14 September 2018
Paralympic champion Clough leads GB to world title
Grace Clough once again proved a master of her class after guiding British Rowing to an eighth success PR3 mixed coxed four gold at the World Rowing Championships in Polvdiv.
The Rio 2016 Paralympic champion joined forces with Daniel Brown, Ellen Buttrick, Erin Wysocki-Jones and Ollie Stanhope to perfect effect in Bulgaria, a dominant and historic victory coming their way.
It was one they deserved too, their final stroke seeing them stop the clock in 7:00.360 – nearly two seconds ahead of the United States while France took home the bronze medal.
And for Clough, it was just a continuation of what has been a perfect 2018.
Securing a master’s in sociology from the University of Oxford, rowing hasn’t dominated her full attentions this year with injuries also playing their part in a truncated campaign.
Yet with a fourth world gold in the possession of the 27-year-old to add to her maiden Paralympic title in 2016, the five years Clough has spent rowing have certainly been worthwhile.
Clough rowed her way to Paralympic gold in Rio
She wasn’t alone in her venture however as Brown – who made his debut as recently as 2014 – joined his fellow Paralympic champion in taking the top step of the podium.
Despite the medal collection of the pair, the GB boat was the newest heading to Bulgaria but the new order proved they were more than up to the task, Buttrick, Stanhope and cox Wysocki-Jones all impressive in their work.
The crew timed their race perfectly on the Plovdiv waters, sat in second after the first 1000m before turning the screw in the second half of the race as they finished nine seconds faster in the final than they did in the heat - encouraging signs ahead of the next Paralympic Games at Tokyo 2020.
“Para-rowing chief coach Tom Dyson and crew coach Nick Baker have done phenomenally well to create this World Championship-winning crew despite injury and illness in the squad throughout the season,” said British Rowing performance director Brendan Purcell.
Picture: Naomi Baker/British Rowing
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