Page last updated at 14:52 GMT, Sunday, 17 August 2008 15:52 UK

Double success for Welsh rowers

Tom Lucy
Ton Lucy learnt his rowing skills at Monmouth School

Wales' second Olympic rowing medal of the weekend was won by Tom Lucy who helped the eight-man crew to silver.

Lucy, who learnt to row at Monmouth school, followed Tom James, 24, from Coedpoeth, Wrexham, who won gold in the coxless four boat on Saturday.

At just 20, Lucy is the youngest member of Team GB's rowing squad.

Leaders of the sport in Wales are now hoping the pair's success and that of the squad as a whole will drive more people to take to the water.

The eight-man boat held off the United States to finish second behind Canada and rowing great Sir Steve Redgrave hailed the achievement as "fantastic."

Lucy learnt to row at Monmouth school in south Wales and his teacher Rob Howe hailed his "fantastic achievement", adding everyone at the school was very proud of him.

We're doing pretty well and good for Wales as well - obviously two Toms have got medals in the Olympics for Wales
Rob Howe, Monmouth rowing teacher

Mr Howe said he thought Lucy always had the potential to do well and had stood out from the age of 14.

"He's not a giant. I think he's about 6ft 3in, 6ft 4in but what he did have was tremendous physical strength which you obviously need for the sport.

"But he also had tremendous stamina, he was a very good cross country runner as a youngster and then when he got a bit older he started weight training."

Mr Howe, who was in Amsterdam last year to see Lucy claim a gold in the World Rowing Championships, said he was "shouting at the TV" during both Lucy's race and that of James on Saturday.

"Canada were always going to be a tough act to bear but our guys got the silver and I think there's been many years in the Olympics when medals have been less frequently won.

James, Williams, Reed and Hodge celebrate
Tom James (far left) with Steve Williams, Peter Reed and Andy Hodge

"We're doing pretty well and good for Wales as well - obviously two Toms have got medals in the Olympics for Wales."

Mr Howe said Lucy had only started rowing at the independent school and the Olympic silver proved that novices were able to take up the sport and be successful.

Chairman of Llandaff Rowing Club in Cardiff Jon Hine said Team GB's success in Beijing has sparked fresh interest from would-be rowers.

"Hopefully it will get more people interested in rowing," he said.

"We've already had two people come down to the club this weekend.

"Admittedly I think at least one of them has rowed before but nevertheless it has put rowing in the spotlight once again as it does in every Olympics.

"Hopefully we'll get more people coming into a sport which is very enjoyable and also physically demanding."




SEE ALSO
British four win thrilling gold
16 Aug 08 |  Rowing
Sport Wales: The TV programme
01 Aug 08 |  Wales

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