World Record triumphs at British Rowing Indoor Championships
Three World Records fell last weekend at the British Rowing Indoor Championships. More than 1800 competitors took part in over 140 events at the Lee Valley Velopark, the site of the London 2012 Olympic Games Velodrome.
The most impressive performance of the day went to Ben Pritchard of Great Britain when he smashed the para PR1 men’s 2000m record by 33 seconds. Pritchard finished in a time of 7:32.0, beating the record previously held by Alexy Chuvashev of Russia. Pritchard missed out on the medals at last year’s World Rowing Championships, but qualified his boat for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Giedre Rakauskaite set a World Record in the para-rowing category when she finished in a time of 7:03.1 in the PR3 women’s 2000m race. Rakauskaite is part of the World Champion British para mixed coxed four. The crew was recently crowned the World Rowing Para Crew of the Year.
The third record came in the masters category when Justine Reston broke her own best time in the lightweight masters 50-54 2000m category, finishing in 7:18.3.
“The atmosphere definitely helped. I heard the commentators shouting, ‘Come on let’s get her down to the World Record!’ and then the crowd cheering and I thought ‘yes’, here we go!” said Reston after the race. Reston is part of the Q-Power indoor rowing team. She already has World Rowing Indoor Championship medals to her name and says she took up indoor rowing as part of her rehabilitation from injuries.
The event also saw ten British Rowing records fall and 62 new championship records. Competitors ranged from 11 to 88 years old and took part in various distances and types of events. The day offered standard 2000m races in all age categories, 500m sprints in all age categories, junior, para and team relay events.
The British national team rowers did not take part this year, leaving the top of the podium for the taking in the men’s and women’s open events. Josh Penrice from Vesta Rowing Club snatched the top spot in the men’s open event, finishing in a time of 5:59.8. Marcela Milosevic from Rowing Club Tresnjevka won the women’s open race with a time of 6:59.3.
World and Olympic Champion Eric Murray from New Zealand joined in for a men’s relay race. “BRIC is such an iconic event worldwide, it’s great to be able to come here, share a bit of advice, talk to people and just experience what it’s all about,” said Murray.
“There are so many passionate people just getting out there and giving it a go. The best bit is it’s not all about winning, you can focus on just being better than yourself. If you can come here and set a new personal with a thousand odd people watching you, that’s such a cool experience.”