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Page last updated at 09:51 GMT, Friday, 18 December 2009

Greg Searle to make London 2012 Olympic bid

Greg Searle
Searle won the second of his Olympic medals in 1996

Former Olympic champion Greg Searle has set his sights on competing at London 2012, when he will be 40 years old.

But he must wait to prove his worth after Saturday's GB Rowing trial in Boston, Lincolnshire was cancelled because of snowy travelling conditions.

Searle won gold in Barcelona in 1992 with brother Jonny and cox Garry Herbert, and bronze in a four in 1996.

"It's all about being in the Olympic team, marching in the opening ceremony and being a role model," he said.

"To be able to do something like this feels like a really exciting adventure."

I didn't want to row in Beijing but the pull of London was just so strong

Olympic champion Greg Searle

Searle retired after the 2000 Olympics, when he came agonisingly short of a medal in a pair with Ed Coode, and went on to take part in the America's Cup as a grinder and compete in the BBC's Superstars series.

He attended the 2009 World Championships in Poland in August as a race commentator but decided soon afterwards to make a competitive return.

Searle told the Telegraph: "I'd always kept in shape but decided to wait until about three years out and see what kind of shape I was in then.

"I didn't want to row in Beijing but the pull of London was just so strong."


Despite having to fit training around work, Searle beat 85 other entrants in the first GB Rowing trial in October, but the World Championship squad were exempt from that assessment.

After Saturday's cancellation he looks likely to have to wait until the New Year to take on the likes of world silver medallist Alan Campbell and other leading GB squad members.

Olympic medallists Mark Hunter, Tom James, Debbie Flood and Frances Houghton must also wait to prove their speed, after returning following a year off.

"Safety of the rowers comes first", said David Tanner, GB Rowing performance director. "Given [Friday's] conditions we had no option but to cancel."

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see also
Rowing great joins GBR Challenge
12 May 01 |  Sailing
Searle edges home
16 Oct 03 |  Superstars
Final agony for Coode and Searle
22 Sep 00 |  Rowing and Water Sports
Campbell secures silver in Poznan
29 Aug 09 |  Rowing
Rowing weight classes explained
30 May 08 |  Rowing
Rowing boat classes explained
30 May 08 |  Rowing
Power to your pull, with Andy Hodge
06 Jun 08 |  Rowing
Rowing on the BBC
07 May 08 |  Rowing

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