Rower Graeme Thomas admits his sport being part of the multi-sport European Championships is intensifying his hunger for medals.
The experienced Preston ace, 33, cruised into the men’s single sculls semi-finals in Munich after finishing second in his heat behind Dutch star Melvin Twellaar.
Rowing kicked off the multi-sport bonanza on Thursday morning as one of nine sports hosting their European Championships at the city’s iconic Olympic Park of 1972.
Thomas believes the concept can enhance rowing’s visibility and the prospect of affecting the overall medal table is keeping him on his toes.
He said: “A multi-sport event is great for sports that don't always get the same level of coverage to be in the limelight.
“It's great for rowing to be involved and hopefully, we can add to the British medal tally.
“It’s great as well because we've just come off the back of the Commonwealth Games.”
Thomas is a three-time European medallist after grabbing one silver and two bronzes in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
And he made light work of his heat in a sweltering Munich on Thursday morning, finishing comfortably ahead of Swiss star Scott Baerlocher and Estonian Andrei Jamsa.
The way the draw fell meant Thomas was positioned out on his own in lane ‘zero’, putting him a considerable distance from his competitors and therefore slowing his speed down.
Twellaar’s winning time was almost 14 seconds quicker than Thomas’ but the Lancashire star is reading nothing into it ahead of Saturday’s semi-final.
“It was a bit lonely out there in lane zero,” he added.
“It would have been nice to have been closer to my competitors there.
“It’s always frustrating to have that much distance and if the lanes were the other way round, [Twellaar] would have been standing here.
“But it's fairly relaxed – I’ll rest up and hopefully get a more favourable one on Saturday.”The multi-sport European Championships Munich 2022, featuring Athletics, Beach Volleyball, Canoe Sprint, Cycling, Gymnastics, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Rowing, Sport Climbing, takes place 11th-21st August on the 50th anniversary of the Olympics Games in the German city. Follow online at [bbc.co.uk/sport]bbc.co.uk/sport