British rowers surface for testing
In a post-Olympic year it is always interesting to see what new faces appear and which Olympic athletes reappear. At British Rowing’s second winter assessment trials in Boston, Great Britain there was a mixture of new names and regular team members.
But it was the established rowers that predominantly led the way. In the much anticipated men’s pair 20 combinations competed over the 5km trial distance and it was Mohamed Sbihi and Andrew Triggs Hodge who finished first. Sbihi raced in the men’s eight to bronze at the London Olympics while Triggs Hodge won gold in the men’s four. Triggs Hodge’s regular pairs partner, Pete Reed was paired up with Alex Gregory. They were tipped to be the toughest competition. Gregory, however, was ill and so he and Reed pulled out. In second were George Nash and Rowan Lawson with Tom Ransley and Daniel Ritchie in third.
The lightweight men’s single sculls ended with just one second separating first and second. Richard Chambers from the London Olympic lightweight four was first and Adam Freeman-Pask second. Freeman-Pask won gold in either the lightweight single or lightweight pair at all three Samsung World Rowing Cups in 2012. Jamie Kirkwood finished third just ahead of Olympic silver medallist from the lightweight four, Peter Chambers.
There was a big group of up-and-comings leading the way in the lightweight women’s single sculls. Imogen Walsh won by a huge margin. Walsh raced last season in Great Britain’s second boat for the lightweight women’s double sculls. Kathryn Twyman, who competed last year for Great Britain in the lightweight single, was second and newcomer Elizabeth Polgreen finished third.
Some familiar names headed the women’s single. Two-time Olympian Beth Rodford was first while 11 seconds back there was nearly a dead heat between second, third and fourth. Stroke of the British women’s eight in London, Victoria Thornley finished second while Olympic Champion in the women’s pair Helen Glover took third and Victoria Meyer-Lake was fourth.
Olympic bronze medallist Alan Campbell won the men’s single sculls, but not by a huge margin. Four seconds back Charles Cousins was second. Cousins raced in the men’s quadruple sculls at the London Olympics. Peter Lambert, originally from South Africa, was third.