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Watch: Bradley Wiggins takes to water in quest for Olympic rowing spot

Peter Stuart
26 Jul 2017

Wiggins’ claim to be targeting rowing at the 2020 games gains credibility as he appears to be training in a boat

For the first time we’ve seen some substance to Sir Bradley Wiggins’ claim to be training for an Olympic rowing spot in 2020, as he was shown in a twitter video rowing with James Cracknell on Lake Windermere

The video was lighthearted in nature, showing double Olympic rowing gold medallist James Cracknell rowing in a double scull with Wiggins before his children leapt in to the lake.

However, after much discussion at the possibility of Wiggins considering a move to rowing it’s the first sign he may be taking the challenge seriously.

We have previously written about why Wiggins will struggle to row at the 2020 Olympic Games. Specifically, the time scale may make it difficult for him to gain sufficient international racing experience.

However it’s encouraging to see him attempting to develop his technical skill.

The two were sitting in a double scull, which is a sculling boat rather than a sweep boat.

That means each rower has two oars rather than one. There are fewer Olympic seats available for sculling as a discipline, but often novice rowers will develop sculling ability first to gain the basic skills necessary for rowing.

Only one stroke was visible, and at a glance it looks as though Wiggins, sitting in the stroke seat, is being coached closely by Cracknell in the bow-seat.

Cracknell appears to be holding the boat level (rested his oars on the water to keep the boat balanced) while Wiggins rows.

This is quite a standard coaching technique in rowing to allow a novice to develop their rowing stroke while not having to worry about the problem of balancing a boat.

Wiggins has previously shared pictures of his training sessions on a Concept 2 rowing machine

Wiggins has previously said that Cracknell was coaching him, and he had ‘started taking it up professionally now and getting coached seven days a week.’

While we caught only a brief glimpse of his stroke, we would speculate from his technique that he has already undertaken some level of techncial coaching.

Wiggins has suggested he will compete at the British Indoor Rowing Championships in London in December. While many athletes, such as Hamish Bond, have converted from rowing to cycling, none in recent history have made the successful transition the other way.

We will watch with great interest to see how Wiggins’ journey progresses, and hope to see him progress to competition.

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