1 August 2018
By Göran R Buckhorn
The European Rowing Championships will have to do without Vicky Thornley, British Rowing announced on Monday. The 30-year-old Welshwoman will not be able to defend her European title in the single sculls. The European Rowing Championships will begin tomorrow, 2 August, at Strathclyde Country Park in Glasgow.
‘It’s hugely disappointing not to be competing in Glasgow this week. I’m not currently in a position to perform at my physical best,’ Thornley told the BBC. She added: ‘I have to look at the big picture, which means being able to race in peak condition at the World Championships in September.’
Thornley, captain at Leander Club, took a gold medal at the European Championships in Racice in May 2017 and a silver at the World Championships in Sarasota in September. She only competed in one World Cup regatta this year, World Cup I in Belgrade in the beginning of June, placing fifth. At Henley Royal Regatta, Thornley was beaten by Madeleine Edmunds, Australia, in the semifinal of The Princess Royal Challenge Cup.
‘It’s never an easy decision to withdraw an athlete from a major championship, especially one on home water, but our priority is to ensure Vicky is able to compete at her best. Vicky is a true competitor and, in a strong single sculls field, it’s important that she’s able to fire on all cylinders at the World Championships,’ Brendan Purcell, director of Performance, said.
Today, the Swedish Rowing Association announced that Swedish sculler Lovisa Claesson, who is competing in the women’s single sculls, has left Glasgow due to illness, ‘some flu-like symptoms’. Claesson is an up-and-coming sculler. Last year, she placed fifth in the European Championships and won a gold medal in the Under-23 Championships.
The 2018 European Championships will be held between 2 and 5 August, and the 2018 World Championships will be held between 9 and 16 September in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.