GB U23 rowing bronze

Team Exeter: Becky (physio), Danielle, Susannah and Richard (coach)

Team Exeter take Bronze for GB at 2018 World Rowing U23 Championships

The Lightweight women’s double scull of Sports Scholars Susannah Duncan and Danielle Semple stormed to the final and took home the bronze medal for GB at the 2018 World Rowing U23 Championships in Poland.

The World Rowing U23 Championships is raced in 22 boat classes and is open to all World Rowing Federation (FISA) member nations for rowers aged U23.With the Championships being held in Poznan, Poland from 25th-29th July on Malta Lake the GB U23 team comprised of 56 athletes, racing across 5 days with 2 days of finals.

At the Championships the Great Britain contingent won a total of 8 medals to achieve their best ever World U23 Rowing performance, including a brilliant bronze from the Exeter lightweight double (Susannah Duncan and Danielle Semple). This put GB 3rd in the overall medal table for the Championships behind Italy in 2nd and USA in 1st. Making up the GB U23 Rowing support team for Susannah and Danielle was a continued Exeter (green) theme of  University of Exeter Head of Rowing Richard Tinkler as coach and Ocean Physio and Rehabs’ Becky Davidson as physio. Head of Rowing Richard Tinkler works across the University of Exeter Boat Club’s novice and senior squads, producing British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) medals and developing talented rowers on the Performance Programme through to National Team Selections. Ocean Physio and Rehab provide all physiotherapy support to the University of Exeter Performance Programme and have a clinic based at the Sports Park.

Reflecting on a brilliant bronze medal and tough year with a lot of hard work, Susannah Duncan, final year BEng Engineering student, Sports Scholar and Exeter University Boat Club stalwart commented “It's been a bit of a whirlwind of a year, surgery, rehab, finals, GB selection in the lightweight double, Henley final and then a World Championship Bronze in the only Olympic lightweight event is an exceptional achievement for us! Being a full Exeter team, Danielle, Richard, Becky and myself makes it all the more special. We went out hard and dropped half the field within 500m and then pulled away with Italy and Germany in a fight off for the medals. We executed our race to perfection and left everything on the track - no regrets. The Italian crew broke the world record in our final and we were not far off it either. Thank you to all of University of Exeter Student Sport for helping us to balance our academics with training and managing our Sports Scholarships and to Ocean Physio for their input across the season. We would also like to thank our sponsors and donors, in particular Alison Carnwath and Nicolas Bull whose financial support over the last few years played an essential part in our success at the World Championships”.

Fellow Sports Scholar and BSc Geography 1st year student Danielle Semple added “It was such an amazing opportunity we both had to go and represent GB and more importantly Exeter on such an international scale. We had the best preparation in the run up to the event and we felt pretty confident going into it that we would be able to challenge some of the other boats for medals. It was a close field but as we lead them for the majority of the race and coming home with a bronze was everything we came here to do. As it is also the only Olympic event for lightweight women, it is even more exciting as it means the boats are loaded with the best lightweights so we know we are racing the best of the world. Really excited to hopefully carry on this combination for the future as we can both race again at U23 World Championships next year!”

Head of Rowing Richard Tinkler summarised “I can’t underestimate how big an achievement this is for the girls. It’s a result that has put Susannah and Danielle high in the World Rankings. With the continued support and hard work next year I know we can go on to achieve the top result. This is a prime opportunity to thank all of University of Exeter Sport team behind the scenes for all of their support over the past few years on all aspects of the Rowing programme”.

Rowing is one of the performance sports at the University of Exeter, where performance athletes have access to exceptional coaching and facilities including the Nicholas Bull Boathouse, a comprehensive support services package and Sports Scholarship Scheme.

Date: 24 July 2018

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