The big data drive to find the next generation of Olympic rowing gold medallists

SAS, the Official Analytics Partner of British Rowing, has welcomed returning rowers from Rio, ready to crunch the numbers from the squad’s most successful overseas Games ever.

Data scientists from SAS, the global leaders in analytics, have been working with British Rowing since March 2014 analysing data from training and biomechanics to weather and diet, in a bid to unlock marginal gains that help make the boats go faster.

Great Britain was the most successful rowing nation at the Rio Games, topping the medals table at both the Olympics and Paralympics with three gold medals and two silvers at the Olympics and three golds and a bronze at the Paralympics. The team is already starting to look ahead to preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

Andy Parkinson, British Rowing Chief Executive Officer, said: “To help maintain our position as one of the leading rowing nations, it is important that our coaches understand all aspects of an athlete’s performance – data analysis is a powerful way to do this. The work SAS does, has the potential to help our coaching team make important decisions on a variety of matters, from training to how the boats are set up and which athletes are going to crew them.”

One of the challenges faced by the GB rowers at the Lagoa in Rio was the weather, which not only affected racing conditions but even forced some competition days to be cancelled.

Hugo D’Ulisse, Head of Analytical Platform, SAS UK & Ireland, said: “The impact of various weather patterns on the boat was a significant area we looked at ahead of Rio. Of course, we’ll be analysing data from the Rio regatta with interest as we progress our work with British Rowing. What will become increasingly important is our analysis of the development programme, looking at grassroots rowing clubs and rowers, to help identify the next generation of elite rowers.”

For more information about SAS’s partnership with British Rowing, click here.

About British Rowing

British Rowing, as the governing body for the sport, is responsible for the development of rowing in England and the training and selection of rowers to represent Great Britain.

The GB Rowing Team is the high-performance arm of British Rowing. Rowing has a proud history as one of GB’s most successful Olympic sports producing World, Olympic and Paralympic Champions from across the UK. The squad is supported by the National Lottery Sports Fund.

Around a quarter of a million people row in England on a monthly basis, according to Sport England’s Active People Survey (APS 9 Oct 2014 – Sept 2015, aged 14+).

British Rowing’s mission is to lead, enable and inspire excellence in rowing at all levels. Our vision, through rowing, is to promote the positive impact of sport by providing an enjoyable experience for all participants while upholding our position as a leading rowing nation.

About SAS

SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative software and services, SAS empowers and inspires customers around the world to transform data into intelligence. SAS gives you THE POWER TO KNOW®.

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