After a year’s break from the sport whilst she completed her probationary year with the Prison Service, Debbie Flood will return to full-time training with the GB Rowing Squads in April in time for the 2010 season. In November 2009 she won the British Indoor Rowing Championships in Birmingham in a time of 6:52.2.
Debbie was selected in the women’s quadruple scull for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and won her second Olympic silver medal, her first being won in the quad four years earlier in Athens 2004.
She is also a double World Champion in the quad, taking the title in 2006 and 2007. In 2007 the quad were also World Cup Champions having won the overall title with 2 golds and a silver in the three event series. She raced in the quad for the 2008 World Cup series, finishing 1st and 3rd.
Her international rowing career began with a bronze in the double scull with Frances Houghton at the World Rowing Junior Championships in 1998 and the following year they made an impressive U23 debut, winning gold at the World Rowing U23 Championships in Hamburg.
In 2000 Debbie also won gold at the World Rowing U23 Championships this time in the single. She gained her first senior vest in 2001, finishing 7th in the double scull and 6th in the eight at the World Rowing Championships.
In 2002 she won the World Cup series in the double scull also with Frances Houghton after victories at Hazewinkel and Lucerne, and finished 4th at the World Rowing Championships in Seville.
The following season Debbie raced with Rebecca Romero in the double throughout the season culminating in a 4th place at the World Rowing Championships in Milan.
In 2004 Debbie raced in the women’s quad. In the Olympic Games in Athens they qualified for the final by winning their heat and although they were unable to catch the fast–starting Germans they came through the field in great style to win an emphatic silver medal.
Debbie raced for much of the 2005 season in a double scull with Elise Laverick, winning a bronze at the World Cup in Lucerne and finishing 5th in the World Rowing Championships in Japan.
The World Cup in 2006 brought gold with the women’s quad in each of Poznan, Munich and Lucerne.
At the 2006 World Rowing Championships the women’s quadruple scull fought an intense battle with Russia and were just beaten to the line in the dying metres of the race to take silver. In a strange twist of fate, their Russian conquerors later fell foul of a drugs test and the British women’s quartet were restored, in February 2007, as rightful World Champions once more.
Debbie was a GB junior judo international and a county level 1500m and cross–country runner and shot–putter before she took up rowing and her strength and athletic ability ensured rapid progress. She won the Junior title at the 1997 British Indoor Rowing Championships and the 1998 World Indoor Rowing Championships and then took the Under 23 title at the British Indoor Rowing Championships in 1999.
Originally from Harrogate, Debbie moved south to study Physiology and Biochemistry at Reading University, from where she graduated in 2005.
Debbie is a committed Christian and in her spare time enjoys giving dinner parties for her friends and rowing team mates in Henley. She also learnt Chinese in preparation for the Beijing Olympics.