Belfast Telegraph

Coleraine's Olympic trio out to lay down a marker ahead of the World Championships

By Nigel Ringland

The third and final World Cup regatta of the season gets underway in Lucerne today, a last chance to lay down a marker ahead of the World Championships in Korea at the end of August.

For Coleraine's trio of Olympic medalists this is another stepping stone towards their real goal for the year and Alan Campbell and the Chambers brothers – Richard and Peter – will want to show their rivals that they mean business before the trip to the Far East.

Campbell looked impressive in his first international outing since the Olympics last summer when he finished second behind London 2012 silver medalist Ondrej Synek from the Czech Republic at Eton Dorney last month but then was surprisingly beaten by Aleksandr Aleksandrov from Azerbaijan in the Diamond Sculls final at Henley last Sunday.

"I really haven't had the luxury of dwelling on the defeat at Henley because Lucerne comes around so quickly. I was disappointed but I have to move on," explained Campbell.

He'll come up against Synek again this weekend but Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale has returned to New Zealand for his countries trials and misses out. After a long sabbatical following his gold medal success, Drysdale was disappointing at Henley.

That's left a few new single scullers on the block, including Aleksandrov, hoping to make an impact.

"Since 2009 Mahe, Ondrej and myself have shared the three medals at the world championships and Olympic Games and this is the year for new guys to make their impact and they're hungry to do so. The question is can they be consistent, not just this year but moving on to Rio in 2016? That's the question that has to be answered."

Richard and Peter Chambers were pleased with their efforts at Henley despite going out at the semi-finals stage in the Double Sculls.

After a debut at Eton that saw the duo lead the field in poor conditions for 1850m before they died in the closing stages to finish second, they used Henley to work on some things including their endurance and were pleased with the results. They now head to Lucerne to take on the best in the world and their result this weekend will be keenly analysed.

"It was a really successful weekend at Henley in terms of what we learned and how we can move this project along. We worked on some of the key technical points and we also lasted the distance without blowing up and we kept our speed," explained Richard.

"We're going to Lucerne to win but we know that won't be easy with the European champions France and a new combination from the Olympic champions Denmark coming into the competition for the first time this season.

"We're looking forward to it, we're quite nervous and apprehensive but it but that's not a bad thing and we want to show the competition how fast we are and if they're going to win the world championships then they're going to have to be very quick."

There's no doubt the brothers are enjoying racing together this year but in the high pressure environment of the GB squad they know they have to prove themselves in the lightweight double because failure isn't tolerated.

"As soon as we finish Lucerne we head off to Germany for three weeks solid training and that's the camp that makes or breaks you and if you want to win at the worlds it's the camp you have to finish well. We know this weekend will be tough but I wouldn't like to be racing us either."

Belfast Telegraph

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