top-ranked British men’s eight crew having recovered from a virus. He will join his 2012 gold medal crew-mates Andrew Triggs Hodge and Pete Reed.
Olympic men’s pair bronze medallist George Nash also joins the crew, having returned to full-time training with the squad on Monday now that his University exams are over.
The combination minus Gregory and Nash won gold at Eton-Dorney in a nail-biting finish with Poland but all British crews know that the strength of the field could well be stronger in Switzerland.
James Foad, who has been coming back into full training from surgery since winning Olympic bronze in the eight at the Games, is named as a reserve.
Meanwhile, GB’s women will get to race an eight for the first time in the European phase of this year’s World Cup Series.
Coxed by Zoe de Toledo and stroked by Olivia Carnegie-Brown the eight missed out on Eton Dorney because of a dearth of entries.
Beth Rodford, a 2012 Olympic finalist said: "I'm really looking forward to racing in the eight at Lucerne. It's the last chance for us to get some international racing in the eight before the Worlds. There is a real sense of excitement and energy in the women's squad at the moment and we are all looking forward to some competitive racing to finish off the World Cup series".
Louisa Reeve, Katie Greves, Jess Eddie and Melanie Wilson are the other Olympians in the crew.
After competing at Eton-Dorney in front of the home crowd the second GB men’s eight is continuing as a development project with young, emerging rowers being given the opportunity to taste racing at the top level and gain from the experience.
This will be the first time since 2005 that GB has entered two men’s eights for Lucerne. Even then, the second British entry was in the lightweight event.
Behind the two eights GB has entered the same four that won silver at Dorney and the Stewrads’ Challenge Cup at Henley – Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell, Alan SinclairScott Durantand Matt Tarrant.
Elsewhere Olympic champion Helen Glover and Polly Swann, the overall world cup leaders, will be in seek of a hat-trick of world cup wins on the renowned Rotsee but will also be conscious of the test posed by new crews appearing for the first time this season.
Britain’s male scullers will be led by Alan Campbell who took silver in the single at Dorney.
Bill Lucas and Matt Langridge are in the double and the men’s quad will seek to put Dorney disappointment behind them in what is a tough field likely to be led by Germany and Croatia who took gold and silver at London 2012 respectively.
Brothers Peter and Richard Chambers are selected into the lightweight men’s double once more. They held on, after sacrificing an early lead to Poland, to take silver at Dorney in one of the event’s more dramatic races.
Sam Scrimgeour and Mark Aldred get another tilt at top-level competition after making a winning world cup debut at Dorney as the GB lightweight men’s pair.
Kathryn Twyman and Imogen Walsh won silver at Dorney in the lightweight women’s double scull and said they were disappointed, showing their ambition to be one of the crews to watch in Lucerne.
Ruth Walczak, an agonizing fourth at Dorney, is named once more as the lightweight single sculler and Jamie Kirkwood has been chosen ahead of Chris Boddy for the equivalent men’s spot.
Racing at Lucerne starts with heats and some repechages on Friday 12th, with semi-finals and more repechages plus finals of the international class events on Saturday followed by a full programme of A & B finals on the Sunday.
The event will be televised in the UK by BBC TV Sport – live on the Red Button on Sunday 12th and a highlights programme on Monday 13th.


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