Preston rower Graeme Thomas believes it is going to take ‘something special’ to deny him and his three team-mates a gold medal at next month’s World Championships in Amsterdam.
The 25-year-old and team-mates Charles Cousins, Sam Townsend and Peter Lambert head to Holland in the best possible shape after winning a second successive World Cup meeting at ‘the Mecca of rowing’ Lucerne, in Switzerland, at the weekend.
This victory follows the gold medal they won in Aiguebelette, in France, at the end of last month and the silver medal they secured at the European Championships held in Belgrade, Serbia, in May.
In Lucerne, GB made a decent start to their race but found themselves behind Germany and Italy. who both started strongly.
At the 500m point, the Brits were fourth but the gaps in time across the field were minimal.
It was in the third quarter of the race where the GB team turned on the turbo as they powered past the field to take gold – completing the 2km race in 5:50.99.
Thomas said: “I think we are showing that we are quite consistent. People need to do do something special to get ahead and put us under pressure and that is what people tried at the weekend.
“But we proved that we were too much to handle in the second half and that they did not have enough in the full track of the race.”
Thomas and his quad team-mates have been unchanged since last year’s World Championships in Korea, where they won a bronze medal.
They are currently reaping the rewards from having such a settled crew, which has benefitted from having a full winter of training and preparation.
Thomas, who only took up the sport a year before the 2012 London Olympics, admits he still has plenty to learn but is pleased with his progression.
“We have been quite fortunate to have stayed together as a crew for the majority of the winter as a quad,” Thomas said.
“Obviously, we still had to go into our single sculls for the selection trials, which I personally did quite well in.
“I came second behind my crew-mate Charles Cousins, which I was pretty happy about. I was fourth last year which shows I am stepping up which is good.
“I’m still fairly new to the sport compared to the people I am rowing with and against, so I’m looking to improve and keep that learning curve on the upward trend.”
Thomas is looking for another good performance in Amsterdam as the crew works towards the ultimate goal of 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“Ultimately the Olympics is the main focus,” he added.