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Para-rowing crews for World Rowing Championships announced

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GB's PR3 mixed coxed four training at Caversham (Naomi Baker)

Four Paralympic champions will represent Great Britain at the World Rowing Championships in September, with three crews named to compete in Plovdiv.

GB won gold in the PR3 mixed coxed four in Sarasota-Bradenton last year, setting two stunning World Best Times in the process.

Grace Clough, who won gold at Rio 2016 and Ollie Stanhope return from the victorious 2017 crew, with James Fox and Giedre Rakauskaite forced to sit the season out with injuries.

Daniel Brown, who also won gold in Rio, comes back into the crew along with debutant Ellen Buttrick and cox Erin Wysocki-Jones, who coxed the GB women’s eight on two occasions last year.

Brown and Stanhope have had a taste of the podium already this season, winning an excellent gold in the PR3 men’s pair at the World Cup in Linz.

Lauren Rowles has recovered from off-season surgery to claim her place in the PR2 mixed double sculls alongside fellow Paralympic gold medallist Laurence Whiteley.

The duo last raced together at the World Cup in Poznan last summer, where they won silver. In Rowles’s absence, Whiteley won silver in Linz in the PR2 single scull, as well as gold and silver in the single at the Gavirate Para-rowing Regatta in May.

Andy Houghton also won a silver medal in Linz in the PR1 single scull and will be battling to go one better in Plovdiv. The Newbury rower returned to the GB setup after four years away in 2017 and finished just outside the medals in Sarasota-Bradenton in fourth place.

British Rowing Director of Performance Brendan Purcell said: “I’m delighted to announce such an experienced group of Para-rowers for the World Rowing Championships.

“It has been a tough season managing a number of injuries and rehabilitations within the squad but we are confident that these crews are in the best possible shape going into the World Championships. Chief Coach Tom Dyson and the wider support team have done an excellent job in getting the athletes ready for competition.

“The World Championships are an important marker for where we are in relation to Paralympic qualification in 2019.

“We have a strong Para-rowing Development squad, which is creating healthy competition amongst the rowers but it’s important we find more athletes to join us on the journey to Tokyo 2020.”

The World Rowing Championships take place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, between 9-16 September.

Great Britain Para-rowing squad for 2018 World Rowing Championships

PR1 men’s single scull
Andy Houghton (Maidenhead RC/ Newbury)
Coach: Tom Dyson

PR2 mixed double sculls
Laurence Whiteley (Tees RC/ Northallerton)
Lauren Rowles (Worcester RC/ Bromsgrove)
Coach: Tom Dyson

PR3 mixed coxed four
Ollie Stanhope (Molesey BC/ London)
Daniel Brown (Henley RC/ Reading
Grace Clough (Nottingham RC/ Sheffield)
Ellen Buttrick (Leeds RC/ Leeds)
(cox) Erin Wysocki-Jones (Leander Club/ Wantage)
Coach: Nick Baker