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Imogen Grant revels in ‘amazing’ success with Emily Craig for GB Rowing at the European Championships





Imogen Grant, left, and Emily Craig of Great Britain celebrate after the medals ceremony at rowing competition at the European Championships Munich 2022 at Munich Olympic Regatta Centre. Picture: Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images for British Rowing
Imogen Grant, left, and Emily Craig of Great Britain celebrate after the medals ceremony at rowing competition at the European Championships Munich 2022 at Munich Olympic Regatta Centre. Picture: Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images for British Rowing

Imogen Grant fought back the emotions after winning an “amazing” gold medal at the European Rowing Championships in Munch.

The 26-year-old Bar Hill-based rower was reunited with Emily Craig in the lightweight double sculls at the regatta for the first time in nine months, after they missed out last year on a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics by 0.01sec and won the Stonor Challenge Trophy at Henley Royal Regatta.

They were the class act in the final at the Olympic Regatta Centre that included Olympic gold medallists Valentina Rodini and Federica Cesarini, of Italy, and silver medallists Laura Tarantola and Claire Bové, of France.

“That was amazing. I feel so emotional actually,” Grant told the BBC. “The last time we raced the double together was Tokyo and Henley last year, which was nine months ago.

“It was a rough year last year and we’ve both been doing lots of stuff individually this year to try to improve and I feel that’s just been the proof of it really.

“We’ve come back fighting and shown that we’re a force to be reckoned with.”

The GB duo had established a two-second lead over the field by the halfway point, and went on to win in 7min 27.82sec, with the French pair 5.51sec behind in second and the Italians in third.

After Tokyo last year, Grant returned to her medical studies at Trinity College, helping Cambridge University Boat Club to success in the Boat Race, and Craig went to work for four months at St James’s Auctions, and the time away from the sport helped the pair develop.

“I never think it is any one thing when you get to this point,” said Grant.

“It’s always about those margins. I think a well-rounded athlete is a fast athlete and I think the set-up this year after all the turbulence, it’s really paying dividends in the whole squad.”

There have been plenty of changes within the GB Rowing Team set-up while they have been away, with Andrew Randell appointed as the women’s Olympic head coach.

“We still have the consistency of Darren Whiter as our coach, but coming into Andrew’s programme and just the culture that he has brought to the women’s squad,” said Craig.

“Walking back into that gym, back into the changing room, it was a completely different vibe and it’s been incredible. The ergs we do together, the training we do together, the support, the atmosphere, the crew mentality. Watching everybody perform so incredibly well [on Saturday] really inspired us.back into that gym, back into the changing room, it was a support, the atmosphere, the crew mentality. Watching everybody perform so incredibly well [on Saturday] really inspired us.

“You get on the water and think ‘well they’ve all gone and won gold, I want my gold medal!’.”

The gold is an upgrade on the silver that the duo won in Varese, Italy at last year’s European championships and, given the margin of their victory, it was one that Grant was able to savour.

“We spoke beforehand about racing every 250m of the race, and making sure it’s really consistent and be involved with it, pushing that red line,” she added.

“I will admit that I think I was able to enjoy the last 250m.”



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