Thornley rows to gold at Under-23 World Champs

29 July 2009

University of Bath-based rower Victoria Thornley is celebrating gold at the Under-23 World Rowing Championships.

Thornley, who trains at the University of Bath and Minerva Bath Rowing Club, struck gold with the British women’s eight at the competition in Racice, the Czech Republic at the weekend.

It is the first time a British women’s eight have won World Championship gold at any level.

The performance is all the more remarkable as 21-year-old Thornley has only been rowing for 19 months having been identified through GB Rowing’s World Class Start programme as a result of publicity for UK Sport’s Sporting Giants scheme.

Thornley rowed in the four seat as the British eight led from the start of their final, but had to hold off a late charge from the USA crew to take gold.

GB Rowing’s World Class Start Scheme, sponsored by Siemens and supported by UK Sport with National Lottery money, is a unique talent identification and development scheme.

The World Class Start programme at Bath has identified five athletes for Great Britain teams in the past five years. She joins Adam Freeman-Pask, Dave Lyons and Marcus Bateman, as well as Heather Stanning. Stanning won gold at the Under-23 World Championships in Strathclyde in 2007 as a member of the women’s pair, shortly after graduating with a degree in Sports Technology from the University of Bath.

Thornley’s achievement is all the more significant as she has only been rowing for 19 months – Stanning’s gold came after two and a half years in the sport.

The University of Bath has one of the leading university sports departments in the UK. Under its Team Bath brand, its success is based on the expertise and dedication of staff, and its excellent facilities, used by the community and Olympic medal winners alike.

Members of the media who require further information can contact the Team Bath Press Office at Matchtight Ltd on (01225) 383518 or 01225 443998 or see the Team Bath website.

Posted: Wednesday 29th July 2009

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