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Linda's oar-some feat

PUBLISHED: 14:00 01 December 2001 | UPDATED: 10:58 03 March 2010

LINDA Jackson was in the same boat as a number of world class athletes when she took part in the PPP Healthcare British indoor rowing championships at the Birmingham National Arena.

LINDA Jackson was in the same boat as a number of world class athletes when she took part in the PPP Healthcare British indoor rowing championships at the Birmingham National Arena.

The 44-year-old from Needham Market finished 16th in her exercise machine race, which she says is disappointing.

"I am unhappy with my time of 9 mins 53.6 secs, and I am determined to better that next year," she said.

The Birmingham event was the biggest of its kind in the world and mingling with enthusiastic amateurs like Jackson were serious rowers from top rowing clubs and internationally renowned athletes.

Olympic gold medal outdoor rowers Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell competed in an event that was featured on BBC television's Grandstand programme.

Also taking part were ex-rugby stars Andy Ripley and Roger Uttley and Olympic swimming medalist Adrian Moorhouse.

"At one time I wondered what on earth I was doing there. In my section I was competing against British and world title holder Sarah Springman and rowers from famous clubs like Putney Town and the Leander Club who produced Steve Redgrave, Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell," said Jackson.

"Although disappointed with my time I am still proud to have taken part in such a wonderful competition and am determined to do better in 2002."

Apart from karate and swimming Jackson had done little sporting activities until she joined the MissFits Health and Fitness club in Ipswich last year.

Her coach Rob Welham said: "Linda had never been to a gym. Her fitness has improved 10-fold. I designed a programme specifically for rowing and her dedication to succeed is terrific."


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