In Review

Olympics 2016: What time are the Team GB rowing finals in Rio?

Concerns over the water quality but Team GB rowers hoping for a ninth consecutive Olympics with a gold medal

The Olympic rowers at the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas in Rio will be gazed down upon by Christ the Redeemer, atop the nearby Corcovado mountain. The stunning venue will host 14 events, eight for men and six for women with rowers (athletes using one oar) and scullers (two oars) all competing over the same 2,000m course.

Impressive as the venue is, there are major concerns about pollution levels in the water.

"A study conducted by the Associated Press over 16 months to July found that the levels of human adenoviruses, that are heavily linked to human sewage, to be 30,000 times higher in the lake than is normally deemed to be hazardous," reports The Times.

"The British athletes are taking no risks and their precautions include using three different kinds of soaps, regularly applying antibacterial hand gel and drinking from special water containers."

Assuming they can avoid illness Team GB's rowers are on course for another impressive medal haul in Rio, and will certainly want to maintain their proud record of having won at least one gold medal at every Olympics since 1984. 

The competition begins at 12.30pm UK time on Saturday with the men's single sculls heats, and the finals start on Wednesday and conclude on Saturday week. Here's the lowdown on their chances:

Wednesday 10 August:
2.10pm: Men's quad sculls final

Victors in the world cup men's quad silver in Lucerne, the British scullers are one of the favourites for a medal in Rio although their preparation suffered a heavy blow this week with the withdrawal through sickness of Graeme Thomas, who has been suffering with a virus. His replacement is Jack Beaumont, who cancelled his plans to race in a Berkshire regatta this weekend to fly out to Brazil and instead compete in his first Olympic Games

2.34pm Women's quad sculls final

No Team GB entrant

Thursday 11 August:
12.30pm Men's pair final

European silver medallists, the Scotsman Alan Sinclair and English team-mate Stewart Innes qualified for Rio after edging out fellow Brits Nathaniel Reilly-O'Donnell and Matthew Tarrant at the World Cup final in Poznan in June by less than half a second. New Zealand, comfortable winners in Poznan, are the overwhelming favourites for gold in Brazil.

12.40pm Women's double sculls final

Katherine Grainger, who triumphed in the event in 2012 to become Team GB's most successful female athlete with four medals, is back to defend her title at Rio at the age of 40, alongside Victoria Thornley. They will not be favourites but Grainger, along with Frances Houghton, will become the first GB female rowers to compete at five Games.

12.50pm Men's double sculls final

Jonathan Walton and John Collins will contest the men's double scull after finishing second behind New Zealand in June's World Cup. The Kiwis and the Croatians, who were missing from the Worlds, will pose the biggest threat to Walton and Collins, the 27-year-old from Twickenham who, like his teammate, will be appearing in his first Olympics.

1pm Lightweight men's four final

Peter Chambers, whose older brother Richard is in the lightweight men's double sculls, is part of a boat that also includes Chris Bartley, Jono Clegg and Mark Aldred. Chambers and Bartley were in the crew that won a silver in London four years ago behind the South Africans. New Zealand took gold in the recent World Cup with Denmark second and the British four finishing third.

Friday 12 August:
1.40pm Men's fours final

Alex Gregory is out to defend his men's four gold from London 2012 although the 32-year-old from Wormington with five world championship gold medals has a different crew this time around. Alongside him in the boat are Mohamed Sbihi and Constantine Louloudis, both of whom were 2012 bronze medallists in the men's eight, and George Nash who took a bronze in the coxless pairs.

Team GB have won this event at the past five Olympics, the last time they lost a final was at Atlanta 1996 when the crew came third.

1.52pm Lightweight women's double sculls final

Olympic lightweight women's double scull champion Katherine Copeland is back to defend her title that she won in 2012, and to help her in her quest is Olympic debutante Charlotte Taylor. The pair took a silver in the World Championship last year behind New Zealand.

2.04pm Lightweight men's double sculls final

Richard Chambers won a silver with the lightweight men's four in London but four years on the 31-year-old from Northern Ireland has partnered up with first-time Olympian Will Fletcher in the double sculls. The duo won a world silver in 2015 behind France's Stany Delayre and Jeremie Azou, who finished the season unbeaten.

2,24pm Women's pairs final

Olympic champions four years ago Helen Glover and Heather Stanning are in Rio to defend their title in the women's pair. They began the 2016 season by successfully defending their European Championships title in Brandenburg and then took gold at the Poznan World Cup beating New Zealand for the gold medal. In fact they have not lost a competitive race for five years and the duo are one of Team GB's biggest favourites for a gold medal. Their biggest challenge could be to avoid getting sick.

Saturday 13 August:
2.32pm Men's singles sculls final

In 2012, Alan Campbell from Coleraine became Britain's first Olympic medallist in the men's single scull since 1928 when he took bronze at Dorney Lake. An outside bet for a medal in Rio, Campbell, now 33, is the first athlete from Northern Ireland to compete in four Olympic Games.

2.44pm Women's Singles Sculls final

No Team GB entrant

3.04pm Women's eight final

Coxed by Zoe de Toledo, who has an MA in criminology, the women's eight are the reigning European champions and finished second at this year's world championships behind New Zealand and ahead of the Dutch. The crew features 35-year-old Frances Houghton, appearing in her fifth Olympics, while 2013 world women's pair champion Polly Swann finally appears at the Games having withdrawn from London at the last moment due to injury

3.24pm Men's eight final

Bronze medallists in London four years ago, the British eight have selected a strong crew with plenty of experience for Rio. The 37-year-old Andrew Triggs Hodge won gold in the men's four in 2008 and 2012 with Naval officer Pete Reed also in that victorious four from four years ago. Meanwhile Tom Ransley, Matt Langridge and cox Phelan Hill were members of the eight from London. Matt Gotrel, Paul Bennett, Will Satch and Scott Durant complete the line-up and while that quartet will all be rowing in their first Olympics, three of them have won gold in world championship events, with Gotrel the odd man out.


Uncovering decades of ‘systemic’ abuse within British Gymnastics
A British gymnast's feet
In Focus

Uncovering decades of ‘systemic’ abuse within British Gymnastics

Medals, lizards and vibe shifts

Medals, lizards and vibe shifts

‘Disaster averted’ for Team GB as curling stars win medals
Team GB curlers Milli Smith, Hailey Duff, Jennifer Dodds, Vicky Wright and Eve Muirhead pose with their gold medals 
In Focus

‘Disaster averted’ for Team GB as curling stars win medals

Kamila Valieva: tears, outrage and a distressing conclusion
Russian skater Kamila Valieva

Kamila Valieva: tears, outrage and a distressing conclusion

Popular articles

Why The Satanic Verses is still controversial
Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses
Getting to grips with . . .

Why The Satanic Verses is still controversial

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 15 August 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 15 August 2022

The Week Footer Banner