George out for rowing revenge at World Championships

·3-min read
Tom George is a double World Championship bronze medallist as part of the men’s eight (Ben Gurr)

Tom George has warned his Romanian rivals he is out for revenge as he and Ollie Wynne-Griffith look to reverse the tide at the World Championships writes Paul Martin.

George and Wynne-Griffith were among the few British rowers to come home disappointed from last month’s European Championships after being pipped by Romanian duo Marius Cozmiuc and Sergiu Bejan in the men’s pair final.

A training camp in Silvretta, notorious in British rowing circles, has seen them put in the hard yards since and George is relishing the opportunity to showcase their improvement in Racice.

“We didn’t give the best account of ourselves at Europeans,” he admitted. “Lots of factors played into that.

“I had Covid the week before we went, which was a curveball we didn’t anticipate, and we didn’t have our coach there, which meant we were a bit rudderless in terms of identifying problems and addressing them.

“But we’ve addressed those on camp and we’re rowing the boat much better now. You have to keep moving forward, especially in the pair where there are a lot of world-class crews.

“We didn’t step on as much as we could have done [in Munich] and the Romanians did, so fair play to them. But we are coming for them at Worlds.

“We have to be able to win on a four or five out of 10. We were at that level at Europeans and didn’t win, but to get a silver despite that is still pretty good going. We’re hungry to get better.”

George is a double World Championship bronze medallist as part of the men’s eight, with whom he also earned an Olympic medal of the same colour last summer.

But he has been rejuvenated by a switch of boat with his long-term rowing partner and believes the squad as a whole are learning from errors made in the past.

“Those of us who went to Tokyo realised the mistakes we made and have been able to address them, hopefully leading the more inexperienced guys through,” he said.

“In the last cycle, with the exception of Mo [Sbihi] and a couple of others, there was a little bit of the blind leading the blind – no-one really knew the standard we needed.

“To have the guys back to provide that foresight is really helpful and for Ollie and I, that old adage of ‘a change is as good as a rest’ has really rung true for us.

“Both of us needed that stimulus and I love working with him in the pair; it’s really good and always fun.”

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