Rowing bosses admitted they were surprised by the extent of Britain’s dominance at the world championships.
Great Britain won seven gold medals, more than ever, topping the medal table in Racice, Czech Republic.
Where Dutch and Australian rivals overtook them for Olympic medals in Tokyo, British crews stole a march through gaping margins in key boat classes.
“I think we felt like the rest of the world was stepping in more than they did here,” said Director of Performance Louise Kingsley.
“It’s been fantastic to come out and demonstrate the standards that we’re at. We’re in a fantastic place and we’re definitely eyeing Paris 2024. We cannot rest on our laurels here as there is still a lot we can work on.”
From the outside it was a seamless machine, delivering 12 medals, three gold medals in Paralympic classes and four in Olympic events. But there were bumps along the way – not the least of which was an accident on the water in which the male couple fell into a competing boat, rendering their racing shells unusable.
Also, Matt Aldridge, men’s four, and Christian Felkel, trainer, both had to be confined to their hotel rooms due to illness for most of the regatta.
Men’s head coach Paul Stannard said: “It’s a credit to the team that you didn’t see it.
“We were all calm, incredibly together, all on one side and completely at ease. We knew things were going well, but if you had said at the start of the season that we would get those results, we would never have believed you. We are very, very satisfied.”
Great Britain won two medals in blue ribbon events on the final day of racing.
The men’s eight capped an unbeaten season with a win in a clash with the Dutch, five survivors from Tokyo and three new faces to make a fearsome squad.
Olympic bronze medalist James Rudkin said: “I feel happier than ever in the team. Morale is just super high.
“It’s two years to Paris and we haven’t quite redeemed ourselves yet. This is step one and we are really looking forward to the next two steps.”
Graeme Thomas emerged from his debut season in the highly competitive men’s singles with a career-high bronze medal.
Highlights of the Tokyo turnaround included the step change in the women’s squad, brilliantly led by Australia’s Andrew Randell.
Randell quickly phased out Jurgen Grobler’s ergometer-heavy European style and imported a Southern Hemisphere style that prioritizes work on the water over the dry.
“They’ve been doing it the British way for 20 years,” Randell said. “I just continued what we did very successfully down in Australia. It wasn’t that weird to me, but it probably was to her because it’s so different. The specificity of our training is very high in terms of racing.
“We needed the results early to get the buy-in. They all set personal bests on the erg and validated the hard work we put in – they proved they can do it.”
:: British Rowing is responsible for the development of rowing in England and the training and selection of rowers to represent Britain. The GB Rowing Team is supported by the National Lottery Sports Fund. To learn more and follow the ongoing World Championships in Racice, go to
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/olympics/rowing/rowing-world-championships-team-gb-paris-olympics-b2174939.html Team GB rowing chiefs have “kept an eye on the Paris Olympics” after dominating the World Championships