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The GB Rowing Team is the high performance arm of British Rowing. Rowing is the nation’s most continuously successful Olympic sport, having won a gold medal in every Olympic Games since 1984, and has won six Paralympic golds since the sport was introduced to the Paralympic Games programme in 2008.
GB Rowing Team
Rower // Men's Squad Date of Birth: 9th May 1983 (39 years old)
Club: Tideway Scullers' School Height: 191.00 Hometown: Coleraine
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Alan Campbell became Great Britain’s first Olympic medallist in the men’s single scull since 1928 when the Dorney Roar helped him win bronze at the London 2012 Games.
He has been the GB Rowing Team’s leading single sculler for the past ten years, winning three World Championship medals during that time.
This year saw Alan become the first sportsperson from Northern Ireland to compete at four Olympic Games when he raced at Rio 2016.
Alan won GB's first single scull Olympic medal for 84 years at London 2012 and competed at a historic fourth Games in Rio
©Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images
Olympic Bronze Medallist Men's Single Scull
2010 & 2011
World Bronze Medallist Men's Single Scull
World Silver Medallist Men's Single Scull
Olympic Finalist Men's Single Scull
After winning the GB Rowing Team Trials for a ninth time, Alan was once again selected in the men’s single scull for the 2016 season. He had to settle for ninth place at the European Championships in Brandenburg but improved to fifth at the World Cup in Lucerne before returning to the podium with a fine performance at the Poznan World Cup, winning bronze.
At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Alan won his heat and was runner-up in his quarter-final but had to settle for fourth place in his semi-final. Vertigo brought on by a head cold meant Alan was unable to race in the B final, meaning he finished 12th overall.
The 2015 season saw Alan return from a year of illness and injury to qualify the single scull for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with an eighth-placed finish at the 2015 World Championships in Aiguebelette.
While he was disappointed not to make the A final on that occasion, he had demonstrated he was back to racing form during the World Cup series. He was fifth in Varese and then produced a sprint to the line to take bronze in Lucerne.
Alan had started the Olympiad with a silver medal at the Eton Dorney World Cup and was then sixth in Lucerne before finishing just outside the medals at the 2013 World Championships in Chungju.
The following year started with a sixth-placed finish at the European Championships in Belgrade. However, he missed out on the A final for the first time in his single scull career at the World Cup in Lucerne, placing 14th, and his season was cut short by illness.
Alan, who battled back from knee surgery to finish a spirited fifth at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, enjoyed a healthy rivalry with New Zealand’s Mahe Drysdale and Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic throughout the London Olympiad.
He started it in style, winning World Cup gold in Banyoles and silver in Munich, and was one of two rowers to beat the former World’s Best Time as he finished runner-up to Drysdale at the 2009 World Championships in Poznan.
The 2010 season saw Alan win World Cup silver in both Bled and Lucerne before winning bronze behind Synek and Drysdale at the World Championships in New Zealand.
After finishing fifth at the first World Cup of 2011 in Munich, Alan was sidelined by illness but returned to win another bronze medal at the World Championships in Bled.
Alan started the 2012 Olympic season with silver in Belgrade and, after just missing the podium in Lucerne, took bronze in Munich. A dramatic final at London 2012 saw him lie fourth behind Drysdale, Synek and Sweden’s Lassi Karonen with just 500m to go but, lifted by the home crowd, he powered through to secure bronze.
Alan made his GB Rowing Team at the 2003 World U23 Championships in Belgrade, finishing eighth in the single scull, before moving up to the senior ranks the following year. He raced in the men’s quadruple scull and finished 12th at the Olympic Games in Athens.
He remained in that boat in 2005 and helped to secure GB’s first-ever World Cup medal in the quad, a bronze in Lucerne, before finishing seventh on his World Championships debut in Gifu.
Alan moved to the now familiar single scull in 2006 and made an impressive start, winning gold in Munich and silver in Poznan as he claimed the overall World Cup title. He then finished sixth at the World Championships in Eton Dorney.
The 2007 season saw Alan win World Cup silver medals in Linz and Lucerne but narrowly miss out on the podium at the World Championships in Munich.
He made a stylish return to that venue for the first World Cup race of 2012, winning gold, and was fourth in Lucerne before suffering an infection which affected his knee and required surgery. It was touch and go whether he would race at the Olympics but, showing great strength of character and with fantastic back-up from the medical and science teams, Alan was able to compete in Beijing and finished a fine fifth.
Club: Tideway Scullers’ School
Boat: Men’s Squad
Coach: John West
Learnt to Row: Coleraine Academical Institution for Boys
Original Club(s): Tideway Scullers School
Original Coach(es): Bobbie Platt MBE, Bill Barry
Alan started rowing at school, Coleraine Academical Institution for Boys, in his hometown in Northern Ireland and was then ‘found’ by Tideway Scullers School and encouraged to aim high through their development programme.
He may be an Olympic medalist but Alan says his other sporting claim to fame is being one-and-a-half legs of the 2002 Wiltshire three-legged pub crawl winning team. His ideal dinner companions would be his wife and daughter plus Heston Blumenthal to do the cooking, although he is also partial to bucket chicken.
Alan is a big Rocky IV fan but, if he could be any other sportsperson for the day, would swap places with Australian speed skater Steven Bradbury.
Alan is Lottery funded through UK Sport.
The GB eights brought the Rio 2016 Olympic regatta to a glorious conclusion as they won gold and silver in the space of 30 minutes on another truly Super Saturday.
The Lagoa might have looked grey under today's heavy rain and leaden skies but in 30 magical minutes, two GB crews cast a vibrant and golden glow on the Olympic regatta.
Rio’s Lagoa was a place of joy for four GB crews and a theatre of considerable pain for another two today.
The Rio Olympic Games opens tomorrow and rowing will be take place at one of the Games' iconic venues