Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Kat Is Back and Focused on the Route to Tokyo

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Kat Is Back and Focused on the Route to Tokyo

Article excerpt

IN a sport so demanding as rowing, nothing but the highest level of motivation will cut it.

Back in 2012, Kat Copeland was on top of the world - a rapid rise through the British rowing ranks culminating in Olympic gold in the lightweight double sculls at the age of just 21.

Success has come since to some degree with return visits to the podium, most notably world silver in 2015, but the pressure of matching her achievements of London 2012 have also brought with it difficulties and disappointments. There were tears in Rio last summer as a frustrating season ended in a 14th place finish overall alongside Charlotte Booth (nee Taylor) and Copeland continues to wait for a second major global title after she and Emily Craig finished fifth in the lightweight doubles final at last week's World Championships, in Florida.

But at 26, the Teesside rower is experienced enough now to look at the bigger picture, insisting her love for the sport, and pushing herself to the limits, burns as bright as ever.

"I had a terrible Rio and that has partially taken the pressure off me, which I've really enjoyed this year," said Copeland, speaking on behalf of SAS, the official analytics partner of British Rowing. The national team is analysing its data, using SAS technology, to ultimately help make the boats go faster.

"If you don't have motivation then you can't do it.

"There are times when it is really awesome, you are doing the sport that you really love. But at the same time it can be a grind, there are times you wonder why you aren't doing a normal job where you get weekends off.

"But having the time off after London gave me a real focus.

"You realise how awesome this is, you push yourself as hard as you can to see what you can do and that was really important for me.

"This year we haven't had as many people come back, but I've been training more than ever. …

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