Sheffield’s Grace Clough has enjoyed a record-breaking week at the World Rowing Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida.
The 26-year-old was part of the Para-rowing mixed coxed four which stormed to gold.
Alongside Oliver Stanhope, Giedre Rakauskaite, James Fox and cox Anna Corderoy, Grace and her team set a world record time of 06:55.70 - a full 23 seconds ahead of nearest rivals USA.
That made Clough and colleague Fox reigning Paralympic and World champions.
“It’s great to have the titles for another year,” said former High Storrs pupil Clough.
“We had a race plan and we stuck to that today after leading right from the start.
“Anna called it perfectly and we were almost time-trialling to break the record.
“We’ve set the standard but we know the rest of the world will move on so a lot more hard work will go back into this boat.”
The win maintains a remarkable rise to prominence in the sport for Clough, who only took up rowing having attended a SportsFest event at the EIS to promote disability sports four years ago.
She has since gone on to win gold at three World Championships and the Paralympic Games.
Before the games she was interviewed on BBC2 and admitted that it had been a stressful time for her combining her Oxford University masters’ studies with the rowing . “In retrospect, perhaps I should have taken a break after the Rio Olympics and not gone straight to Oxford”, she said.
That was before she jumped into the boat in the final and smashed the record out of sight!
Clough, who suffers from Erbs palsy, which affects her nerves in her right shoulder, is currently studying for a masters degree at Oxford .
She is a former high Storrs student and has a first in sociology from the University of Leeds.