Belfast Telegraph

Quartet aiming to make waves at World finals


By Steven Beacom

Northern Ireland quartet Joel Cassells, Peter Chambers, Holly Nixon and Rebecca Shorten are setting their sights on podium places at the World Rowing Championships in Florida.

The regatta begins tomorrow with heats ahead of next weekend's finals with Team GB aiming for more glory after a promising World Cup series earlier this year.

Olympic silver medallist Chambers is well used to the big occasion and his experience will prove extremely useful alongside Gavin Horsburgh, Zak Lee-Green and Ed Fisher in the men's lightweight quad.

Chambers has been competing in the lightweight double sculls, but with his partner Will Fletcher out of action due to injury, the Coleraine man has switched boats and is looking forward to a new challenge in what is a non-Olympic class.

"There's some great young talent in there and it is going to exciting," said Chambers.

"It will be very competitive and tough but we are relishing the opportunity to race in the event."

Cassells is another upbeat about his chances of success in the USA. Once again he teams up with Sam Scrimgeour in the lightweight pair.

They have history with the competition having won the World Championships in 2015. If everything clicks they will be a crew to watch having claimed silver and bronze in the World Cup in 2017.

The women's quad, which features Enniskillen rower Nixon, could also be in the mix. After injuries and illness had an impact in this class, Team GB have selected Nixon, Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne, Jessica Leyden and Beth Bryan believing they can build on the World Cup and European bronze they won earlier in the year to have a strong World Championship regatta.

Shorten will race in the Women's Eight. The Belfast lady is making waves in the GB set up and is keen to continue to show her quality in Florida.

British Rowing performance director, Sir David Tanner, said: "The 2017 World Championships come at the end of a long, but rewarding season for the GB Rowing Team.

"These championships are what we've built our season around and we plan to be at our peak for them."

Belfast Telegraph

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