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The GB Rowing Team is the high performance arm of British Rowing. Rowing is the nation’s most continuously successful Olympic sport, having won a gold medal in every Olympic Games since 1984, and has won six Paralympic golds since the sport was introduced to the Paralympic Games programme in 2008.
GB Rowing Team
Rower // Men's Squad Date of Birth: 6th Oct 1990 (30 years old)
Club: Leander Club Height: 190.00 Hometown: Leicester
Follow Jonathan ‘Jonny’ :
Jonny Walton is en route to his second Olympic Games, having made his debut at Rio 2016, finishing fifth in the double scull with John Collins.
Walton was introduced to the sport through his family’s connections with Leicester RC. He represented the GB Rowing Team at Junior and U23 level.
He firmly established himself in the men’s sculling squad during the Rio Olympiad and raced with Collins in the men’s double throughout the Olympiad, finishing fifth overall on their Olympic debut.
In 2017, Walton was part of the quadruple scull that won gold, silver and bronze in the World Cup series of regattas and a memorable silver medal at the World Rowing Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton.
Jonny has raced with John Collins since 2014, with the men's double reaching the Rio 2016 Olympic final in memorable style
©Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images
After finishing fifth in the GB Rowing Team Trials, Jonny was once again selected alongside John Collins in the men’s double scull for the 2016 season. They reached the final at the European Championships in Brandenburg, finishing sixth, and improved to fifth at the World Cup in Lucerne before winning a superb silver at the Poznan World Cup – their first senior medals with the GB Rowing Team.
They got off to a slow start at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games but won their repechage to reach the semi-finals, where they produced a brilliant performance to hold off multiple crews and secure the top-three finish they needed. Another gutsy display in the final saw Collins and Walton finish a fine fifth overall on their Olympic debuts.
Jonny and John qualified the men’s double for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with an eighth-placed finish at the 2015 World Championships in Aiguebelette.
They had started the season with a similar result at the European Championships in Poznan, missing out on a place in the A final by just five-hundredths of a second. Jonny and John were also desperately unlucky to finish fourth in their semi-final at the World Cup in Varese, less than a second behind the winners, but went on to comfortably win the B final. They then placed fifth in a strong field at the World Cup in Lucerne.
Jonny and John were first paired together in the double at the 2014 European Championships, finishing sixth. They went one better at the World Cup in Aiguebelette and improved again to place fourth in Lucerne but narrowly missed out on qualification for the A final at the World Championships in Amsterdam, finishing seventh overall.
Jonny had started the Olympiad in the men’s single scull, finishing fourth at the Sydney World Cup and seventh at Eton Dorney. He replaced the injured Graeme Thomas in the quadruple scull in Lucerne, finishing fourth, and was the men’s sculling spare at the 2013 World Championships in Chungju.
Jonny first represented GB at the 2008 Coupe de la Jeunesse, winning gold in the junior men’s double scull. He also competed at the 2009 Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney and won gold in the eight, silver in the quad and was fourth in the single.
The 2010 World U23 Championships in Brest saw Jonny finish ninth in a GB quad that also included John Collins. Jonny raced in the single scull at the following year’s championships in Amsterdam and placed eighth overall after narrowly missing out on the A final.
Jonny raced with Jack Beaumont in the double at the 2012 World U23 Championships in Trakai and European Championships in Varese. On both occasions, they were edged out of the A final but won the B final to finish seventh overall.
Club: Leander Club
Boat: Men’s Squad
Coaches: Mark Banks
Learnt to Row: Leicester Rowing Club
Original Club(s): Leicester Rowing Club, Loughborough Students’ Rowing Club
Original Coach(es): Howard Marsh
Jonny has always been a competitive sportsperson and raced cross-country in both athletics and mountain-biking before deciding to focus his attention on rowing. He attended local regattas with his family, who were involved in the sport, and joined Leicester RC in 2005. His first coach was Howard Marsh, who also went on to coach Jonny at Loughborough University.
Jonny graduated from Loughborough University in 2012 with a degree in Sport & Exercise Sciences, although his career ambitions lie with luxury performance cars. He also admires Lewis Hamilton: “Races F1 as his job, lives in Monaco when he’s not racing and has a list of cars in his garage you’d dream of – not a bad life!”
He has travelled extensively around South America, including a visit to 2016 Olympic host city Rio, and had the chance to detonate TNT in a silver mine in Bolivia. He also enjoyed the Italian food on a visit to the island of Elba last year but says a traditional Sunday roast is his perfect post-competition meal.
Jonny is a big football fan and would invite former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho to his perfect dinner party, along with actress Jennifer Lawrence and DJ Tijs Michiel Verwest, aka Tiesto. House music is his soundtrack for both ergo training and relaxing.
GB Rowing Team colleague Matt Gotrel is Jonny’s house-mate.
Jonny is Lottery Funded through UK Sport.