RELATIVES in Langholm were delighted to receive the news last week that Katherine Copeland had been selected to compete in the Olympic rowing squad, writes John Smith.
Katherine was born in Ashington, but her grandfather John Copeland was a member of the Langholm rugby squad that won the championship in 1958/59 and she is the great grand-daughter of the late Wullie and Lena Copeland.
Katherine still has a number of relatives in the town, including cricketing brothers Gregor and Graham Park.
She will be competing for GB in the lightweight women’s double skull with rowing partner Sophie Hosking. Their competition gets under way on Sunday, July 29.
Kat, as she is known to her friends, is now 21 and was 14 when she first learned to row at Yarm school, which has produced a number of GB juniors in the past few years. She won gold in the junior women’s squad in 2007 and gold in the women’s single in 2008.
There was more success in the Australian youth Olympic festival in 2009, with gold in the quad and in the 2010 world Under-23 Championships, she finished sixth in the double skull.
During 2011, Kat raced in the lightweight women’s single skull at the world rowing Under-23 championships in Amsterdam and won the gold medal.
In her first senior event in 2011 in the World Cup in Munich, she won a silver medal in the lightweight single skull.
At the 2012 GB rowing team senior trials, Kat came first in the lightweight single skull.
For the first World Cup of the 2012 season in Belgrade, Kat raced in the lightweight women’s double skull with Sophie Hosking and the newly-formed duo won a silver medal, less than a second behind Greece.