Rowing rivals to unite for Great Britain place

Nash will join forces with Constantine LouloudisCambridge and Oxford, two universities not only juxtaposed to each other in terms of academic competition, but as enemies in one of the most demanding modern day sports. Those who decry the boat race quite clearly have never watched it, to see the haunted despair in a loser’s eyes as seven months of dedicated training is reduced to nothing over four miles of torture. Nor have they seen the elation and brotherhood shared by the victors, which this weekend turned out to be Oxford.

However, the real challenge that faces a rowing team is not the snippet on show to the spectators along the banks of the Thames, who numbered equal to that of the protestors who had marched earlier in the day, but the days of relentless training on dreaded ergometers and icy December rivers. The work put in by two of Saturday’s contestants – Constantine Louloudis and George Nash from Oxford and Cambridge respectively – will now be combined together to allow the men to compete as a coxless pair in the National Championships, 3 weeks from now.

Louloudis, a world champion at junior and under-23 levels, possesses remarkable endurance for such a young man, and will carry his place as Oxford’s engine room forward to the pairing. Indeed, Sir Matthew Pinsent himself regards him as “a bit of beast”, which is praise indeed coming from Great Britain’s best ever exponent of the rowing machine. Now that the boat race is out of the way he and Nash can be friends again. Of his fellow under graduate Nash commented that “He’s slick, smooth and powerful, I can definitely work with him”.

The pair will begin to train on Wednesday as they prepare for the National Championships, hoping to grab Jurgen Gröbler’s attention when they perform there (he’s the chief coach of Great Britain’s men). After the emotional intensity of Saturday’s clash the men must move forward, particularly Nash who will not be happy with defeat. Let us hope that if the men do have what it takes to be Olympians, in Gröbler’s eyes, that their tutors will let them take a year out of their studies to perform for Queen and country.

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