Ben Pritchard revealed his work away from the water helped relax him ahead of a superb semi-final run at the World Rowing Championships, writes Jack Lacey-Hatton.
Pritchard, 30, who won European bronze earlier this year, was in red-hot form as he secured a PR1 men’s single sculls final spot in the Czech Republic.
The Swansea sculler managed to win his semi-final heat by eight seconds, ahead of five-time World Champion Erik Horrie in second place.
Pritchard also sits on the board of Welsh Rowing and believes his responsibilities with the governing body have helped him find his best form out in Racice.
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“I actually had a board meeting last night,” he said.
“We were looking at how to inspire Welsh men and women into rowing boats - what a way to prepare for a semi-final!
“It was about how we grow the sport. But it is quite nice doing things like that before racing because it completely takes your head out of ‘race mode’ which is actually quite a nice distraction.
— British Rowing (@BritishRowing) September 20, 2022
“By doing that, I don’t get too het-up before a big race. It meant I could get focused this morning rather than worrying the night before.”
Australian Horrie had won gold in this event in both 2017 and 2018 but had no response to Pritchard’s smooth performance on Friday morning.
After having to settle for qualifying as second fastest in his opening heat on Tuesday, Pritchard said it was a major confidence boost as he prepares to go for gold on Sunday.
“It is always great to go up against some of the best people in the world,” he said. “It is no mean feat to come and race Erik (Horrie).
“So it is always nice to go out there and compete with him and even nicer to pip him I guess.
“It definitely has given me some confidence going into the final.
“I know the job is not done, he’ll come out racing hard and fighting for it. Also, the other heat was a lot faster than mine.
“But we’ll keep our heads down, get on with it and see what happens on Sunday.”
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/