18 July 2018
Four Paralympic champions named in World Rowing Championships squad
British Rowing chief Brendan Purcell believes the three Para-rowing crews named to represent Great Britain at the World Rowing Championships are in the best possible shape.
Four Paralympic champions will compete in Bulgaria as GB look to replicate the gold won in the PR3 mixed coxed four in Sarasota-Bradenton last year, setting two world best times in the process.
And despite struggling with a number of injury problems this season, Purcell is confident that the GB squad is ready for more medal success when they travel to Plovdiv for the event from 9-16 September.
“I’m delighted to announce such an experienced group of Para-rowers for the World Rowing Championships,” said performance director Purcell, after the seven-strong squad was revealed.
“It has been a tough season managing a number of injuries and rehabilitations within the squad but we are confident that these crews are in the best possible shape going into the World Championships.
“Chief coach Tom Dyson and the wider support team have done an excellent job in getting the athletes ready for competition.
The World Championships are an important marker for where we are in relation to Paralympic qualification in 2019.
“We have a strong Para-rowing Development squad, which is creating healthy competition amongst the rowers but it’s important we find more athletes to join us on the journey to Tokyo 2020.”
Rio 2016 gold medallist Grace Clough and Ollie Stanhope return from the victorious 2017 crew, with James Fox and Giedre Rakauskaite forced to sit the season out with injuries.
Daniel Brown, also a gold medallist in Rio, comes back into the crew along with debutant Ellen Buttrick and cox Erin Wysocki-Jones, who coxed the GB women’s eight on two occasions last year.
Brown and Stanhope have already had a taste of podium success this season, after the duo won an excellent gold medal in the PR3 men’s pair at the World Cup in Linz.
Grace Clough ruled the waters at Rio 2016
Elsewhere, Lauren Rowles claims her place in the PR2 mixed double sculls alongside fellow Paralympic gold medallist Laurence Whiteley after recovering from off-season surgery.
The duo last raced together at the World Cup in Poznan last summer, where they won silver, but Whiteley has enjoyed plenty of podium action in the absence of his partner.
He won silver at the World Cup event in Linz in the PR2 single scull, as well as gold and silver in the single at the Gavirate Para-rowing Regatta in May.
Andy Houghton, who returned to the GB setup after four years away in 2017, also won a silver medal in Linz in the PR1 single scull and will be battling to go one better in Plovdiv.
The Newbury rower has his sights set on competing at Tokyo 2020 and finished just outside the medals in Sarasota-Bradenton following his comeback, coming in fourth place.
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