Winnipeg, MB – It’s been an eventful couple of weeks for rower Emma Gray. The 18-year-old Winnipegger just returned home following two competitions in England: the Reading Regatta, where she won gold in the senior women’s single sculls, and the prestigious Henley Women’s Regatta where she took silver in the junior single sculls event.
Of the events, Gray said, “It was a good time and a nice introduction to the side-by-side racing style,” noting that she’s been analyzing her performance at Henley and identifying technical flaws she hopes to remedy. “The biggest thing I learned from that race,” said Gray, “was that in finals… it’s not a matter of mental toughness or physical ability that I need to work on – though that can always get better – but rather mental resolve, focus and keeping my head in the boat. I can’t wait to get back to work and apply what I’ve learned.”
Rowing Canada has selected Emma for the Canadian Junior National Team. At August’s World Junior Rowing Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Gray and partner Ivy Elling Quaintance will compete in the junior women’s double sculls.
“I am honoured to be named to represent my country at Junior Worlds this summer,” said Gray. “That has been the main goal I’ve been working toward, and achieving it feels great.” Gray said the rapid pace of her growth in the sport has been “a bit surreal, to be honest, going from one year ago when it was a struggle to stay in a racing shell, to being the fastest junior female in Canada. I can’t say how thankful I am for my coach and everyone who has got me to this point.”
The current plan is for Gray and Quaintance to train in Winnipeg with coach Antony Patterson. Gray said she is ecstatic about the new challenge of training with teammate. “The doubles and pairs are my favourite boats… You not only have to try and execute a perfect stroke and perfect race, but do it in precise harmony with another person. Since it’s a small boat it has a similar feel and mentality – each of your moves have a great effect on the boat’s rhythm and speed.”
Gray praised her partner, saying, “Ivy is an amazing rower with lots of experience and knowledge. I look forward to all I will learn from rowing with her and working to get to her technical level.” Gray said she’s excited to begin training together and “start our journey toward the international podium. We’re ready for the challenge and motivated to take every opportunity to get there. I trust my coach to help get us there and push our limits until we are in the best mental and physical shape to succeed on the international stage!”
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