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Page last updated at 11:27 GMT, Thursday, 6 November 2008

Reed aims for London rowing gold

By Martin Gough

Peter Reed
Reed has been with the coxless four since 2005

Rower Peter Reed has announced he will continue until London 2012, aiming to win a second Olympic gold medal.

The 27-year-old was part of the Great Britain coxless four that overhauled Australia in a thrilling Olympic final.

Reed, from Gloucestershire, is a Navy Lieutenant and received the full backing of his superiors to continue.

"I'm already thinking about what it's going to be like on the start line. It's a daunting prospect but exciting as well," said Reed.

"We're going to be at peak age and going in as Olympic champions."

The Navy had originally agreed to support Reed's Olympic quest until this year, when he was due back on duty.

We're yet to find out if it's going to be a four, a pair an eight or whatever Jurgen decides to do

Peter Reed

But after returning from Beijing Reed was determined to continue and his bosses took no persuading.

Chief coach Jurgen Grobler said in a statement: "I am sure that Peter has not yet reached his top performance and that there is more to come from him.

"Hopefully this will come in London in four years' time."

This Saturday, many of the GB squad will return to action for the first time since Beijing, in the Head of the River Fours, a time trial in London.

Reed's crew-mate Andy Hodge races for his club Molesey in a four coxed by Acer Nethercott, who steered the Great Britain eight to silver in Bejing.

The other two members of the four, Steve Williams and Tom James, have yet to confirm whether they will continue training towards the next Olympics.

Reed said he had not spoken to the rest of the Beijing crew about official decisions, although he hopes all three will return and he refuses to under-estimate the challenge facing them if they are to repeat as gold medallists.

"We're going to have to be better than we were in Beijing - that means more training and I don't know how we're going to fit that in," he told BBC Sport.

"It's going to be an awesome challenge and we're all really excited about it, about the prospect of training hard again and getting back together.

"We're yet to find out if it's going to be a four, a pair an eight or whatever Jurgen decides to do."

Colin Smith
It's the only time we get to race Cambridge before the Boat Race and it's on the same course

Colin Smith on Saturday's race

Behind the Molesey crew in Saturday's 550-boat time trial is Colin Smith, stroke of the GB eight who will spend this year as president of Oxford University's Boat Race squad.

Four crews from Oxford - rowing as Isis - and four from Cambridge get an early chance to scout the course for the Boat Race, which takes place next year on 29 March.

Smith returned to training with Oxford in September, just three weeks after the Olympic final.

"This is a very significant race because it's the only time we get to race Cambridge before the Boat Race and it's on the same course," he told BBC Sport.

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Martin Gough

"There is a far bigger spread of talent and ability than in an international squad.

"There are first-year undergraduates who have been training all summer just to make the squad and guys who have just come back from the Olympics."

Smith says he is "leaning towards" setting his sights on another Olympic Games but has not yet had final discussions with GB Rowing officials.

Favourites for the Head of the River Fours are a quadruple scull from Tideway Scullers School, including Kiwi Olympic bronze medallist Mahe Drysdale and GB single sculler Alan Campbell, who was fifth in Beijing.

Debbie Flood, who broke down in tears when her quad were beaten to gold by China in the Olympic final, races for her club, Leander.

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see also
British four win thrilling gold
16 Aug 08 |  Rowing
Canada take eights gold from GB
17 Aug 08 |  Rowing
Rowing boat classes explained
30 May 08 |  Rowing


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