Belgrade, Serbia was the stage for this year’s Senior World Championships, where there were 14 Brookes athletes who were competing for Great Britain, the USA and Monaco. All of the racing had the added reward of Olympic qualification for the 2024 Paris games up for grabs at the regatta.
The British Men’s 4- made up of an all Brookes contingent included, Oliver Wilkes, David Ambler, Matthew Aldridge and Freddie Davidson. They were able to kick off the GB men’s medal collection by repeating the result of last years event. They were in a tight battle at the 1km mark being less than one second ahead of their challengers. From this point they were able to step on to cross the finish line 2 seconds ahead of the rest of the field picking up the gold medal and qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympics. This was the first Senior World Championship Gold for Matt and Oli, huge congratulations to them.
The success for GB continued in the Men’s Eight as Harry Brightmore coxed the crew including Tom Digby, Rory Gibbs and Morgan Bolding to double down on their win of the previous year with another impressive performance pushing away from the field as they hit the halfway mark and ending the race one second ahead of the Dutch eight in second place in similar fashion to last year’s performance. This ensured both the British Eight and Four won back-to-back gold medals at the World Championships and both picked up qualification for Paris 2024 Olympics.
Sam Nunn also went along with the squad, racing in the spare pair with his partner Will Stewart, setting themselves up to push for an Olympic seat over the next year.
Outside of the British team, Brookes had several other athletes racing for their nations. Tinka Offereins raced in the 3 seat of the Dutch Women’s 4- which took home gold and Olympic qualification. Evan Olson, current holder of the Ladies’ Challenge Plate from this year with Brookes made his name known having qualified for the US Men’s 2- where he placed 5th and gained Olympic qualification. A massive achievement. Jamie Copus the bowman of the same Ladies’ Challenge Plate crew competed in his first race for the US national team in the lightweight Men’s 4x placing third in the event. Single sculler Quentin Antognelli placed 4th in the C final for Monaco improving from his result from last year. Ask Tjöm also qualified the LM2x for Norway. A total of 9 Brookes Athletes came home with a Gold Medal, matching the impressive result of the previous year.
Frankie Allen and the GB Para Rowing team had a target on their backs after an incredible strong season and being the reigning World Champions in the PR3 Mix4+. They managed to rise to this by leading their opposition through the halfway point of the race and managed to stamp their dominant display off by putting their bow ball ahead of everyone else by nearly 3 seconds to claim their gold medal and qualification to Paris 2024.
The results from all of the athletes highlight the hard work and dedication of themselves, their families, coaches and teammates over many years. At Oxford Brookes University Boat Club we are extremely proud to play a role in developing each of these athletes on their journeys towards the pinnacle of the sport.
📸 Benedict Tufnell