Maiden medal in Lucinda’s sights with ‘exciting’ crew

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Lucinda Gooderham believes her new crew can deliver her first senior medal ahead of next weekend’s European Rowing Championships.

The Garboldisham-raised rower will hit the water for the first time in competitive action with her new teammates in the women’s quadruple scull in Belgrade, Serbia a week today.

And she believes the GB Rowing Team selectors have put together a crew capable of great things, starting next weekend.

“I would say we definitely should be looking for a medal with this crew — it is quite an exciting line-up,” said the 29-year-old, who took up the sport at university and only went full-time in the boat in 2009 to pursue her dream of an Olympics appearance in Rio de Janiero, following a career-break teaching.

“We have quite a lot of power in this crew,” said Gooderham, who finished ninth at last year’s World Championships. “The girl behind me in the boat, Beth Redford, was a world champion in 2010.

“There is a huge amount of potential, though we are not the finished article yet.”

Despite only being put together as a foursome a month ago, she said it will not be a case of having to take time to gel in their first competition together.

“Although we have not rowed together as a crew we have been training together all season,” she said, with her parents Bob and Chrissie Gooderham, who still live in Garboldisham, having been considering a trip out to Serbia to see her.

It will be Henley-on-Thames-based Gooderham’s first European Championships, with a change in the schedule this year, switching it to the first event of the year, meaning Great Britain have opted to send their strongest crews instead of the traditional development squads.

The main event of the summer for the Leander club rower and her teammates though will be the World Championships in Amsterdam at the end of August, with a good performance needed in Serbia to go towards securing their place.

“At the World Championships we definitely want to be coming home with a medal, but we need to be there or thereabouts in this one,” said the woman who sits in one of two seats known as the engine.

“Although this one is important, the World Championships is the main one we are really targeting.

“We have got to prove we are going first though with the selectors’ announcement later in the season.”

Gooderham and her crew would need to finish in the top two from their heat set for next Friday, or come home first or second in a repechage.

The final will be next Sunday at 11.33pm BST, with BBC coverage on the red button.