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Rowers splash closer to Tokyo dream

Trials kick in on the way to 2020 Olympics

Malcolm Howe



NEWBURY rowers continued their progress towards Tokyo 2020 with more impressive performances at the the third stage of the Senior GB Rowing trials in Boston, Lincolnshire.

Georgia Francis again showed her mettle in tough conditions as she faced World champion Holly Nixon and Olympic medalist Victoria Thornley, finishing fifth in a time of 19 minutues 33.27 seconds over five kilometres.

Nixon won the event in an impressive 18:45, ahead of Katherine Grainger's Rio doubles partner Thornley in 18:53.

Although these are the first trials finals of the Tokyo Olympic cycle, they are also important factors in team selection for World Series and World Championship races later this year and the 23-year old from Newbury has not only shown her sculling prowess, but has also been consistent over the three trials and should have done enough to earn a vest for at least one event later in the season.

Donnington’s Matthew Rossiter was excused from the men's sweep event with a medical exemption it was left to bother George to take the honours and he paired with Leander team-mate Barnaby Stentiford to claim fourth spot in a time of 16:17.69, within five seconds of Rio gold medallists Will Satch and Moe Sbihi.

Hopefully that will be enough for Rossiter to get his chance to shine once again on the world stage having been a multiple medallist at under-23 level.

The race was won by Stewart Innes from Leander and Mat Tarrant from Oxford Brookes in 16:06.29

Away from the Trials, Katie Metalli was in action on the Tideway section of the Thames in London for the second of the Cancer Research Boat Race fixtures as Oxford Brookes took on Oxford University.

She was a member of the OBUBC crew that dominated with a 2-0 win over Oxford University's Osiris boat. The Brookes team has been specifically selected with less-experienced rowers in order to qualify for the BUCS championships and Henley Women's Regatta later this year - both of which will be subject to the new points criteria - and has yet to be beaten in any event so far this season.

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