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Northwich Rowing Club member Lucy Burgess stars at inaugural event on return from long-term injury
LUCY Burgess is happy to be back in a boat.
That success followed instantly upon her return, after being forced by a back injury to miss the almost the entire season, is an unexpected bonus.
The Northwich Rowing Club star finished second overall in the women’s competition at the inaugural GB Rowing Team Sculling Festival, reason to be optimistic again.
“I had no idea what to expect, either from myself or from the event,” she said.
“I shocked myself with how well it went – I’d hoped in my head to finish in the top 10, which I’d have been more than happy with. It seems I underestimated my own capability!
“It was a huge relief too after being out for so long, something I’ve not had to do ever before.”
Burgess, now 19, started the year as a gold medal winner in Great Britain colours as part of the women’s four at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival. She claimed a bronze too in the eight.
She competed as well at the previous two World Junior Championships, stroking a women’s quad to seventh place each time.
To be denied a chance to improve on that CV has tested of the teenager’s mental resolve.
She said: “It was so hard not taking part in the trials, which is what I’d set my sights on, and to have to start training on my own and with such a lot of catching-up to do.
“The long hours of rehab in the swimming pool and on a static bike have tested my motivation, that’s for sure.
“I’d felt like an outsider after missing out on the world [under 23s] championships, so it was a boost to be back in the group again at the festival.”
Held at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham, athletes competed in an omnium of events that included racing against each other over different distances as well as being assessed in a series of skills.
Burgess, fifth fastest after a 3,800m time trial, topped the rankings in the manoeuvrability test.
She followed a semi final victory in the 2,000m with third place in the final.
Meanwhile Northwich Rowing Club’s Ed Grisedale, representing Oxford Brookes University, was runner-up in the men’s under 23s category.
His best result was second in the 250m sprint race.
The 19-year-old, a former student at Sir John Deane’s College, placed seventh in the men’s overall standings.
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