Campbell-Orde riding the pressure at Rowing World Championships

Campbell-Orde, second from left, is in her first year of rowing internationally
Campbell-Orde, second from left, is in her first year of rowing internationally

Rower Annie Campbell-Orde is only a year removed from her international debut but has her sights set on helping the women’s eight to glory at the World Rowing Championships, writes Sportsbeat's Tom Masters

The 27-year-old will be making her event debut at the competition in Belgrade this coming week, fresh off a recent World Cup III gold in Lucerne back in July.

Victory at such a high-level meet has increased pressure for Campbell-Orde and the rest of the women’s eight ahead of action in the Serbian capital, but she knows they can keep expectations to a minimum.

“I think there is maybe a bit of extra pressure because we have done that, and everyone has seen us do that in Lucerne,” said Campbell-Orde.

“There’s definitely confidence, but also a little bit of pressure. There’s always going to be more pressure leading up to the World Championships but I think we’ve actually done a pretty good job at sticking to just doing the process rather than getting too wrapped up.

“I think we are doing a good job internally, but I think being in camp and knowing that’s coming next, we’re definitely thinking about things a bit more.

“We’re actually lucky in the eight that there are more people. Although that can be harder, I think as a group we’re actually really good at handling it together, into an eighth rather than all on yourself.”

The World Championships will always be an event of huge significance, but this year’s meet has even more at stake.

Quota spots for next summer’s Olympic Games in Paris are at stake, and that is something that features heavily in Campbell-Orde’s ambitions for action in Belgrade.

She added: “I think that is definitely a big motivating factor. I think this is always quite new to me – I only joined this year – but the thought of qualifying a boat for the Olympics is pretty epic.

“Everyone’s really excited about that, hopefully the qualification can take care of itself – but we’ll definitely be celebrating that if we do it.

“It’s super exciting we have a standalone eight and I think that standalone eight has exceeded expectations of it. I think that’s a really nice position to be in, to see if we can continue exceeding those expectations and maybe do something that hasn’t been done before. That’s quite exciting.

“Some of it goes without saying, but I think we’re all pretty proud of how we’ve done so far, and I think there is a shared belief that we can do it – we can do well and can take it to the next level.”

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