GB Rowing Team Announcement

Katherine Grainger has been told she will be selected for a fifth Olympic Games despite being omitted from the initial list of rowers for Rio announced on Thursday 9 June 2016.

The British Olympic Association revealed the names of 43 of the 47 rowers to compete for Team GB in Brazil but Grainger’s name was not among them.


Photo: Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images

The 40-year-old won at London 2012 a first Olympic gold at the fourth attempt after silvers in three prior Games and was seeking selection in the womenís double scull with Vicky Thornley, but the names to compete in the boat are still to be confirmed. Rowing performance director Sir David Tanner admitted selectors had reached that decision too late to include them in the official announcement.

After giving the women’s eight a chance to rest after their Lucerne silver medal 10 days ago, and Grainger and Thornley time to switch from sculling to sweep rowing, coxless fours trials were carried out on Monday. Grainger and Thornley failed to break into the womenís eight by less than half a second.

There have been four other margins less than that this season, Paul Thompson, the chief womenís coach, said. Competition for the eight has been very close.

Discussions about Grainger and Thornley returning to the double then ensued and the formal announcement is expected soon. They are on board for Rio, and committed, Thompson said.

Most of the rest of the rowing team remains unchanged this season, the exception being the menís pair, where, barring injury, European silver medallists Alan Sinclair and Stewart Innes will race off against the Varese World Cup winners Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell and Matt Tarrant for the Olympic berth. The losers will probably become spares for Rio, although there will then be the chance to test if they can make the men’s eight, which has been dogged by illness, go faster.

In all, 18 previous Olympic rowing medallists have been selected so far, with 2004 and 2008 silver medallist Frances Houghton making her fifth Games team, this time in the eight. The target for GB Rowing is six medals at this Olympics, matching their total from Beijing.

Article by Rachel Quarrell