Other Sports Olympics Britain looks to Glover to restore rowing reputation
Other Sports Olympics Britain looks to Glover to restore rowing reputation

Other Sports: Olympics-Britain looks to Glover to restore rowing reputation

(Reuters) – Britain will be seeking to climb back to the top of the pile when the rowing competitions get under way at the Paris Games, having had their recent period of Olympic dominance brought to an abrupt end by a poor performance in Tokyo.

The British rowers topped the medals table in 2008, 2012 and 2016 but failed to register a single gold medal in the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Games and will look to the vastly-experienced Helen Glover to get them back on course in Paris.

Twice Olympic champion Glover is expected to team up with Esme Booth, Sam Redgrave and Rebecca Shortern in a bid for gold in the women’s four in Paris.

“We’ve been working towards this combination for two years,” coach Andrew Randall said in the wake of a dominant display by the four at the recent European Championships.

“I think we’ve found the best mix of power, technique and fitness that we’ve got. It’s going to be a very difficult four to beat this summer.”

The British are unlikely to have it all their own way, however.

The Netherlands laid down a marker by edging them out to win the overall title at the 2024 World Rowing Cup with Italy and Germany finishing third and fourth respectively.

The United States and Ireland will also send strong teams as will New Zealand and Australia, who topped the medals table in Tokyo with three and two gold medals respectively.

U.S. Rowing’s Jody Verdonkschot said of the American team: “There is such a strong tradition and culture, so much knowledge and talent. We can make up our dreams and work hard to make them come true. This is what rowing at any level is about.”

The 2024 Olympic programme features 14 events – seven for women and seven for men – in identical boat classes, and each race is contested over 2,000 metres.

Though the very first competitions at the 1896 Games were cancelled due to bad weather, the sport has been a constant ever since, with women’s events introduced at the Montreal Olympics in 1976.

The competitions, which will take place at the Vaires-sur-Marne Nautical Stadium east of Paris, are split into two disciplines: sculls, where athletes have two oars, and sweep rowing, where they use a single paddle.

The largest contingent travelling to Paris will be from Romania, which is sending 45 athletes and 12 boats, with Britain and the United States each sending 42.

The Olympic competition gets under way on July 27 and runs until Aug. 3, with a reserve day booked in for Aug. 4 in case of weather disruption.

(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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