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Team UK’s Indoor Rowing team delivered 7 medals and 18 personal bests on a thrilling day that saw Lucie Holt win two Golds and captain Rachel Williamson compete in her final competition as an Invictus competitor.

Watching from the crowd and showing their support for the rowers was Prince Harry and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and with Team UK represented by 25 rowers and having a rower in almost every race, the atmosphere and support from friends and family was suitably loud. This support played an important part in pushing the team towards so many personal bests and medals.

The races were split into two with the 4-minute endurance races in the morning and 1-minute sprints in the afternoon.

4-minute endurance races

Rachel and Stuart Padley (PB) got Team UK up and running in the IR3 races, finishing second and ninth respectfully. Shane Rossall came incredibly close to a medal in the IR4 race, finishing fourth, just ahead of Daniel Phillips in fifth.

There was a strong UK contingent in the IR5 race with Daniel O’Connor, Charlie Dye, Russell Hunt, and Sean Wiseman all rowing well. Lucy Holt powered through to win Gold in her IR5 race with Clare Keating (PB) and Lisa Johnston chasing all the way.

Pushing each other to excellent times and positions in the men’s IR6 men’s race were Stephen Ashcroft, Nathan Huddy, Nigel White, Antony Morris, and Jonathan Congreve (PB).

The final endurance race of the morning was the IR6 women’s race, with Victoria Ross (PB) emptying the tank to win Gold. Joining her on the podium was Sally Renard who collected a well-earned Bronze medal. Also representing Team UK in this race were Laura Powell, Gillian Charlton and Denise Kidger, who all did themselves proud.

1-minute spring races

Team UK excelled in the afternoon sprints with an incredible 14 personal bests in the 1-minute races.

Stuart Padley (PB) produced a brilliant time in the IR3 race, with Rachel Williamson (PB) going equally well in her face to win Gold in what was fittingly her final ever Invictus performance.

Shane Rossall (PB) wouldn’t be denied a medal again as he won Silver with Chris Anslow (PB) rowing his fastest time in the IR4 race. Charlie Dye, Daniel O’Connor, Russell Hunt (PB) and Sean Wiseman all rowed well in IR5  men’s category. Lucie Holt picked up her second Gold of the day in her IR5 race which also saw Kelly Leonard pick up the Bronze, swiftly followed by Clare Keating (PB) and Lisa Johnston in a good race for Team UK.

    Shane Rossall rowed his way
    Shane Rossall rowed his way

    Wheelchair Rugby

    In perhaps what was the moment of the games so far, Team UK took on Team US in a packed out Invictus Games Stadium in the Wheelchair Rugby Final.

    Earlier in the day Team UK remained unconquered with their unbeaten record winning against France 22-8. The Team watched on as the second semi final between Australia and US ended 21-11.

    As the day went on, the excitement began to build for what was going to be the ultimate showdown between the old rivals. 

    With the crowd hyped and with the stadium filled with flags, cheers and chants, Team UK sadly lost the first point to the USA and it was neck and neck between the two right up until half time, when Team US managed to take the lead 11-9.

    In the 2nd half, there were some real nail biting moments with plenty of smashes and end to end action between the two teams, but with minutes to go and despite Team UK crossing the line in the final 30 seconds, the USA won 23-20 at the final whistle.

    After the explosive match, champions US, Silver Medalists Team UK and Bronze Medal winners Australia took to the center of the court for the ceremony. Invictus Games Patron, the Duke of Sussex presented each competitor with their medal, the crowd remaining electric in the true Invictus spirit of the Games.

    Team UK Wheelchair Captain Tom Folwell summed up his emotions post match in one word saying he was “proud”. He went onto to say “The result doesn’t really matter, and it’s corny to say it but it really is the journey that we’ve been on and how close everyone has got  - it’s about being there for each other. It’s just been awesome.”

    Tom Folwell at the Wheelchair Rugby
    Tom Folwell at the Wheelchair Rugby

    Team UK supporters got behind the large UK representation In the IR 6 men’s race with Stephen Ashcroft (PB), Nathan Huddy (PB), James Stride (PB), Stephen Rice (PB), Nigel White, Steven Baldwin (PB), Antony Morris (PB), and Johnathan Congreve all putting in quick times.

    The final race of the day was the women’s IR6 race, with Victoria Ross (PB) stepping up to win Bronze with Sally Renard (PB) also producing a fast time. Also in this race were Laura Powell, Gillian Charlton, Victoria Wales and Denise Kidger who all contributed to a strong finish for Team UK.

    Team UK’s indoor rowing coach, Clare Holman said, “I’m so proud of every single one of them. The results speak for themselves in terms of the hard work and effort the rowers have put into training, both in and out of training camps. They’re all winners to me.”

    Medals and PBs

    • 4-minute PBs: Steven Baldwin, Clare Keating, Victoria Ross, Stuart Padley
    • 1-minute PBs: Chris Anslow, Stephen Ashcroft, Steven Baldwin, Lucy Holt, Nathan Huddy, Russell Hunt, Clare Keating, Antony Morris, Stuart Padley, Sally Renard, Victoria Ross, Shane Rossall, James Stride, Rachel Williamson.
    • 4-minute medals: Lucy Holt (Gold), Victoria Ross (Gold), Sally Reynard (Bronze)
    • 1-minute medals: Rachel Williamson (Gold), Lucy Holt (Gold), Shane Rossall (Silver), Victoria Ross (Bronze), Kelly Leonard (Bronze)