Fuller says becoming World Champion doesn't feel real after sensational gold

Ed Fuller
Ed Fuller

Teenage rowing star Ed Fuller is delighted to have etched his name into the history books after landing World Championship gold in Racice, writes Alec McQuarrie.

The Exeter ace cruised home in the PR3 men’s pair alongside Ollie Stanhope, the British duo finishing over 27 seconds ahead of nearest challengers Australia.

But despite the overwhelming margin of victory, the celebrations were muted as the duo had fallen short of an even bigger prize – the world record time.

That wouldn’t dampen the sense of achievement for the Reading University student, though, after only making his senior debut for the GB Rowing Team this year.

“It doesn’t feel real,” said Fuller. “Growing up, seeing Ollie and everyone on the TV at these sorts of events, to actually be part of it and to write my name into the legacy, it’s incredible.

“Going into it, we really wanted to get the world best time and in the warm-up we knew the conditions were fast. It was nip and tuck the whole way.

“I think we knew when we crossed the line we didn’t quite get it. We got told we were just a second off it.

“Obviously the gold is incredible, amazing, but the world best would’ve been the icing on the cake.”

For his crewmate and four-time world champion, Stanhope, the hard graft over the long winter months has now paid huge dividends.

“This pairs project has been an absolute dream to be a part of,” said Stanhope.

“From the minute we got here, we knew we were in pretty good nick and to go out there and produce a performance like that was really good fun.

“There’s no secret. It’s just hard work. As a squad we’re always trying to push the boundaries of what we’re capable of.

“Nobody sees the December miles, the horrible miles on the erg when it’s cold and windy. They see this stuff.

“This is why we win, because we go home and work our arses off, so that when we come out here, it makes it look easy.”

Both champions will be looking to double up on Saturday, as they team up with fellow gold medallists Frankie Allen and Giedrė Rakauskaitė in the PR3 mixed coxed fours.

And Fuller paid tribute to all the staff at British Rowing for the resurgent prosperity of the country on the international stage.

“Every time we get new people, the standard just keeps moving forward. That’s something we owe to the coaches behind the scenes,” said Fuller.

“Talent development has been amazing. Finding the right people for the right seats is where our squad as a whole really steps over the other countries.

“The culture’s taken a huge step on as well. All these people are really good people to have as part of the squad.”

British Rowing is responsible for the development of rowing in England and the training and selection of rowers to represent Great Britain. The GB Rowing Team is supported by the National Lottery Sports Fund. To find out more, and to follow the ongoing World Championships in Racice, head to https://www.britishrowing.org/