ara rowing athlete

Matthew Wells

Matthew was selected in the men’s double scull for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and won a bronze medal.

Matthew won the first GB Olympic Class sculling medal for more than 20 years with Steve Rowbotham in the double at the 2006 Eton World Championships.

In the 2007 World Cup Series, he won silver and gold in the double and went on to place 4th at the World Championships in Munich.  In the 2008 World Cup Series, he raced in the double at the first and second regattas winning gold and silver.

Matthew learnt to row in 1993 at Queen Elizabeth High School because he wanted to try other sports to complement his running.  He won the single sculls event at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in 1996 and was selected in 1997 in a double scull for the British team at the World Junior Championships.  With an awesome finishing surge the double blew away the much fancied Australians and took Britain’s first junior gold medal for five years.

In 1998 Matthew was injured and the following year he came down to London to study Sports Science at St Mary’s College, Strawberry Hill and teamed up with his coach from the junior double scull, Darren Whiter.  Matthew was selected in the single scull for the World U23 Championships in 1999 and came home with a bronze medal.

In 2000 Matthew had his eye on two things: winning gold at the World U23 Championships and gaining selection for the Olympic Games.  He won the singles at the GB Senior Selection Trials for the second successive year and at the World U23 Championships in Copenhagen he won gold after dominating the field.  He then gained selection for the Sydney Olympics in the single and finished in 9th place.

In 2003 Matthew again won the GB Senior Selection Trial and then finished 5th in the men’s double with Ian Lawson at the 2003 World Rowing Championships in Milan.  As a result they secured an Olympic qualifying place, a major step forward for the men’s sculling squad.

The following year Matthew gained Olympic selection in the double with Matthew Langridge.  In Athens they missed a place in the final by the narrowest of margins but raced with credit to win the B Final.

In 2005 Matthew was forced to miss the GB Rowing Senior Trials due to a back injury but raced in the men’s quad in the second World Cup of the season in Munich, finishing 4th, and then won a bronze with the quad in the final World Cup at Lucerne – the first world level medal ever won by a GB crew in the men’s quad.

At the 2005 World Championships in Gifu, Japan, the men’s quad hoped to reach the final but fell just short of their target. However, they bounced back to win the B final.

During the 2006 World Cup series he raced in a double with Steve Rowbotham, finishing 4th in Munich, then taking bronze in Poznan and silver in Lucerne.

At the 2006 World Championships at Eton he became a world senior level medallist, taking bronze in the double scull with Steve Rowbotham.

Matthew comes from a very sporty family.  His father had football trials with Middlesbrough, his mother played county level netball and his younger brother Peter emulated Matt by winning the World U23 single scull title in 2002.  Matthew was an extremely accomplished runner before he took up rowing.  He was County Champion at 800, 1500 and 3000 metres and winner of the regional league cross country title.

Matthew is Lottery Funded through UK Sport.

Place of birth: Bradford
Current Address: Putney
Home town: Hexham
Region(s): Northumberland


Personal information
Date of birth: 19 April 1979
Height: 189cm
Weight: 92kg
Education: Queen Elizabeth High School – Hexham, St Mary’s Uni College – Twickenham


Rowing information
Club: Leander Club
Boat: Men’s Double Scull
Role: Rower
Coach: Mark Earnshaw
Learnt to row: Queen Elizabeth High School
Original Club(s): Queen Elizabeth High School
Original Coach: Chris Grabham, Darren Whiter, Rusty Williams
GB Competitive Record 
Olympic Games
2008 Bronze M2x
2004 7th M2x
2000 9th M1x
World Rowing Championships
2007 4th M2x
2006 Bronze M2x
2005 7th M4x
2003 5th M2x
2002 6th M2x
2001 13th M1x
World Rowing U23 Championships
2000 Gold M1x
1999 Bronze M1x
World Rowing Junior Championships
1997 Gold M2x

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