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Olympic hero Lucy to quit rowing

Tom Lucy
Tom Lucy has decided that his future lies away from rowing

Olympic rowing silver medallist Tom Lucy has confirmed he will quit the sport in order to join the military.

The 20-year-old Welshman was part of the men's eights that finished just behind Canada in the final in Beijing.

"It was always in my mind that I was going to give up after this one (Olympics)," Lucy told The Back Page.

"I never intended to carry on until London because there's other things I want to do in life, I've always said I want to join the (Armed) Forces."

Given his youth, Lucy would have been one of the athletes that Team Great Britain bosses would have hoped to be peaking by the 2012 Olympics in London.

But the Monmouth School product is adamant that the challenges he wants to face now will be provided by the Royal Marines and not rowing.

"I feel I've been there, I've done that and to me the fact that it's London isn't really a big thing because the Olympics is the Olympics," Lucy said.

"It doesn't matter whether it's in Beijing or London and to be honest with you I'd probably rather go after Beijing - I've never been there before and I can go to London whenever I want!

I got a good pairs partner, one of the top guys in the squad, a guy called Colin Smith

Tom Lucy

"Plus the fact that although I really enjoyed the rowing while I was doing it, I'm not sure I could stomach another four years.

"It's a very, very tough sport and you've got to be very passionate about doing it otherwise the training will get to you."

Lucy made his senior Team GB debut when he was 19, earning a place in the men's eight that won bronze at the 2007 World Championships in Munich.

At the first World Cup of 2008 in May - again in Munich - he raced in the men's four, substituting for injured compatriot Tom James as the crew took gold.

But with James fit again, Lucy was back in the eight for the Poznan World Cup in June as the GB crew finished second.

"I started rowing at school and one thing led to another," Lucy added.

"I found out I was alright at it, had a bit of natural talent which helps and I got to the point where I was going to try and join the Forces after school but then we won the 2006 (World) Championships, the Juniors that is.

"And I thought, 'I actually quite enjoy this, this is quite nice', so why not carry on and see if I've got a chance to get to Beijing.

"Then it was a huge outside chance, it was have a go but don't be disappointed if you don't make it.

"Then a year later it was I'm going to be disappointed if I don't get a medal, so my goals and my situation changed very quickly, which was an exciting time.

"I had a bit of luck as well, I got a good pairs partner, one of the top guys in the squad, a guy called Colin Smith.

"He was looking for a pairs partner leading up to final trials in 2007, I got on board with him and we came third which was good enough for Jurgen (Grobler, the GB rowing coach) to put me in a boat.

"If that hadn't happened I would have had to take the long way round and I would have struggled I think."

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see also
Lucy wins Olympic rowing silver
17 Aug 08 |  Beijing 2008
Team GB's roll of honour
23 Aug 08 |  Beijing 2008
Coxless four lead GB medal haul
11 May 08 |  Rowing
Rowing boat classes explained
30 May 08 |  Rowing

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