Jamie Copus: fastest lightweight on the lake
Jamie Copus, 25, won his first senior April trails a fortnight ago in a tight final with doubles partner, Sam Mottram hanging onto Copus’ coat-tails all the way to the finish. Zak Lee-Green, part of the GB LM4x in 2017, went hard from the start and was leading until 1,500m but a frantic sprint finish saw Copus cross the line, 2 seconds ahead of Mottram with Edinburgh’s Gavin Horsburgh snatching third.
“It’s been very tight, and the three of us have been trading blows throughout the season”, Copus told WEROW, “but I feel I’ve been on pretty good form since the new year. I knew I was going alright but you never really know unit you’re in the thick of it. I stuck to my race plan as best I could and got into a good rhythm. I started to inch forward towards the end and I knew that I had a little extra gear in the locker. I thought, “well, it’s now or never” and went!”
Copus is studying Environmental Science at Oxford Brookes University, a degree he started in 2014 but owing to squad commitments it’s been a disjointed relationship. “I’ve been allowed to do one module a semester this year so I am slowly getting there.” Assuming his selection is confirmed for 2018, this will be his second year as a full-time athlete and fourth World Rowing Championships.
Jamie Copus at GB Trials in April 2018
Copus started his international career as part of the JM8+ that won silver at the World Rowing Junior Championships in 2011. Since then he has sculled at U23 and Senior levels and in 2014 was part of the Silver medal U23 LM4- that included current Oxford University Boat club President, Iain Mandale and former squad sculler Joel Cassells. Cassells, a fellow Brookes alumni, came fourth in the LM2- in Sarasota, had a tough trials weekend, finishing fourth in the B Final.
We await an official announcement from British Rowing as to who will be named for World Cup I in Belgrade in June. Copus is obviously keen to secure a seat in the last remaining lightweight Olympic boat class, the double scull. Based on the singles trials results alone this seems like to be a reformation of the 2017 pairing with Sam Mottram but with a new performance director, Brendan Purcell in place, nothing is assured.
Copus is totally driven towards Tokyo 2020 and may even scale down further on his college commitments. “When there is so much resting on this as there are only two seats, I don’t want to leave any stone unturned. Each year that we get closer, performing to your absolute max gets more important. Focus is paramount and I want to give myself every chance of getting there. With the standard of lads here at Caversham, there’s definitely no room to take anything for granted. If we keep pushing each other the way we are, we’ll be in a good place.”