Nottingham rowing star Matt Haywood believes he and his teammates are growing in confidence at just the right time after advancing to the World Championship final in Racice writes Oli Dickson-Jefford.
Haywood, alongside teammates Harry Leask, George Bourne and Thomas Barras, finished second in Thursday’s men’s quadruple sculls semi-final to seal their place in Saturday’s final.
The quartet will now race for medals in the Czech Republic and Haywood believes the inexperienced British team have come on leaps and bounds in recent months.
He said: “It was a tough race. It was level for a lot of it, there were some good crews out there but I think we just kept chipping away, driving through and I think a slightly slower race into a headwind helped.
“This is only our fifth actual race and we had a good show at the Europeans, we put together three very good, very different races.
— British Rowing (@BritishRowing) September 22, 2022
“The camps that we’ve been on have really helped us find the rhythm that works for us, so we come into this with a little more confidence.
“We had a very good heat on Monday, another solid performance today so we’re looking forward to the final.”
Bourne added: “It’s one of those where you come into the race and there’s a lot to win and lose. To get through that one, we can take the pressure off our shoulders a little bit. We’re in the game, we’ve got nothing to lose.
We had some great racing and our first medals of the competition were won today at the World Championships in Racice! 🥇👏
Read our race report here 👇https://t.co/9dggDbXN70
Tune in tomorrow to catch more finals!
— British Rowing (@BritishRowing) September 23, 2022
“We’ve started to build our identity a little bit as a crew through our camps and stuff, so we can go into the final with a bit of confidence, chests up, and see what we can put down. I’m looking forward to it.”
The crew’s preparation was far from ideal due to challenging conditions in the build-up, though the crew were able to adapt when it mattered.
Barras added: “The warm-up was quite washy and probably put us off our rhythm a little bit, I think we’ve probably got more in that.
“We’ve got a bit more to give in the final so I’m looking forward to that now.”
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/