Graeme Thomas earns call-up for season's first rowing regatta

Preston's Graeme Thomas is among 54 athletes selected to race for Great Britain at the first World Rowing Cup regatta of the 2018 season, to be held in Belgrade next month.

Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 11:26 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 11:31 am
Graeme Thomas

Four Worlds medallists make up the men’s quadruple scull, with Thomas, Tom Barras – bronze medallist in the single – Jonny Walton and John Collins in the crew.

Thomas won a memorable silver with Walton, Collins and Jack Beaumont in Sarasota-Bradenton, having replaced the injured Peter Lambert just minutes before the race.

Beaumont races with Angus Groom in the double scull, with Harry Leask – second at Trials in April – selected in the single.

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Chief coaches Jürgen Grobler (men’s), Paul Thompson (women’s) and Tom Dyson (Paralympic) have assembled their first crews of the year, which sees the GB team compete in five international regattas between June and September.

Grobler is coaching the men’s eight for the Belgrade regatta, with two gold medallists from Rio 2016 – Moe Sbihi and Will Satch – included. Having taken the win at trials, Jamie Copus races in the lightweight single, with Zak Lee-Green and Sam Mottram in the lightweight double.

Six athletes in the women’s squad will double up in Belgrade, racing in two boat classes. Rebecca Shorten, Karen Bennett, Holly Norton and Fiona Gammond will race both the eight and in a four, while Anastasia Chitty and Rebecca Girling are in the eight and the pair. Vicky Thornley continues in the single scull, having won silver at the Worlds last year, while Ellie Piggott joins Trials winner and European bronze medallist from 2017, Emily Craig, in the lightweight double.

Grobler said: “We’ve seen some strong performances in training and through the trials process this winter and now this first World Cup allows us to see where our form and fitness is compared to the rest of the world.”

Thompson added: “The first World Cup of the year is always an exciting time, where we see how the winter of training has prepared the team for racing.

“I’m pleased to be welcoming some new names to the women’s squad for this regatta, while some of the more experienced rowers will be racing in two boat classes.”

Live coverage of the Sunday A finals on June 3, will be on the BBC red button between 9.30am and 1.30pm.