Londoners make cut for European Championships
PUBLISHED: 08:00 10 April 2016
Victoria Middleton / SAS
GB rowing squad announced for event in Germany
A host of London rowers have been named in the GB team for next month’s European Championships in Brandenburg, Germany — the first major selection of the Rio 2016 Olympic season.
Surbiton’s Moe Sbihi and Molesey Boat Club team mate George Nash will race in a formidable looking men’s four alongside Alex Gregory and Constantine Louloudis, who lives in Mayfair.
All four won medals at London 2012 and have secured three successive World titles during this Olympic cycle, with Sbihi, Nash and Gregory also claiming European men’s four gold in 2014.
It is a change of boat for Louloudis, who has raced in the eight at all but one regatta during his senior international career.
Continuing in the eight is University of London Boat Club’s Paul Bennett, who has won two successive World titles, and is joined by double Olympic champions Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs Hodge, Matt Gotrel, Scott Durant, Tom Ransley, Matt Langridge and Will Satch.
The boat will be coxed by Phelan Hill while Londoner Zoe de Toledo coxes a women’s eight that includes University of London Tyrian Club’s Frances Houghton, a double Olympic silver medallist.
“I feel almost overwhelmed to be selected for the European Championships in the women’s eight,” said Houghton, who made the switch from sculling (two oars) to sweep (one oar) this winter.
“It is the first major step conquered on the way to fulfilling my dream of competing in my fifth Olympic Games. It has at times seemed like an insurmountable mountain to climb, and now it is just sinking in that all the hard work and deep belief in the darkest of times of illness and injury has paid off.”
Also in the eight are London RC’s Jess Eddie and Imperial College BC’s Melanie Wilson and Zoe Lee, plus Olivia Carnegie-Brown, Katie Greves, Polly Swann and Karen Bennett.
Twickenham’s John Collins will line up with Jonny Walton in the men’s double scull for a third successive season after a strong winter of training.
Putney Town RC’s Charlotte Taylor remains on course to make her Olympic debut just six years after taking up rowing as a hobby.
She will reprise her lightweight women’s double scull partnership with Olympic champion Kat Copeland having shown great promise together during 2015.
Their first competitive outing ended with an eye-catching victory at last year’s European Championships in Poznan, Poland and they will be keen to retain that title in Brandenburg from May 6-8.
Taylor and Copeland finished first and second respectively in the lightweight women’s single scull at the recent GB team trials.
“Kat and I were pushing each other on the whole way in the trials and it’s great for the summer that we were able to show that speed,” added Taylor, who won silver with Copeland at last year’s World Championships.
London RC’s Mark Aldred overcame some strong internal competition to retain his place in the lightweight men’s four for a third successive season.
He is joined by Jono Clegg and London 2012 silver medallists Chris Bartley and Peter Chambers — that combination qualified the boat for Rio at last year’s World Championships.
Sir David Tanner, GB Rowing Team Performance Director, said: “We are clearly ambitious to do well in Rio and will race and then review the Europeans combinations announced today.”
The full team selection for the European Championships can be found at http://www.britishrowing.org/gb-rowing-team
The GB Rowing Team is supported by the Lottery through UK Sport and has Science in Sport as a supplier. SAS Analytics is the Official Analytics Partner of British Rowing and the GB Rowing Team. Follow Britain’s rowers on the Road to Rio via Twitter — @GBRowingTeam — and at www.facebook.com/GBRowingTeam.
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