L-R: Alex, Susannah and Seun on the water

Rowing Success for Exeter Women at GB trials

Three Exeter students have achieved great results in the recent GB Rowing Final Trials. Rowing scholar Susannah Duncan finished second in the lightweight women’s single sculls (LW1x), while High Performance bursars Alex Flynn and Seun Olusanya finished 6th in the women’s pairs (W2-). 

Alex is now the top U23 W2- rower in the UK and Alex and Seun were the highest finishing Under-23 pair at the event, even finishing ahead of two crews who competed in the Oxbridge boat race. Susannah is currently the leading U20 LW1x rower in the UK, and even managed to beat several senior rowers at the GB trials.

These outstanding results put the three sportswomen in a great position for national selection, with the World Senior and U23 Championships coming up in August and the FISU Universities Championships in September.

Director of Rowing Richard Tinkler was impressed by the result: “I’m so proud of what the girls have done. The amount of work they’ve put in shows that training and dedication pays off, and it has been great to see the girls reap the rewards. They have shown that Exeter rowers train hard and can compete with anyone!”

After the event, Alex commented: “I was delighted to have made it to final trials and for Seun and I to reach the A final was an unexpected surprise. What's more, to be listed as the leading U23 sweep athlete made the whole experience more special.” Meanwhile, her teammate Seun commented: “This weekend was a whole new learning experience for me. Every time I get on the water I aim to impress, develop and surprise myself. I'm just looking forward to getting back out in a boat and seeing how fast I can make it go!”

Susannah Duncan said: “Having raced for GB as a junior, stepping up to race as a senior has been a big change. As a lightweight, finally being able to race people the same size as me has been an exciting challenge. I performed far better than I could have hoped for and hope that I've done enough to earn a seat, for GB, at the U23 World Championships this summer.”

The girls were also accompanied by their “number one fan”, coxswain Sophie Wrixon, who studies Mathematics and said: “These results are a massive lift and a testament to what can be achieved with the right coaching and support. We'd like to extend our thanks to Richard and Lorna Tinkler who have gone above and beyond to get us to this stage. We hope we make them proud.”

Alongside their intense training regimes, the three rowers also study for degrees in Engineering (Susannah), Medicine (Seun) and Psychology (Alex). In December 2015, Susannah was identified by student magazine The Tab as one of the country’s most influential students, and was thus given the opportunity to meet with the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Matthew Barzun.

Rowing is one of Exeter’s nine focus sports, and in the 2014/15 British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) rankings the institution was ranked 7th for Rowing overall. The University of Exeter Sports Scholarship Scheme is one of the most prestigious in the UK, helping the best student athletes reach their full potential. The scheme provides a comprehensive support package and is tailored to suit the needs of each individual athlete. Many of our graduating scholars have progressed to a professional level in their chosen sport and represented their respective countries on the global stage.

The University of Exeter has been awarded The Times & The Sunday Times Good Universities Guide 2016 Sports University of the Year, following significant investment and development over the past 10 years. The University has also achieved a Global 100 ranking in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The prestigious rankings, which mean Exeter retains its position as best in the South West, take into account a wide range of factors, including student satisfaction and research excellence. 

Date: 14 April 2016

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