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ID:	53916 A vet surgeon is celebrating an ‘oarsome’ achievement after claiming a world title and a British record in the world indoor rowing championships.

Self-confessed sports addict Vanessa Waite left her rivals trailing in her wake as she claimed the world crown at this year’s event in dominant fashion.

Her remarkable feat is all the more amazing as she only took up competitive indoor rowing to fill a sporting void during lockdown, so only had a few weeks to prepare.

Vanessa, who’s clinical director of London’s Vet4Life practices in Shepperton, Surbiton and Teddington, says she even surprised herself with her record-breaking heroics.

The mum-of-two, who is from Wales and lives in London, said: “I was ecstatic! It’s certainly been an amazing few weeks and so rewarding.

“Claiming gold in the world championships with a time of one minute and 30 seconds was unbelievable in itself.

“Then my partner checked my time and informed me I had also smashed the British record, so I now hold the world title and the British record for the fastest 500-metre sprint (W30-39). We absolutely had a celebration after that with some nicely chilled champagne!”

While Dr Waite, as the veterinary surgeon is known at work, is a newcomer to indoor rowing, she’s no stranger to the world of top-flight sport and boasts an impressive track record in athletics, rugby and basketball.

Vanessa revealed: “I have played high level sports ever since I was a teenager. Athletics was my first focus and I was a Welsh champion discus thrower, then I represented Wales at rugby.

“I then got into basketball, playing national league division one in England and, finally, playing for Wales in the FIBA European championships. So, you can see, I am a little addicted to sport!”

All of that activity stopped with the implementation of the Covid-19 restrictions and Vanessa had to find a new challenge to suit the new lockdown rules.

She explained: “When lockdown happened, I was extremely thankful that myself and my partner had already built a home gym, which included a rowing machine.

“John challenged me to do a 500-metre sprint on the rowing machine and I got a pretty decent time of one minute 35 seconds, so he decided to enter me in the British indoor championships!

“I only had two weeks to train for it but I managed to win the gold medal with a time of one minute 32 seconds which felt incredible.

“So, I then entered the world championships. This time it was a much harder challenge as I knew I would need a massive improvement on my time to pull it off.

“I wanted to get down to one minute 30 seconds, so I did a six-week intensive weight training and rowing schedule.

“I was training twice a day most days. It was really tough. I had put a lot of pressure on myself and there was a time when I wanted to quit.

“I cried and I felt very low but, luckily, I had my partner and a few friends supporting me with training and they joined me in the sessions via zoom and lifted me back up again.

“Then came the big day and it couldn’t have gone any better. All that effort, stress and strain was totally worth it.”

Vanessa, who qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Cambridge University in 2008, is currently taking a well-earned rest before deciding on her next challenge but rest assured lockdown won’t shut down her ambitions for more sporting success.

Vet4Life is one of London’s leading veterinary practices and has clinics in Teddington, Shepperton and Surbition. For more information, visit www.vet4life.co.uk.

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ID:	53922Sports addict Vanessa Waite, whose day job is clinical director at Vet4Life veterinary practices, in training for her world title bid

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