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Bristol rower into final of U23 rowing world champs

Robbie - article

Team GB rower and Bristol student Robbie Prosser AllMarkOne for British Rowing.

Press release issued: 28 July 2022

University of Bristol rower Robbie Prosser is into the finals of the 2022 World Rowing Under 23 Championships.

The GB athlete will race in the Coxed Fours final in Varese, Italy, on Friday (July 29) at 3.35pm.

In Tuesday’s heat the crew finished the 2,000 metre course in 6.07.53secs, beating USA (6.07.98) to the top spot by just half a second and New Zealand (6.16.33) by 9 seconds.

Tuesday's other Coxed Four heat was won by Germany in 6.12.65secs, putting GB in strong contention in the final. Having come top of the pack Robbie and his crew are straight into the final and did not have to compete in another heat yesterday (Wednesday).

“For the past four years it’s been a dream of mine to row in the under 23 GB team,” said Robbie, who is studying for a degree in Applied Anatomy at the University of Bristol.

“When I came to Bristol Uni I was asked what I wanted to achieve in the next three years – I said I wanted to row in the top Bristol boat, but I also felt I could represent Great Britain in the World Championships.

“I never thought it would actually happen. Now it has, it really is like a dream come true.

On the final, he said: “We are feeling confident in our abilities, but we know it’s not going to be a straightforward race. Anything can happen in a world championship final.”

Robbie  - crew - body

  • T‌eam GB's Coxed Four crew for the 2022 World Rowing Under 23 Championships. Robbie is second from right. Photo by AllMarkOne for British Rowing.

It has been a long journey for Robbie, who almost missed trials for the world champs because of Covid and was often told as a youngster that he was too small to row at an elite level.

After picking up the virus while racing at Henley Regatta, Robbie thought he was “written off”, but had a stroke of luck when re-trials were called.

Robbie, who grew up in Crickhowell, Powys, and trains 12 times a week, said: “Seat racing is incredibly high pressure, incredibly high intensity. Everyone is racing for their lives.”

On July 13 he found out he was going to Italy in the number 2 seat, with fellow crewmates Henry Pearson, Benjamin Hinves, Bruce Turnell and cox William Denegri.

Robbie said: “I’m not the tallest guy ever. You wouldn’t look at me and say ‘you’re born to be a rower’. In fact, everyone in this boat is taller than me – one is 6ft 7in and I’m 6ft 1in. They also weigh a lot more than me.

“I was told I wasn’t big enough to do bigger stuff in rowing. I used my lack of size as something to prove people wrong by working hard. I’ve worked incredibly hard over the last three to four years to get here, so to be at the world championships now is amazing.

“I love rowing, I love going to training and being in a boat, I love rowing with my friends and going to the gym, and I really enjoy racing and competing. This was my dream and now I have achieved it. All that time and effort was 100% worth it.”

Robbie  - solo - body

  • R‌obbie Prosser. Photo by AllMarkOne for British Rowing.

Ed Bloomfield, Head Rowing Coach at the University of Bristol, said: “Robbie is easily the best athlete I’ve ever worked with and perhaps the best athlete we have ever had. He picked rowing, but I think he could’ve excelled at any sport.

“Getting to the world champs is just reward for the hard work he puts in.”

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