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Page last updated at 10:06 GMT, Thursday, 26 June 2008 11:06 UK

Grainger heads GB Olympic rowers

Katherine Grainger
Grainger won silver medals at Athens 2004 and Sydney 2000

Katherine Grainger has vowed to lead Great Britain to their first women's Olympic rowing gold medal after being named in the GB team for Beijing.

Grainger is named alongside Frances Houghton, Debbie Flood and Annie Vernon in the women's quadruple scull, winners of the last three World Championships.

"Olympic gold is the only one missing from the set," said the 32-year-old.

In the men's boats, Tom James returns to the coxless four while Tom Lucy, who made way for James, moves to the eight.

Lucy is the youngest athlete in the team at the age of 20, while Sarah Winckless, who took Athens bronze in the double scull alongside Elise Laverick, is the oldest at 34.

I'm sure there will be a lot of pressure to perform, but that is just going to make it more exciting

Zac Purchase
Men's lightweight double scull
Winckless is one of nine names listed for the women's eight, from which a crew and an alternate will be chosen.

Laverick now partners Anna Bebington in the double scull, with Louisa Reeve and Olivia Whitlam forming the pair.

The men's lightweight double scull, Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter, are the only British crew to have won all three of their World Cup regattas this year.

"Beijing is going to be an amazing event," said Purchase, "a real eye opener about world sport.

"Being my first Olympics, I have to make sure that I don't get too distracted by all the new sights and sounds.

"I'm looking forward to it immensely. I'm sure there will be a lot of pressure to perform, but that is just going to make it more exciting."

Alan Campbell, named for the men's single scull, has recovered from a knee operation earlier this month in time to compete at Beijing.


The 43 rowers and 12 boats in the British team for Beijing make it the largest contingent Britain has sent since 1992.

Six of those named - Grainger, Houghton, Flood, Winckless, Laverick and Steve Williams - won medals at the 2004 Olympics.

Williams took gold in the men's coxless four at Athens, and he believes the crew for 2008 will have to fight to repeat the performance.

"Everything is very intense now. Each crew in our event is moving towards the top of its game," he said.

"That's what they've been building up to for the last four years. I don't think the men's four has been this competitive since as far back as 1996."

Men's crews

Four: Tom James, Steve Williams, Peter Reed, Andy Triggs Hodge

Eight: Alex Partridge, Tom Stallard, Tom Lucy, Richard Egington, Josh West, Alastair Heathcote, Matt Langridge, Colin Smith, Acer Nethercott (cox)

Pair: To be selected at a later date

Single scull: Alan Campbell

Double scull: Matt Wells, Stephen Rowbotham

Lightweight double scull: Zac Purchase, Mark Hunter

Lightweight four: Richard Chambers, James Lindsay-Fynn, Paul Mattick, James Clarke

Women's crews

Eight and alternate plus cox to be selected from: Carla Ashford, Jess Eddie, Alice Freeman, Katie Greves, Natasha Howard, Alison Knowles, Natasha Page, Beth Rodford, Sarah Winckless, Caroline O'Connor (cox)

Pair: Louisa Reeve, Olivia Whitlam

Quad scull: Annie Vernon, Debbie Flood, Frances Houghton, Katherine Grainger

Double scull: Elise Laverick, Anna Bebington

Lightweight double scull: Helen Casey, Hester Goodsell

see also
Team GB for Beijing
25 Jun 08 |  Team GB
Rowing on the BBC
13 May 08 |  Rowing

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