Local girls win silver at World Rowing Junior Championships in Rio

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Monday, 10 August 2015 12:18 Written by Administrator Last Updated on Monday, 10 August 2015 12:25

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The World Rowing Junior Championships took place in Rio-de-Janeiro from 5th-9th of August 2015, a year ahead of the Olympic Games. These Championships doubled as a pre-Olympic test event and initially the quality of the water in the rowing lake 'Lagoa Rodrigo de Freita' was a major concern but this was overtaken by the weather, and the threat of strong winds meant that all finals were brought forward a day to Saturday the 8th.

The rowing lagoon is 10 minutes away from Ipanema beach with the spectacular backdrop of mountains, the Tijuca forest and the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue at Corcovado,which can be seen by those paddling on the lake.

Anna Thornton from Nottingham Rowing Club and the Becket School and clubmate Kyra Edwards from the George Spencer School were joined by Suzannah Duncan from the Tideway Scullers School and Molly Harding from Marlow Rowing Club and made up the GB Women's Quadruple Scull. The Nottingham girls are funded from the Carl  Smith Memorial fund.

In their first round they won convincingly to qualify for the semi-final of six boats with three going to the A final. Again the girls, stroked by Anna, had a good win ahead of Canada and Switzerland with Romania,Denmark and Argentina going to the B Final.

In a tense hard fought A final race, over the full 2,000m Olympic distance, the crew was sandwiched between Germany and the United States with Canada, Switzerland and France in the other lanes. It was quite choppy with a strong crosswind. Germany took an early lead, GB were second and pushing hard, the USA third and France fourth, these positions remained the  same throughout the race, Switzerland were fifth and Canada sixth.

Suzannah Duncan said: "We had a good start, caught two crabs before the 1,000m and took the silver. Most importantly we have no regrets. We had the best row we could and we are pleased with the result."

The crew is coached by British Rowing's Ade Roberts, a one time West Bridgford resident who now lives in Draycott.

President of Nottingham Rowing Club Keith Atkinson said: "The club is proud of our girls. It follows Katie Bartlett's bronze in Bulgaria, and Grace Clough is off to the World Championships in Aigubelette in France in late August, all showing the club in a very good light. Anna and Kyra have been offered sports scholarships by American universities if they agree to row for them. I feel it's an offer they can't refuse!"

Below: Anna, Molly, Kyra and Suzannah celebrate their siver medal

 silver in rio