Birthdate19 Jul 1997
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Rising Star – October 2017
At just 20 years of age, Great Britain’s Anna Thornton already has an impressive collection of international medals to her name.
She began to race internationally in 2014 as a junior and won bronze in the women’s quadruple sculls at the World Rowing Junior Championships. One year later, she added a world junior medal in the same boat class. Since 2016, she has been racing at the under-23 level in the women’s eight, winning silver in 2016 and then gold this year at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships. This looks to be just the start of a rising rowing career for Thornton.
I discovered rowing... watching the boats on the River Trent and wanting to try it out. I learned to row at Nottingham Rowing Club and my club offers a pathway to the GB rowing programme.
Rowing is the sport that suits me best, because… I had a a wide range of athletic interests when I first started rowing but soon found that this sport could absorb as much time as I could give to it and I became hooked. There are not many sports out there that physically demand nearly every muscle in the body, whilst also being so technical and strategic.
What I like about the quadruple sculls… I have been lucky enough to row a lot of very quick and technically proficient quads and a lot of my success internationally has been in this boat class, so I have great experiences and memories in the quad.
What I like about the eight… It is the fastest boat. I love the feel and delicacy of the single, but when an eight gets up to full speed, it’s incredible.
What I like about the single… is the change of pace seen in singles racing. I love being able to make decisions and moves in a race and seeing an instant change in speed. Anything can happen in singles races and you’re the only one accountable.
The qualities I most appreciate in my teammates are… making training fun but fast. I am currently rowing at the University of Washington, which has an incredible training environment. I get to train every day with my best friends, on a team with some of the fastest women I know from all around the world.
The result I am most proud of so far is… winning gold in the under-23 women’s quad. I had won a bronze and silver at the World Rowing Junior Championships, then a silver at the U23s in Rotterdam and wanted the elusive gold medal at Plovdiv.
My goal in rowing is…. to win some more World Championship medals and hopefully compete at the Olympics.
What motivates me most is… there is always a way to get faster.
My favourite training session is… a double or pairs matrix. I love doing short race pieces, in small boats and changing partners each piece and adapting to their technique.
I study… Public Health at the University of Washington.
When I finish my studies… I hope to be invited to the GB senior team and train full-time.
My biggest strength is… setting myself high standards. I love setting times and paces I thought to be unsustainable and pushing my body to new limits.
A weakness I would prefer not having is… soft hands that refuse to callus.
My motto is… “Nothing without labour”. Rowing is a sport where you really get out, what you put in.
My nickname is… everyone calls me “Thorndawg” at University. It’s a play on my last name, and our university mascot being the husky.