Olympic champion Will Satch has paid tribute to Preston ace Graeme Thomas, who was Great Britain’s unlikely hero at the World Rowing Championships in Florida at the weekend.
Sitting in the stands, chatting to his mum, having won the B final of the double sculls, Thomas thought his Championships were over. The 28-year-old was settling in to watch the quad sculls final on Saturday when he got a rush of messages telling him to get to the start-line after Peter Lambert has tweaked his back in the warm-up and was unable to row.
He rushed to the pontoon, hopped in the boat and within 15 minutes had won a world silver medal.
And according to Satch – a GB eights’ gold medal winner at the 2016 Rio Games, who also won a coxless pair’s bronze at London 2012 – there is no better man for a crisis than Thomas.
“I’ve said it before, but if there is a guy who you need to come out from the stands and do a job for you then Graeme is your man,” said Satch (right), speaking on behalf of SAS, the official analytics partner of British Rowing.
The national team is using SAS technology, to ultimately help make the boats go faster.
“In the heat to be sat there and then to come out and on the stroke seat takes a lot so it was a big achievement for him and the team to be able to do it.
“He’s got it in the head and just gets on with the race – he is a proper racer and that takes a lot of doing, rowing is all about rhythm so you need people there who can fit to that.”
Thomas had gone to Florida as the bowman in the double sculls and, with Angus Groom, won their heat before finishing fourth in the semi-final, only making it to the B final. Friday saw the pair win that race to finish seventh overall.
Will Satch was speaking on behalf of SAS – the leader in analytics software and services. SAS is the Official Analytics Partner of British Rowing. Further information at www.sas.com.