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Page last updated at 11:53 GMT, Friday, 10 October 2008 12:53 UK

Partridge is aiming for 2012 gold

Alex Partridge
Partridge missed the Olympic Games after suffering a fractured rib

Olympic rowing silver medallist Alex Partridge has revealed to BBC Berkshire that he will carry on for London 2012.

The Henley-based 27-year-old was part of the men's eight that finished as runners-up in Beijing, and he is desperate for gold in four years' time.

"I'm going to carry on and try to go one better," he said.

"I don't think it would have mattered if it was London 2012 or Katmandu, I would have carried on - I'm really enjoying the sport."

Silver in Beijing completed a remarkable recovery for Partridge, who missed out on Athens 2004 after suffering a career-threatening injury in the build-up to the Games.

He was forced to withdraw from the coxless four when he sustained a stress fracture of the rib, leaving him with a deflated lung, and could only watch on as the crew claimed gold without him.

Although he never doubted that he would compete again, he admits the torturous recovery was particularly tough on his family and friends.

"It was very hard for my family because they're the ones who are behind the scene and give you all the support.

"My wife, my parents and my brother - the whole family - are the ones that are there on the hard nights cooking the dinners when you can't move, and you come home and just want to sit in front of the TV and do nothing.

Alex Partidge
The Great Britain eight won silver in Beijing

"They are the the ones who have to give up their weekends when we are on the river," he said.

"I actually found myself asking my mother at one point, 'I'm really sorry is this OK with you?' She broke down in tears in the car- it is that emotional."

After battling back to full fitness, Partridge endured another setback when he lost his place in the four after defeat in the World Championships in Munich in 2007 - a result that ended the crew's three-year-unbeaten streak.

While the re-jigged four went on to win gold in Beijing, Partridge had to settle for silver in the men's eight, but insists he has no regrets.

"We had a fantastic build-up to the Olympic Games over seven weeks, and it was the best seven weeks of my entire life.

"It was the best boat that I have ever rowed in."

Live coverage from Henley of the rowers' parade is on BBC Radio Berkshire from 1100 BST on Saturday, 11 October.


see also
Parade to honour town's Olympians
03 Oct 08 |  Oxfordshire
Canada take eights gold from GB
17 Aug 08 |  Rowing
Rowing boat classes explained
30 May 08 |  Rowing


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