A world gold for Thomas

Graeme Thomas

Graeme Thomas

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Preston rowing star Graeme Thomas has enhanced his growing reputation as a genuine gold medal contender at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games over the past few weeks.

The 26-year-old was a member of the Great Britain quad team which claimed a gold medal at the first World Cup regatta in Aiguebelette, France, at the weekend.

The GB team – made up of Thomas and his team-mates Sam Townsend, Charles Cousins and Pete Lambert, Thomas – withstood a fast start from the reigning Olympic champions Germany to forge ahead in the second half of the 2km race.

Their success follows the silver medal they won at the European Championships, in Belgrade, at the start of the month when they finished narrowly behind Ukraine.

Thomas told the Evening Post: “At the weekend we put the fastest times down in the heats and the fastest time overall. I think the other crews had seen that we were really looking to do the business.

“I think that affected Germany’s race plans slightly because they saw how we had led the heat from start to finish and so in the final they obviously decided to try to lead us.

“They got a better start than us and really jumped out in front of us. They led by a whole boat length which is quite a long way in rowing.

“But we stuck to our plan – we knew that we had been the quickest crew over the weekend. We were confident that regardless of where we were in the race, we would be able to pull through.

“At the kilometre mark, we pulled level with Germany and we could hear them panicking. We really pushed on and won by two seconds.

“It was a great confidence booster for us.”