Esme rows into record books and the Olympics - The Leamington Observer

Esme rows into record books and the Olympics

Leamington Editorial 13th Sep, 2023   0

ESME Booth wrote her name into the history books on a memorable World Championship weekend for Britain’s rowers.

The Stratford star joined forces with Emily Ford to become the first British women to qualify two boats for the Olympics in one regatta, doing so as part of the women’s pair and women’s eight.

The latter saw Esme narrowly miss out on a medal in Belgrade, combining with Emily, Natasha Morrice, Annie Campbell-Orde, Karen Bennett, Rebecca Edwards, Hattie Taylor and coxswain Henry Fieldman for a fourth-placed finish.

The lack of silverware led to mixed emotions but a spot in the top five was enough for an Olympic quota place, taking Esme and Emily to new heights.

Esme said: “It’s really quite cool what we’ve managed to do.

“All the training through the season is all worth something, each day going out there and battering yourself.

“It’s a great feeling to have qualified both boats.”

The British crew occupied the bronze medal spot with 500m to go in the Serbian capital but were reeled in by Australia in the closing stages, ultimately finishing just over a second outside a top three also including the USA and back-to-back champions Romania.

Esme will now enjoy a break before the battle for Paris selection begins in earnest, with changes in personnel across boats possible between now and the main event.

Competition is set to be tough following a World Championships which saw Britain take home six golds and nine medals in all, enough for second in the medal table.

“A lot of it is down to Andy (Randell, coach) and who he chooses in different boats,” added Esme.

“We’ll get into pairs when we get back and there will be trials, so we’ll see how that goes.”

British Rowing performance director Louise Kingsley said it had been a fantastic weekend.

“Getting those (Olympic and Paralympic) slots is huge. We’ve qualified really well and we haven’t just scraped into those spots, we are hunting medal spots in most of them. That will be really motivating for the squad over the winter.

“We are in a really good place. There are definitely areas to work on but we are really looking forward to Paris.”

British Rowing is the governing body for the sport and is responsible for the development of rowing in England and the training and selection of rowers to represent Great Britain. The GB Rowing Team is supported by the National Lottery Sports Fund.

To find out more, and to follow the team, head to


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