Belfast Telegraph

Chambers will retain focus despite fear of Olympic blow

 

By Steven Beacom

Northern Ireland's Peter Chambers will today attempt to make the final of the lightweight quadruple sculls at the World Rowing Championships in Florida as the sport comes to terms with the belief that lightweight rowing may have no future at the Olympic Games.

Representing Team GB, Chambers famously won a silver medal, alongside older brother Richard, at London 2012 in the lightweight men's four.

He has also been victorious in the World and European lightweight men's pairs and earlier this year, with partner Will Fletcher, won the lightweight men's double sculls in the World Cup at Belgrade.

With Fletcher being injured, Chambers is competing in America with Gavin Horsburgh, Zak-Lee Green and Edward Fisher in the lightweight quadruple sculls and they will race in the semi-final hoping to give themselves a shot at a surprise medal.

The quartet are competing for the first time at this regatta, but showed good signs in the heat.

All four will have been interested in the views expressed this week by President of the World Rowing Federation (FISA) Jean-Christophe Rolland.

The only lightweight classes for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be the men's and women's double sculls and it could get worse in years to come.

"To be frank, there is no guarantee (about lightweight racing) at all at this point in time," Rolland said.

"We know already that the question will be raised again. Even if we stand by our determination that the lightweight doubles are critical for the universality of our sport, we will have to present a strong case.

"The IOC (International Olympic Committee) is strongly challenging the weight category in the Olympic Programme."

Also, Belfast's Rebecca Shorten will race for Great Britain today in the Women's Eights repêchage with the aim of making the final.

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