Thomas triumphs in ‘long-busting’ opening round of World Rowing Championships

Thomas progressed to the quarter-finals in a time of 6:49.93 ahead of Kjetil Borch and Piotr Plominski (Ben Gurr)

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.

“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.

“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.”

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