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In 2004 he became the first "non-rower" to win the men's open event at the British Indoor Rowing Championships, an event dominated until that time by Olympic water rowers such as Matthew Pinsent (who won in 2003), James Cracknell (second in 2003), and Jamie Schroeder (who won in 2002).
Graham has since gone on to win the Men's Open event at the British Indoor Rowing Championships in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010, and on each occasion faster than Matthew Pinsent's winning time in 2003. In 2012, he raced in the 35-39 category winning the British and European Championships in 5:50.1, breaking Sir Steve Redgrave's long-standing Championship record by 1 second. He has also been inducted into the Indoor Rowing Hall of Fame, and in 2010 was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Concept 2.
In addition, he became the first GB rower since Sir Steve Redgrave to win the Men's Open event at the World Indoor Rowing Championships in 2006. He had previously won the 30-39 Event in 2004 and 2005.
Graham began as purely a gym rower, hence being the first "non-rower" to win at the British Championship, but has since taken up water rowing originally in the hope of making the Olympics. More recently, Graham has represented The Tideway Scullers School and Taurus Boat Club at Henley Royal Regatta, narrowly losing in three finals.
His potential in the sport of indoor rowing was noticed as early as his first race in Portsmouth in 2002 where he pulled a 2000m time of 6:03.9, only narrowly losing to future MAD Team team-mate, Nik Fleming. Graham commented to Concept2 in those early days his ambition to reduce his 2000m time to 5minutes 50seconds, which he has since surpassed by quite some margin becoming one of the fastest ergers in the world with his 5:42.5 2000m time clocked at the 2007 British Indoor Rowing Championships. This is the second fastest British time recorded at an indoor rowing competition, beaten only by Moe Sbihi, with a time of 5:41:8
Graham's indoor rowing coach is Eddie Fletcher of Fletcher Sport Science whose rowers have won over 75 medals at the British Indoor Rowing Championships since 2001.
- World Rowing - Official Website - News
- BIRC Hall of Fame
- SportsPark - What’s New - Indoor Rowing World Champion
- Concept2 Rowing Machines |
- Concept2 Rowing Machines | Question and Answer Session with Graham Benton