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George Bourne eyeing up Paris Olympics after victory at GB Rowing Team Trials

George Bourne believes that being crowned British small-boat champion can propel him to new heights and also on to the Paris Olympics.

The 25-year-old, who hails from Hauxton just outside of Cambridge, claimed a landmark gold in the men’s single sculls at this week’s GB Rowing Team Trials, a crucial regatta to set the tone for the 2023 season staged at the Redgrave Pinsent Rowing Lake.

It was a big breakthrough for Bourne, for whom 2022 was a maiden season on the British senior team, coming on the back of a number of near misses at the event.

Cambridge rower George Bourne. Picture: Sportsbeat
Cambridge rower George Bourne. Picture: Sportsbeat

“I’ve had a few second places in the last few years and I really wanted to make that step to winning something, especially at this stage of the Olympiad,” said the Tideway Scullers star.

“It was a real goal for me to put out a performance like that on my own.

“We’ve got some great athletes here who’ve helped me to some good results but it’s nice for my own confidence to make that statement, I can do it on my own as well.

“I can be a bit more relaxed in myself now. We’re obviously always improving but it’s a perfect foundation for me.

“I knew I’d built myself into a nice pattern and the result is the cherry on top.”

Bourne took on an Olympic medal-winning mantle last year, stepping into the men’s quad that won a historic silver in Tokyo.

After a shaky start that saw them finish fourth at the European Championships, they surged to silver at September’s World Championships in Racice to match their Olympic result.

Subject to selection, Bourne and company will try to build on that strong end to the season starting at May’s Europeans in Bled, Slovenia. Olympic qualification will sharpen minds this year with a slew of spots up for grabs at September’s Worlds in Belgrade.

“The brief at the start of the season was that if you’re world champions, you qualify for the Olympics,” said Bourne, who has previously rowed for Rob Roy and Isle of Ely Boat Clubs.

“The silver last year was a foundation and hopefully I can be back in the quad aiming for that next step. It would be awesome to qualify but we want to win the whole thing, and it’s two birds with one stone. Why not aim that high?”

  • British Rowing is the governing body for the sport and is responsible for the development of rowing in England and the training and selection of rowers to represent Great Britain. The GB Rowing Team is supported by the National Lottery Sports Fund. To find out more, and to follow the team, head to britishrowing.org.

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