World rowing bronze for Perse student

The GB crew with Laura Burton (second left) Picture: AllMarkOne

Laura Burton (Upper Sixth) clinched a brilliant bronze for Great Britain at the World Rowing U19 Championships in Italy.

She made it on to the podium in the women’s quadruple sculls with her crew, featuring Alice McCarthy, Megan Knight and Matilda Drewett, as they posted a time of 6min 33.54sec in the final in Varese, narrowly finishing behind champions Romania and second-placed Germany.

They had earlier finished runners-up in their heat behind Germany in 6.41:06 and won their semi-final by almost two seconds from nearest rivals USA in 6.36:64.

Laura was thrilled to have taken a medal, especially as the new crew had just over two weeks to prepare for the World Championships.

She said: “Making the worlds team meant a lot as two years of training had gone into it and it had been a dream of mine for a long time. I was very excited to have the honour of representing GB at the worlds and the challenge that was ahead for my crew and I.

“It was amazing to win bronze. It meant so much to us as a crew as we had all given our everything to each race.

“The crew worked well together as we trusted each other and the process in both training and racing. We also had an excellent coach from Shiplake College, who brought us all together, and we all got on really well.”

Taking part in the World Championships was an “amazing experience” for Laura as her crew improved with each round of the competition.

She said: “In the heat, we came second to Germany and it was a very valuable race where we learned what rhythm worked best for us.


“In the semi-final, we built on what we had learned from the previous round to produce a well-controlled race, leading from the start.

“On the day of the final the conditions were very bouncy with a strong tail wind.

“The final itself was very exciting as we didn’t have the pressure of making the A final anymore and we could just enjoy the process and fight for a medal.


“The first 1,500 metres was very quiet and all you could hear were the calls from our boat and those nearby. However, once we hit the last 300 metres there was a wall of sound from the crowds at the grandstand which was quite overwhelming.

“As a crew, we trusted our rhythm for the first 1,400 metres and then started to fight for the bronze against the US.”

World success capped a fine season for Laura, who joined the GB training programme last December and won silver in the women’s quadruple sculls at the Munich Junior International Regatta in May.

She now plans to focus on rowing by taking a break from her studies to join the renowned Leander Club’s gap year programme in Henley.



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