Tonnar aiming to cement his berth in British team

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Josh Tonnar is confident his golden display at last week’s World University Rowing 
Championships can cement his Great Britain place.

The Bury St Edmunds ace was part of the 28-strong squad which helped Great Britain top the medals chart in Gravelines, France, with four golds, one silver and three bronzes.

The 24-year-old’s success came in the conclusion of the championships in the men’s eight, along with crew members Tom Ford, Will Warr, Karl Hudpsith, Sam Arnot, Tim Clarke, George Rossiter, Tim Richards and cox Rory Copus as the team maintained their early lead to pip hosts France to the gold.

And having claimed his first senior international title at the championships, exclusively for rowers still based at university, Tonnar has set his sights on forcing his way into the full national squad.

“It is certainly my biggest achievement to date,” he said. “It is my first gold at a senior competitive event and to do it on the big world stage is amazing.

“Although the event is for those still at university, you still get some of the best rowers involved and past Olympians have competed in the event.

“It is somewhat of a 
stepping stone into the full squads and I’m hoping that is the case.

“We were not expected to win with the french being favourites and so our aim was to spoil the party.

“If there is a chance of staking my claim then I will take it.

“Great Britain rowing are at the top of their game and just to be involved you have to be among the best.

“I know it will be difficult but I just need to keep being consistent and hopefully catch the eye of coaches and get my rewards.”

Tonnar’s next chance to stake his claim will be at the British Championships in October before the latest round of national trials a month later.

And after coming through an injury-plagued period following being spotted through the sporting giants programme launched by Sir Steven Redgrave, Tonnar is delighted to finally showcase his undoubted potential.

“I feel like I have finally put my potential into the water,” he added. “It is amazing to be a world champion of sorts and it is now onwards and upwards for me.

“I just need to keep going now and hopefully I’ll be given further chances.”