THREE local rowers have been named in the Great Britain squad for the most important World Championships in years.
But while Tom James will definitely be on the plane bound for Slovenia, Chris Bartley and Vicky Thornley still have work to do to ensure they will compete at an event which this year doubles as a London 2012 Olympic Games qualifier.
Bartley, a former student at The King’s School Chester, will take his place in the lightweight men’s four boat that will defend the title they won at last year’s worlds – but only if he comes through medical and performance tests.
The 27-year-old from Farndon missed the final World Cup race of the year through injury.
With Peter Chambers proving an able deputy, the crew triumphed in Bartley’s absence. But GB bosses will give the reigning world champion every chance to prove his fitness as he is regarded as one of the rowers capable of winning gold in London.
Thornley, who used to attend Abbey Gate College and Bishop Heber High School, is one of nine rowers battling for a place in the women’s eight boat.
The 23-year-old from Holt can seal her seat by impressing in a series of internal trials.
Beijing 2008 Olympics gold medallist James, meanwhile, will attempt to continue his winning run in Bled next month.
The 27-year-old from Coedpoeth near Wrexham, who like Bartley is a King’s School old boy, has been in sensational form since returning from a three-year absence from the sport.
As part of the new-look men’s four, James enjoyed victories in the World Cup series and broke a course record at the Henley Royal Regatta.