Vicky Thornley won the B final at the European Championships.

Vicky Out To Be An A-Lister Again After Passing B Test

Vicky Thornley claimed her first victory on her return to competitive rowing at the European Championships in Lucerne.

The Olympic silver medallist led from start to finish to win the B race by a comfortable two lengths.

Thornley, who has won world silver and European gold since switching from the double sculls, took a break last year after being diagnosed with fatigue from overtraining.

But after being disappointed with just missing out on the A final, the St Asaph rower is relishing getting back to her best.

“This weekend has been challenging,” said Thornley. “It’s nice to cross the line first but it’s not the race I wanted to be doing it in.

“I was really pleased with the race I put out though and there’s lots to be learned for the rest of the season.”

Fellow Welsh rower Tom Barras also triumphed in the B final of the single sculls.

The 25-year-old, who won bronze two years ago, made his move at the 1,000m mark to edge out Romania’s Mihai Chiruta.

Josh Bugajski was part of a men’s eight that claimed the silver medal finishing less than a second behind Germany who took the European title.

“That was tough, it was a really fast race,” said Bugajski. “It’s a shame not to come away with the win but we’ve learned a lot this weekend and know we have a lot of speed and potential left for the rest of the season.”

Graeme Thomas agonisingly missed out in the double sculls finishing  fourth in a final which saw the top four crews separated by less than a second, being pipped for the bronze by Romania.

In their women’s four Beccy Girling and her fellow crew members had to settle for 6th place in the final.

In the B final of the lightweight men’s double Zak Lee-Green finished fourth with Will Fletcher after a tough race.

Brendan Purcell, British Rowing Director of Performance, said: “It’s fantastic to have four crews on the podium today and to have a gold medal-winning crew in the men’s four. Our two big sweep boats, the men’s and women’s eight, laid down great performances to push for silver medals which shows the strength and depth in the squad.

“The priority for this European Championships was for us to get a benchmark of how we’re doing in relation to Olympic qualification at the World Championships in August; we now have real clarity and focus which we can take away and use over the next couple of months.”


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