Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Chambers brothers back in action as new season looms

Peter and Richard Chambers return this weekend
Peter and Richard Chambers return this weekend

Northern Ireland's Olympic rowing heroes Richard and Peter Chambers are back in big time action this weekend – though for this regatta they'll be in different boats.

The pair became household names here after winning silver medals at London 2012, agonisingly missing out on gold by inches in a thrilling lightweight four final.

It's a new season and with that comes new challenges for the successful British team and the talented brothers from Coleraine, who are relishing the prospect of competing in the first World Cup event of the year in Sydney.

The venue is Penrith Rowing Lakes, where Sir Steve Redgrave claimed his fifth Olympic gold medal in 2000, so inspiration for Team GB won't be in short supply.

Younger sibling Peter will once again race in the lightweight four boat while older bro Richard is competing in the lightweight double sculls.

At this stage of the year, Team GB chiefs like to experiment with different line-ups for what will be the main priority of the season – in 2013 that will be the World Championships in August, which will be staged in South Korea.

The Chambers duo will both expect to be involved in the Far East and could be reunited in the four or perhaps feature as a double.

That is certainly an ambition both have for the future, possibly leading all the way to the next Olympics in Rio in 2016.

Following Sydney, the GB senior trials take place in April with more World Cups at Eton Dorney, home of the 2012 Olympics, in June and Lucerne in July.

Team GB have been in Australia for the last few weeks training and preparing for the Sydney event, taking some time out to see the sights.

There is a real determination among the Aussies to shine on their own patch, but the British rowers, both male and female, are intent on making an impact and laying down markers for the year ahead.

Richard Chambers has been shown fine form lately on the water and along with partner Adam Freeman-Pask will fancy putting in a strong performance in the lightweight double scull.

Portuguese pair Pedro Fraga and Nuno Mendes could be tough to beat though and should provide a tough challenge.

As for Peter, he and fellow 2012 silver medallist Chris Bartley are joined by two new newcomers Jonno Clegg and Chris Boddy in the lightweight four so it will be interesting to see how that quartet perform.

The finals are scheduled for Sunday.

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