Posted: April 14, 2015
Katherine Grainger will make her first appearance at the GB Rowing Team Senior and U23 Trials this weekend since winning her emotional gold medal at London 2012 Olympic Games.
It is the latest major step on the 39-year-old’s return to rowing after she took two years out of the sport following her unforgettable women’s double scull triumph with Anna Watkins.
The Trials are also a key stage in Grainger’s bid to compete at a fifth successive Games, with performances influencing crew selection for this summer’s World Championships – which also double as an Olympic and Paralympic qualification regatta for Rio 2016.
Among Grainger’s rivals in a tough women’s single field are 2014 world top-eight sculler Vicky Thornley, twice Olympic silver-medallist Frances Houghton and British double scull champion Melanie Wilson.
Competing in the men’s event is Grainger’s fellow Glaswegian Angus Groom, who is looking to break into the senior ranks having competed at two U23 World Championships.
Munlochy’s Alan Sinclair will be hoping to be among the front-runners when he partners Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell in a men’s pair field packed with World and Olympic champions.
And Imogen Walsh of Inverness will continue her return to full fitness by competing against her tight-knit training group – including Olympic champion Kat Copeland, her double scull partner last year – in the lightweight women’s singles.
Sam Scrimgeour of Kirriemuir – a bronze-medalist in the men’s pair with Jono Clegg at the 2014 World Championships – goes in a high-quality lightweight men’s field featuring Peter and Richard Chambers, Chris Bartley, Mark Aldred, Jamie Kirkwood and Will Fletcher.
Sir David Tanner, GB Rowing Team Performance Director, said: “We will have 13 current World Champions in action at the weekend across the squads and everyone will really want to be on top form to impress, so the racing should be truly world class.
“We are moving into the sharp end of the four-year cycle with 2016 Olympic and Paralympic qualification at stake for our boats at the World Championships in France in September.”
European Champion Polly Swann, from Edinburgh, has been forced to sit out the Trials with injury.
For further information please contact: The GB Rowing Team press office on 01225 384211 or 07831 755351 or email@example.com
(NB – please check schedules carefully. This timetable may change subject to weather conditions)
Sat 18 09:30 – 12:00 Time-Trials
Sat 18 15:00 – 17:45 Semi-Finals
Sun 19 10:00 – 13:00 Finals
Women’s Pair: Helen Glover/Heather Stanning;
Men’s Pair: Alex Gregory/Mohamed Sbihi;
Men’s Single: Charles Cousins;
Women’s Single: Vicky Thornley;
Lightweight women’s single: Kat Copeland;
Lightweight men’s single scull: Jamie Kirkwood