By Tum Balogun, Sportsbeat
Graeme Thomas takes on the World Championship quarter-finals today after coming through a ‘lung-busting’ opening round of the men’s single sculls at the World Rowing Championships in Racice.
The Preston native came home in a time of 6:49.93 over the 2000m distance in Monday’s heat, three seconds ahead of the Norwegian Kjetil Borch, with Piotr Plominski of Poland in third.
An experienced campaigner with three World Championship medals as a quadruple sculler, Thomas is now thriving in the single vessel and believes the solitary endeavour is bringing the best out of his performances.
Our first race of the day is @Graeme_Thomas in the Quater Final of the Men's Single Sculls.
Graeme came first in his heat and a 1-3 place finish will see him progress to the A/B Final. 💪#britishrowing pic.twitter.com/HoLRifv3e2
— British Rowing (@BritishRowing) September 21, 2022
“It’s boom or bust,” he said. “It's all down to you, whatever you do is your responsibility and I kind of like that - you get out what you put in and that's a nice feeling.
“I'm enjoying it, it's been on the bucket list for a long time. I didn't quite think this was the year but here I am.
“I’m paid to go and try and win medals for GB so that's exactly what I'm going to try and do.”
Thomas adjusted to an unusual start time for his heat and now hopes to keep his momentum going, with the Lancashire ace lining up in the second of four quarter-finals from 9.07am.
“I was really happy to get the first one out of the way with a win, it wasn't easy,” he said.
“Normally the singles race is on around lunchtime so for it to be on so early was a bit of a lung-buster but the first race always is.
It’s day 3 of the World Rowing Championships and we’re through the heats stage 💪
We’ve seen strong performances from all three squads so far in the competition - catch up on the racing now 👇https://t.co/1jxIRz1KOk
Racing starts again at 09.07 BST tomorrow! #GBRowingTeam pic.twitter.com/yrn9wjPAyC
— British Rowing (@BritishRowing) September 20, 2022
“You've not warmed up here before, it's a new venue so there’s all those little things that go into the mix to make things a little bit more unknown.
“I was pushed all the way, Kjetil had a little go in the end there, but I just held it off and I’m pleased with that.
“It’s very much about keeping your head down to keep the process going and keep stepping on through the regatta, hopefully.”
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/