British Olympic Association selects Olympic rowing team for Tokyo 2020

The British Olympic Association (BOA) today announced the 45 rowers who have been selected to compete for Team GB at the (rearranged) Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

The British Olympic Association (BOA) today announced the 45 rowers who have been selected to compete for Team GB at the (rearranged) Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this summer.  The 24 women and 21 men include 37 Olympic debutants alongside eight returning Olympians.

Road to Tokyo

Follow the journey of the GB Rowing Team to the Olympics and Paralympics

Coming Summer 2021

Taking a step closer to her historic aim of becoming the first British rower to compete at the Olympics after having children, is two-time Olympic champion, Helen Glover, who is partnered with Olympic silver medallist Polly Swann in the women’s pair (W2-). They will be looking to build on their recent European title when they race the Olympic course at the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo Bay.

Commenting on her selection for her third Olympic Games, Glover said: “This is the thing I was aiming for when I first came back. I genuinely thought it was an impossible mission this time last year but I always had this day in my sights and I feel really proud that it’s here and that I’ve made the Olympic team. I said I wanted to do it to represent other parents and people who didn’t believe what was possible. I hope I have represented people strongly like that and that other rowers will think there are no barriers for them to get back into the sport. The thing I’m proudest of is how I’ve managed family life. I’m amazed that it’s happened like this and want to thank my husband Steve, my family and all at British Rowing for their support.”

Swann added: “It’s unreal. It’s one of those things – when you get nominated, you’re expecting it and then it sinks in and you realise what it means. It’s very special. Going to an Olympic Games is what we are all here for. I cried when the letter arrived, because I’ve been on such a journey this Olympiad after choosing to take time out working for the NHS during the pandemic last year.  Being in the boat with Helen takes me full circle. I competed in my first World Championships with her and this is going to be my last Olympic Games and there’s something special about that. I love that the two of us have chosen to come back after time away and we’re doing it because it’s a sport we love and I think racing at this Olympics will mean a little bit more to both of us.”

Looking to build on this year’s European title, and gold medal at World Rowing Cup II,  is Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Mohamed Sbihi, racing in the men’s eight (M8+) alongside Olympic debutants Josh Bugajski, Jacob Dawson, Tom George, Charlie Elwes, Ollie Wynne-Griffith, James Rudkin, Tom Ford and Henry Fieldman (cox). Thinking about competing at his third Olympic Games Sbihi said: “It’s really exciting given it’s 12 months later than we all expected. It does feel a little different than normal but I know it must be so exciting for those making their debuts. I remember what it was like for me being selected for my first Games and it’s still pretty awesome. We train incredibly hard and compete incredibly hard, and competing at the Olympics isn’t about being extraordinary, it’s about doing what we normally do, staying grounded and humble and giving our all out on the water.”

Returning for her third Games is Rio 2016 silver medallist Vicky Thornley, who is realising her dream of racing in the women’s single sculls (W1x). She said: “When I started this journey in 2017 my long-term goal was to compete at the Olympics in the single, so to be selected in this boat is a really special moment.”

Looking to continue Team GB’s historic success in the men’s four (M4-) are European and World Rowing Cup II Champions Ollie Cook, Matt Rossiter, Rory Gibbs and Sholto Carnegie. Speaking of making his Olympic debut, Matt Rossiter said: “It’s what I’ve wanted for the last 20 years and it’s taken a few days for it to actually sink in but it feels pretty awesome. There is a phenomenal heritage of men’s fours from Great Britain but ultimately we want to go as fast as we can and write our own story.”

British Rowing Director of Performance Brendan Purcell commented: “When we qualified our ten boats for the Olympic Games back in September 2019 we had no idea of the challenges that would lie ahead. We used the lockdown time away from competition to focus on ourselves and individual development. Since then, the group have thrived, topping the medal table at both the 2021 Europeans and the World Rowing Cup II.

“Obviously, this Olympic Games will be a totally different experience with it being the first time in over two years we’ll be competing against many crews from the rest of the world. We don’t have a real form line on them but we believe in the work we are doing and the results of our own performances and it’s a great opportunity for the coaches and athletes to go out there and write a unique chapter in the legacy of the British Rowing team in this unique year.”

Mark England, Team GB Chef de Mission said: “I am delighted to welcome the 45 rowers selected to Team GB today for the Tokyo 2020 Games.  For most of the team Tokyo will be their first taste of Olympic competition, and I am sure they will look to draw on the experience of the eight Olympians named in the squad.

“The team has had some promising results in recent weeks, topping the medal table at the European Championships and World Rowing Cup II, and I am sure they will relish the opportunity to show their form as they race the Olympic course at the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo Bay in July.”

The selected women’s eight (W8+) of Fiona Gammond, Sara Parfett, Rebecca Edwards, Chloe Brew, Katherine Douglas, Caragh McMurtry, Beccy Muzerie, Emily Ford and Matilda Horn (cox), will benefit from the experience and support of five-time Olympian and three-times Olympic silver medallist, Fran Houghton, who is sharing her knowledge and expertise with the crew.

Also selected are European silver medallists, Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women’s double (LW2x) and Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne, Hannah Scott, Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne and Lucy Glover in the women’s quad (W4x).  European bronze medallists John Collins and Graeme Thomas in the men’s double (M2x) and Rowan McKellar, Harriet Taylor, Karen Bennett and Rebecca Shorten in the women’s four (W4-) are also on the plane to Tokyo this July.

The men’s quad (M4x), who recently won bronze at 2021 World Rowing Cup II, of Harry Leask, Angus Groom, Thomas Barras and Jack Beaumont, plus four spare rowers complete the Team GB rowing line-up.

Team GB rowing crews for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Women’s single sculls (W1x)

Coach: Paul Reedy

Women’s pair (W2-)

Coach: Hamish Burrell

Lightweight women’s double sculls (LW2x)

Coach: Darren Whiter

Men’s double sculls (M2x)

Coach: Dan Moore

Women’s four (W4-)

Coach: James Harris

Men’s four (M4-)

Coach: Robin Williams

Women’s quadruple sculls (W4x)

Coach: Lauren Fisher

Men’s quadruple sculls (M4x)

Coach: Paul Stannard

Women’s eight (W8+)

Coach: Tom Pattichis

Men’s eight (M8+)

Coach: Steve Trapmore

Spare rowers

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