"Glasgow 2018 can help to raise the profile of rowing", says European champion Vicky Thornley
European champion Vicky Thornley believes the Glasgow 2018 European Championships will be a special event that can help to raise the profile of rowing in the UK.
Thornley clinched silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and followed that up with gold in the single sculls at the 2017 European Rowing Championships in May – her first major victory in a senior major championships. With next year’s European Rowing Championships heading to Scotland as part of Glasgow 2018, the Welsh rower is hoping the advantage of a home crowd can help propel Great Britain’s rowers onto victory – just as it did at London 2012.
Rowing is one of six sports taking place as part of Glasgow 2018 alongside Aquatics, Cycling, Golf, Gymnastics and Triathlon and will run from the 2nd to the 5th of August 2018 at the world renowned Strathclyde Country Park in North Lanarkshire. A full schedule of events and details on how to purchase tickets is available here
Win or lose, Thornley is certain the inclusion of rowing in this new multi-sport event can only be a good thing for the sport. She said: "Whenever we have a big sporting event in the UK the crowds are amazing – everyone got behind us in London - and it will be great to see a bit of the spirit of the London Olympics at Glasgow 2018. The fact that it’s later in the summer as well, in August, it’s good in terms of where we want to be preparation wise."
"In terms of the Olympics, you’re always aware of being a part of a bigger team, which is the special thing about it. But in terms of rowing, it’s the same 2,000m lake, in the same boat, with the same people. The big show around will make it feel like a special event, and that’s really good for rowing because we want to take any opportunity to get rowing out there as a high-profile sport."
British rowing fans will be hoping that Thornley can repeat her exploits from this year’s European Rowing Championships, where she stormed over the line in 34.230 seconds in front of double-Olympic champion Ekaterina Karsten in Racice, Czech Republic.
The 29-year-old struck gold at the same venue back in 2009 at the Under-23 World Championships; a win that come just a few years into her rowing career. Thornley said: "I haven’t been a champion of any sort since I was at that same lake eight years ago and I had only been rowing under two years at that point, so to go back there many strokes later and become a European champion was a really special moment."
Next up for Vicki and the rest of Great Britain’s rowing team is this weekend’s Rowing World Cup III in Switzerland followed by the 2017 World Rowing Championships in Florida in September. Tickets for the Glasgow 2018 European Championships are now on sale at glasgow2018.com/tickets starting at £10 for adults and £5 for under-16s and over-60s. Rowing prices are from £10 to £30.
A full schedule of Glasgow 2018 events – including Rowing at Strathclyde Country Park - is available here