Indoor rowing:another record falls

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Jed Chapman managed a time of 1 hr 18 min 28 sec on a Concept 2 rowing machine over a distance of 21,097m to beat the existing record, held by George Meredith, in the over 50s age-group for lightweight rowers.’I was very pleased,’ Chapman said.

‘But I was rowing against my training partner Derik Mare, who actually finished faster than me but is a lot younger and would be in the heavyweight class, so his time couldn’t be counted.”I have to keep on upping the distance to beat him!’Chapman has been indoor rowing for about three years.’I don’t like gym work, so I just do rowing and spinning to maintain my fitness.

That’s how it started after an injury caused by running, which is what used to be my main sport.

Rowing was recommended as part of my rehab.”Although I’m a sports teacher, I have never excelled at any sport until now.

This is, genuinely, the first sport I have ever shown a flair for – and that’s nice too because I have a younger brother who is really good at every sport, but he can’t row.’Ali Meredith is Chapman’s trainer and should know a rower when he sees one.He is George Meredith’s son and another of his protégé’s, 16-year-old Michael Johnson, is also a British record-breaker.Johnson won two gold medals at his first ever indoor rowing competition, in Canterbury last month, and will be in Birmingham this weekend for the British National rowing competition at the NEC.’Michael’s training has been going very well and he broke his 1,000m personal best time in training last weekend.

Although he has been rested for a couple of days this week because of a bad throat he’ll be ready to compete.

The main threat to his time has not entered in this competition yet and, even if he does Michael will be in with a very good chance of winning gold.

His strength lies in his finishing speed and I’m confident he can destroy his opposition in the last sprint.’

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