Graeme Thomas warms-up for next month's World Rowing Championships with bronze medal in Rotterdam

Graeme Thomas (front) and John Collins
Graeme Thomas (front) and John Collins

Preston rower Graeme Thomas claimed a hard-fought bronze medal at World Cup III in Rotterdam, Holland, at the weekend.

Alongside his partner John Collins, the pair cemented their status as one of the leading double sculls crews in the world.

They made their move at the 1,000m mark and battling their way through the final kilometre to secure third place.

The medal follows their silver from World Cup II in Poznan and their Double Sculls Challenge Cup win at Henley Royal, last weekend, when they got the better of 2017 world champions New Zealand..

Speaking after the race, Thomas said: “Our main aim was to get back on the podium and show that Poznan wasn’t a fluke, so we’re really pleased to have managed that. I’m all raced

out now so I’m ready to get back to some hard training at camp over the coming weeks."

This World Cup regatta in Rotterdam was the final test for the British team ahead of the World Championships in August, where qualification spots for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will be up for grabs for the first time.

Director of Performance Brendan Purcell said: “Our objectives from these World Cups were to benchmark ourselves against the competition and maximise our qualification opportunities at the World Championships.

"We now have a wealth of information as we head into our final training block of the season. We had 11 boats in 10 A finals today and we came away with four medals and two fourth

place finishes.

"Polly and Holly put in an outstanding performance and it’s great to see the women’s pair back on the podium.

"Graeme and John in the double were excellent today and the men’s four turned out a great performance which will keep them hungry over the next six weeks.

“The fantastic result in the men’s eight was a big statement of intent challenging the Germans and winning by nearly a length. It’s important for the guys in the crew but also for

the whole Team to see what can be achieved."