06:30PM, Thursday 02 April 2020
spt Beaumont and LeaskJack Beaumont and Harry Leask
Jack Beaumont (front) with Harry Leask
Maidenhead's Jack Beaumont is hopeful that last week’s announcement that the Tokyo Olympics had been postponed can be a blessing in disguise, as he and his Great Britain teammates look to put themselves in a position to challenge for a podium place.
This summer looks like being a bit of a write-off for Olympic rowing hopefuls, in terms of getting out on the water and competing in international events. However, Beaumont will be doing all he can to negate the impact of coronavirus and ensure he’s in the best possible shape for when crews can return to the water.
On Monday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced it was postponing the games and pushing them back to July next year (July 23-August 8, 2021).
The Paralympic Games will now take place in Tokyo from August 24 to September 5, 2021, of interest to numerous local athletes including Taplow’s Para-canoer Jeanette Chippington. The rescheduling will support the containment of COVID-19, but the lockdown of athletes such as Beaumont will have a major impact on training.
Beaumont had been warming up nicely for the Olympics and was hoping to build on his recent performance at the Great Britain Team Olympic Trials.
The 26-year-old came third in the men’s singles sculls final earlier this month, a pleasing result after a challenging winter.
He and his fellow athletes now have another challenging winter to look ahead to, and very little competition in between times to counter the gruelling repetition of training.
Whoever comes through and adapts to this period the best will surely give themselves the best possible hope of medalling.
“The announcement hasn’t come as a surprise and, truthfully, I think we all welcome it,” said Beaumont.
“With the coronavirus pandemic we’re currently in, it doesn’t seem appropriate to be bringing people from all around the world to one place. I’ve not spoken to too many of my team yet but actually, I think we will see it as an opportunity and another year to improve and strengthen ourselves more.
“Of course it’s disappointing that it won’t go ahead this summer but that has to be the way to look at it I think.”
“We’ve been preparing leading up to the decision and we’ve been training in isolation. We’ve all been lent rowing machines from the British Rowing team. I’m lucky enough that I actually have some weights here too.
“I can actually mirror the same training programme I would’ve done had we been training as a team, just on land rather than on the water.”
“I was pleased to come third because it had been a really tough winter with selection,” added Beaumont.
“We’re always battling between our teammates to try and prove who should be on that plane to Tokyo so it is tough. It was brilliant to put in a good performance at the Olympic trials.
“It’s hard to know what I’ll be in when the Olympics come around because it’s not always my choice. It’s up to the selectors but I would like to be in the Quadruple Scull.
“But at the moment, we’re all working hard and sticking to the guidelines about where we should be.
“We are keeping in touch with one another through things like video calling and we’re just trying our best to keep us and our families safe while training.”
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