Coupe de la Jeunesse worth all the early mornings for rower Thomson

·3-min read
Lucy Thomson helped Great Britain win the coveted Coupe de la Jeunesse this summer

Wrexham rowing star Lucy Thomson wants to use her success on the junior stage as a platform for extending British Rowing’s recent resurgence at international level writes Alec McQuarrie.

The 18-year-old won double sculls gold and silver this summer to help Britain grab the coveted Coupe de la Jeunesse in Castrelo de Mino, northern Spain.

Thomson only picked up rowing in 2018 and was all set to start trialling for the national set-up two years later when Covid struck.

Trials were cancelled and an untimely bout of appendicitis prevented her from impressing the following year.

But now, without A-levels and an appendix to hold her back, Thomson can revel in her triumph on the major international stage.

“It was quite surreal,” said Thomson. “We’ve worked so hard over the whole year with a lot of intense trials.

“It’s been a complete rollercoaster with my A-levels as well. It was just amazing that everything paid off, all the hard work, all the early mornings.”

The early mornings won’t be stopping any time soon, with Thomson off to study Biochemistry at Newcastle University in September, but the Royal Chester rower is not complaining.

Thomson said: “I don’t think I’d know what to do with myself if I didn’t have the long days of sport. Once you’re on the water it doesn’t feel like a chore.

“Obviously there are some hard days to get motivated. I don’t wake up at 5am every morning and think, yes, let’s go rowing.

“But as soon as I’m there I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.”

After a disappointing showing in Tokyo, where Team GB rowers failed to win gold for the first time since 1980 and ended up with their worst medal return for almost half a century, close attention is being paid to the potential stars of 2024 and 2028.

British Rowing did bounce back to top the medal table at this month’s European Championships and Thomson says she’s determined to continue the momentum.

“The Olympics is the biggest dream for pretty much every athlete and it’d be amazing to row at the Olympics,” she added.

“But if it’s not meant to be, I think I’ll be happy with what I’ve achieved.

“Long term in the future I’d like to start being a rowing coach, because I can’t really imagine my life without it.”

Entain, owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, is proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid. Visit entaingroup.com to find out more