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Cambridge rower Imogen Grant teams up with Emily Craig to win European Rowing Championships gold for Great Britain

Cambridge rower Imogen Grant revelled in a thumping statement victory at the European Championships.

Grant combined with Emily Craig on Saturday to retain their lightweight women’s double sculls title at Lake Bled, Slovenia.

The duo have been peerless since finishing fourth at Tokyo 2020 and this was yet another performance to suggest they will be heavy favourites for Olympic gold in Paris.

Imogen Grant and Emily Craig won gold in Slovenia. Picture: Benedict Tufnell
Imogen Grant and Emily Craig won gold in Slovenia. Picture: Benedict Tufnell

“(Winning) at last year’s Europeans surprised both of us,” said Grant. “Now we’re in a position we’ve never been in before.

“We had some questions before this regatta asking if we’d peaked too soon, the first year of an Olympic cycle, but I think that has proven we’ve definitely got more to give.”

Craig added: “This has been a real new challenge for both of us, being unbeaten last season.

“It’s a place we've not been to before and it’s been a learning curve. We’ve had really difficult and honest conversations with each other and ourselves, and it really paid off.”

The best the continent could offer was no match for Grant and Craig, who had rowed nearly a second into their rivals by the time they reached 500 metres.

Poland, France and Greece alternated as their closest challenges but none of them could lay a glove on the Brits, who crossed the line for gold 2.56 seconds clear.

It was all the more impressive given perilous conditions on the Slovenian water.

“It was pretty tough,” said Grant. “It was quite bouncy out there on the lake, so we talked a lot about staying loose and staying together and making the most of the good bits and then making sure we don’t lose stuff in the bad bits. We did that today.

“It felt a bit like the Tideway, which we’re both very familiar with.”

- 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 https://www.britishrowing.org/

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