Imogen Grant receives call-up to Great Britain senior rowing team
Henry Fieldman and Tom Ransley are also selected for World Rowing Cup regatta in Belgrade
Imogen Grant has taken another step on a whirlwind rowing journey after being named in the Great Britain senior squad for the first World Rowing Cup regatta of the season.
The 22-year-old, who is from Bar Hill, is a fourth-year medical student at Trinity College and only took up the sport on arriving at Cambridge University.
In four short years, though, she has gone from college rowing to two winning Women’s Boat Race Blues, representing GB under-23s at a world championships and now a call-up to the senior team to compete in the lightweight single sculls in Belgrade from June 1 to 3.
Grant is in clinical school and had not considered the selection, so rather than being at the national rowing headquarters in Caversham for the announcement yesterday, she was observing surgeries.
“I don’t feel like it’s real yet,” said Grant. “I don’t think I will actually believe I’m going until I’m sitting on the plane ready to leave. I’m so happy.
“I did the Boat Race and then I had three weeks between the Boat Race and final trials. It was all hands on deck, get in the single, see what I can do.
“It went so much better than I expected it to be and, on the back of that, I’ve been given this amazing opportunity now, which is so great.
“It was mostly seeing about how far I can get. I know that I’m always on the back foot at least at the start of the season because I’m doing so much sweep rowing so I’m not getting that much time to practise [sculling].
“It was definitely in the back of my mind that maybe it would be an option if everything fell into place, but it’s the kind of thing that you can’t really think about until you know how fast you’re going or how things are doing.”
Joining Grant on the plane to Serbia will be former Cambridge University Boat Club cox and current coxing consultant Henry Fieldman, who has been selected to steer the men’s eight.
“Last year was my first season in the eight, and it’s awesome to be in the eight again,” said the 29-year-old, who was in the Boat Race in 2013.
“It’s the premier boat, and the only coxed boat actually. It’s a real dream come true.
“I coxed the GB pair from 2014 through to 2016, and then moved into the eight; since then the coxed pair has been removed as an event.
“There is only one spot in the men’s team and one spot in the women’s team for coxes so it’s quite a cut-throat situation.
“It’s made selection in the past really tough and it hasn’t gone my way, but over the years I have built up a good rapport with the crews and the coaches and I know a little bit more about the sport and what the boats need. I’m in a competitive spot now.”
Fellow Light Blue and Olympic gold medallist Tom Ransley has also been named in the 54-strong squad, in the men’s coxless four.