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Durham University News

News

Durham students to represent Britain in rowing championships

(1 August 2006)

Durham rowers, left Frances Fletcher, right Emma Steel

A complete Durham student crew has been selected to represent Great Britain at the World University Rowing Championships in Lithuania later this month. These are the Lightweight Women's Double - Frances Fletcher (on the left in the picture) and Emma Steel, both former pupils of Park View School, Chester-le-Street.

They are strongly tipped to be among Britain's hopefuls for the 2012 Olympics in London, and their chances will be greatly boosted by being selected for the World University squad.

Their coach Emma Hall-Craggs said: "We are all thrilled with the selection of Durham people for the event, especially for Emma and Frances. They are both first-year students, probably the youngest rowers at the tournament and facing some of the strongest competition from around the world. But they are a fantastic pair. They have already put in some terrific performances and this is a really good step on the way to the Olympics."

Frances (St Cuthbert’s) took a silver medal at the recent Under-23 World Championships in Belgium, in a Heavyweight class (with another Durham student, Louisa Reeve of Hatfield) and has a Junior World Championship bronze medal, and both Emma Steel (Collingwood) and Frances have gold from the junior international Coupe de la Jeunesse event. Before University, Emma rowed for Durham Amateurs and Frances for Tyne Rowing Club, so they only came together as a Doubles crew during the past year as students under the guidance of Emma Hall-Craggs.

Frances said: "It has been a terrific year so far, and we are really looking forward to the World University Championships. It's a long way to get to the Olympics but this will be a really good experience. "

BUSA have also picked Emma Hall-Craggs as coach for the British Lightweight Women's Doubles, and her husband Wade, the Durham University Senior Rowing Coach, is coaching the British Men's Lightweight Fours, a crew consisting of two Durham rowers, Henry Chin and Simon Barr (both Hatfield), and two Oxford men. Louisa Reeve has been picked for the British Women's Heavyweight Double with a student from London and Naomi Hoogesteger (St Hild & St Bede) for the Heavyweight Fours.

The 2006 World University Rowing Championships (11-13 August) are in Trakai on Galves Lake, one of five lakes surrounding the city, and part of an extensive National Park.

Two students from Newcastle University will also be representing Britain at the Championships. George Laughton, 21, and Henry Pelly, 23, have been picked as the Heavyweight Men's Double. They will be accompanied by their coach, Angelo Savarino.

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