Borders rower Maddie Arlett has experienced the exhilaration of standing on the winners’ rostrum for the first time at world championship standard in her chosen sport.
The 25-year-old water sports ace, from Selkirk, also had the distinction of collecting Great Britain’s first medal last week at the World Rowing Champioships in Linz Ottensheim, Austria.
Maddie’s success came on day six of the tournament, when she finished third in the lightweight women’s single sculls. It was also her first time racing in single sculls at world level, so she was thrilled with her accomplishment, having performed consistently well in her heat, semi-final and final.
Maddie, coached by Darren Whiter, scooped the bronze medal in a time of 7:49.82, a shade over two seconds behind Chiaki Tomita of Japan and less than six seconds behind gold medallist Marie-Louise Draeger of Germany.
Back home after around six weeks of training and preparation for the championships, Maddie also hopes her chances of a place in the GB squad for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 will have improved.
“That’s the first time I’ve stepped on the medal podium at world championship level,” she said. “That, in itself, for me, is huge. Taking that step up and being able to perform when it counts, and to get the GB squad’s first medal.”
Maddie knew she’d been going well in training but didn’t know what was going to come at her, as she’d not raced single scull at that level before. She realised it would be tough to get to the standard others were bringing and get a result to her name.
Her first race was the scariest, she added, but the nerves were kept at bay.
There will be a number of trials and testing of combinations in the coming months before Maddie knows if she’s made the Olympic squad but her hopes are high.
Having recently graduated from Edinburgh University with a masters degree in strength and conditioning, she’s taking a nice, relaxing break – a three-week tour by camper van of Canada’s national parks. “I’m very active,” she explained.”