Wiganer becomes UK champion - from his front room!

Wigan’s Josh Flood has become a British champion at rowing – without having to leave his front room!
Josh FloodJosh Flood
Josh Flood

The 37-year-old competed in the British Rowing Indoor Championship at the end weekend, and was first past the post in the Men’s 500m over 30s.

The Warriors season-ticket holder is hoping this could be the start of an oar-some future.

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“I’ve been doing a few of the indoor rowing events over the lockdowns,” he said.

“I came second in the Scottish Championships, won the Asian Championships and came seventh in the Worlds over the last 12 months.

“However, winning the British this weekend tops the lot, it’s the pinnacle event in my opinion.”

Flood, who started rowing a few years ago, admits it will be tough staying at the top, because interest in the sport has grown significantly of late.

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“It’s become really popular over the lockdowns and you get a real range of nationalities involved, as you can see in my race,” he said.

“You get lots of the army and navy people taking part in these competitions too.”

Flood has benefitted from training with a former New Zealand rower called Axel Dickinson, who sets all his training programmes online.

“It’s usually six sessions per week, including two or three really long hour sessions – 16km or a single 12km,” said Flood.

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“I then have to do some shorter, more intensive sprint/power and middle distance stuff.

“I also do a few weight sessions a week and did the Wigan 10k in September, which was great fun.”

Bizarrely, he actually had to put on weight to give himself every chance of competing with the elite.

“It was a tad difficult training so much,” Flood explained.

“I was consuming around 5,000 calories a day and managed to get up to 108kg.

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“Most of the international guys are 6’4 to 6’8 and weigh between 110-120kg. But I’m relatively small, at 6’2.”

And what’s next?

“I want to do the Scottish, Asian, European and World Champs in January and February next year,” he added.

“I was born in Sarawak, Malaysia but my folks came back to the UK when I was five.

“My dad is Scottish and my mum is from Malaysia so I love the idea of competing in the Asian or Scottish competitions.”

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