7:00am Saturday 19th April 2014
By Ashley Loveridge
The GB Rowing Team’s Gloucestershire quartet of Pete Reed, Alex Gregory, Beth Rodford and Matt Gotrel are all hoping to impress at the GB Rowing Team Senior Trials in Caversham this weekend.
Reed, whose home town is Nailsworth, is a double Olympic gold medal winner, having won the men’s four at Beijing in 2008 and London 2012.
More recently he competed in the men’s eight at the World Championships in Chungju, Korea, where the team won an historic gold medal – Britain’s first at the World Championships in this boat class.
This was Reed’s third World Rowing Championship gold medal, cementing his position as one of Great Britain’s strongest rowers and will be looking to reaffirm this status with a positive display at the trials this weekend. He will be rowing in the men’s pair with Leander Club’s Will Satch.
Alex Gregory will also be hoping to make a similarly strong impression this weekend.
Gregory, who hails from Wormington in Gloucester, was a member of the men’s four who won gold at London 2012 and like his team-mate in that boat Pete Reed, he also has three World Championship gold medals under his belt. This weekend Gregory will be rowing with Molesey’s Mohamed Sbihi in the men’s pair.
When asked about the importance of the trials in terms of preparation for coming season, Gregory said: “It gives us an opportunity to show where we are as rowers and show Jürgen (Grobler, main coach) that we deserve our place in the team. It also gives a great opportunity to other rowers who are not in the core group to put themselves up for selection”.
Beth Rodford, a member of Gloucester Rowing Club, is hoping to build on some promising recent results and cement her place in Great Britain’s plans for Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
With one gold medal at the World Championships in 2010 to her name, Beth will be hoping to improve on her third place finished at the 2011 and 2012 trials in the women’s single sculls.
In spite of podium finishes proving somewhat elusive in recent years, Beth is still a key member of the GB Rowing Team.
Matt Gotrel, from Chipping Camden, will compete this weekend in the men’s pair with Paul Bennett from the University of London. The duo are part of the GB Rowing Team open men’s squad and are likely to be involved in a tough tussle with Reed and Gregory’s crews for a place in Sunday’s six-boat final.
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