Coleraine rower Alan Campbell is expecting a tough test at the European Championships this weekend as the Rio 2016 Olympic racing season gets under way in Brandenburg, Germany.
For the tenth year running, Campbell will once again be representing the GB Rowing Team in the men’s single scull – the boat in which he famously won Olympic bronze at London 2012.
It will be a very good standard and a very good challenge but at the moment I’m just focused on doing my own thing and moving my boat forwardAlan Campbell
The single has one of the biggest entries at the Europeans – taking place from May 6-8 – with Campbell facing competition from 15 other rowers, some of whom are getting ready to peak at the final Olympic qualification regatta later this month.
“I’ve seen the entry list and pretty much everyone you would expect is there, it’s a really strong field,” said Campbell, who first started rowing at Coleraine Academical Institution for Boys.
“Ondrej Synek is there, he’s a three-times World Champion now, and what Croatia’s Damir Martin did in winning the World Cup in Varese last month was pretty exceptional.
“There are also a lot of new guys coming through and some people who are still looking to qualify for Rio, so they will really be on their game.
“It will be a very good standard and a very good challenge but at the moment I’m just focused on doing my own thing and moving my boat forward.
“I’m getting my head down and doing my stuff. I’m happy with how that is going at the moment and hopefully it will show when we get to Germany.”
Fellow Coleraine Olympic medallist Peter Chambers will compete in the lightweight men’s four this weekend.
Two rising stars from Northern Ireland, Coleraine’s Joel Cassells and Enniskillen’s Holly Nixon, will race in the lightweight men’s pair and women’s quadruple scull respectively.
Richard Chambers has withdrawn from the lightweight men’s double scull with Will Fletcher as he continues his recovery from a hand injury.
The full team selection for the European Championships can be found at http://www.britishrowing.org/gb-rowing-team
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