Copeland to resume partnership with Walsh at World Rowing Cup

The Northern Echo: NO CHANGE: Kat Copeland will compete in the lightweight double at next week's World Rowing Cup NO CHANGE: Kat Copeland will compete in the lightweight double at next week's World Rowing Cup

KAT COPELAND will resume her partnership with Imogen Walsh at next week’s World Rowing Cup after the Great Britain squad was announced on Tuesday.

Performance Director Sir David Tanner has overseen changes to the GB Rowing Team line-ups which raced at the European Championships nine days ago, but they do not affect London 2012 gold medallist Copeland for the contest which takes place in Aiguebelette, France.

Copeland decided to take a year away from the sport after London 2012, but has shown promising signs since her comeback at the GB Rowing Team Senior Trials in April, which she won comfortably, and will be hoping to further develop her partnership with Walsh in France after winning bronze in Belgrade.

Meanwhile, there are four changes to the men's eight, with Durham’s Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell coming in.

Phil Congdon and Oliver Cook have been switched to race in a second men’s four alongside Tom Ransley and Dan Ritchie, who are both returning to the squad from injury. Matt Gotrel has also been moved to race in the men’s pair with Paul Bennett, who is also coming back from injury.

Reilly-O’Donnell, Alan Sinclair and Matt Langridge are the three replacements and the crew will be coxed by Henry Fieldman rather than Olympic bronze medallist and World Champion Phelan Hill.

Chester-le-Street’s Will Fletcher will continue his partnership with fellow Leander teammate Jamie Kirkwood in the lightweight men’s double scull. The duo made a promising start in international competition in Belgrade.

Durham’s Jess Eddie has retained her place in the women’s eight crew which sees one change from the squad which won a silver medal at the European Championships. Polly Swann, who won a gold medal in the pair with Helen Glover in Belgrade, has been included in place of Olivia Carnegie-Brown. Glover will race with Heather Stanning in Aiguebelette, who has returned to full fitness.

Zoe Lee, of Richmond, has retained her place in the women’s eight crew which sees one change from the squad which won a silver medal at the European Championships. Polly Swann, who won a gold medal in the pair with Helen Glover in Belgrade, has been included in place of Olivia Carnegie-Brown. Glover will race with Heather Stanning in Aiguebelette, who has returned to full fitness.

Yarm’s Kristina Stiller, is in one of the other unchanged crews for Aiguebelette. The Tees RC rower will race in the women’s quadruple scull along with Lucinda Gooderham, Victoria Meyer-Laker and Beth Rodford. The quad finished fifth against some stiff competition at the European Championships.

“Once again, we are fielding a strong squad but one where we test out young rowers and new combinations”, said Tanner. “This is a critical year in the Olympic cycle and the Chief Coaches, Paul Thompson and Jurgen Grobler, are aiming to win medals but also to tease out our longer-term strengths”.

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