A WELSH rower has taken the top spot on the podium at a high profile international tournament against some of the UK’s top competitors.
Bodelwyddan-born Lucy Iball, 25, who works for Hadlow Edwards Wealth Management, based at the former Wrexham Lager building in Wrexham, represented Wales and took first place in the lightweight double, at the annual Home International Regatta.
With fellow Welsh rower Rebekah Edgar, the talented pair won the race with an impressive seven-second lead after being in second place during the first half of the race.
Lucy, a Chester Grosvenor Rowing Club athlete, also achieved an impressive third place in the lightweight single.
The former Connah’s Quay High School student, who was representing Wales at the international competition for the second time, said: “It was an amazing feeling to win with Rebekah and it has made all the hard training and early starts worth it.
“Stepping up on to the podium, representing my country, holding the Welsh flag and hearing the national anthem was a very proud moment and I think this win has been the most important of my rowing career so far.
“It’s given me a massive boost and I will be now looking ahead to the GB trials later in the year.”
Lucy only took up the sport when she studied Chemistry at Durham University six years ago but has been training intensively for her club since 2016, with aspirations to make Team GB.
Lucy, who is part of the paraplanning team at Hadlow Edwards having previously been PA to director Medwyn Edwards, participated in the Team GB trials last year and landed a respectable ninth place finish in her event – the lightweight women’s single – before having to withdraw from the next stage of this year’s trials due to illness.
She is no stranger to success and recorded a victory at a race meeting in Nottingham, finished second at Wallingford Regatta and been a semi-finalist at the prestigious Henley Women’s Regatta on the River Thames – all in the last 12 months.
Lucy, who is currently working towards her Diploma in Financial Planning, said she had had a lot of support from her colleagues at Hadlow Edwards who were thrilled to hear of her most recent victory.
She said: “Hadlow Edwards have always been very supportive of me and are always asking how I’m getting on. It’s a great company to work for and I really appreciate the fact that the whole company is behind me and always wishing me well.”
Hadlow Edwards Director, Medwyn Edwards, said: “We are delighted for Lucy and very pleased and proud to hear she had won because it is so well deserved with all her committed training.
“We’re all immensely proud of her rowing achievements here at Hadlow Edwards. She shows the same level of hard work and dedication to her rowing as she does to her work with us and we will continue to support her in both.”
Lucy revealed her future training plans with her eyes firmly on the next set of Team GB trials.
Speaking from a hiking holiday in the Slovenian Alps, she said: “I will have a short break away from rowing now and then be back in ‘easy’ training in a couple of weeks, preparing for the start of the racing season.
“The racing season will not be underway properly until October and my next big focus will be the GB trials in November.
“Nothing is a given but I am hopeful that my win at the Home International Regatta will show the selectors that I am capable of rowing well and I will just continue to train as hard as I can to make sure I am in the best possible shape ahead of the trials.”
The Home International Regatta was held in Cork, Ireland, this year and in the past the tournament has been a pathway to Team GB for the likes of Welsh rower Graeme Thomas and England’s Charlotte Taylor.