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Oxford's Louloudis tipped for London 2012 place

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By Martin Gough

Teenage rower Constantine Louloudis could take the fast track from Boat Race victory to a London 2012 Olympic place, Oxford coach Sean Bowden said.

Nineteen-year-old Louloudis, known as Stan, played a key part for Oxford as they powered to victory over Cambridge.

His next target is the Great Britain selection trials at 2012 venue Dorney Lake in three weeks' time.

"I think it's all there for Stan. I don't see what's going to stand in his way of going a long way," said Bowden.

Londoner Louloudis put in an impressive display in the last set of GB trials as he and Oxford crew-mate Karl Hudspith finished seventh overall, beating former Olympic champion Greg Searle and Tom Broadway from last year's world silver medal-winning eight.

The good guys in the team are at an extremely high standard but Stan's got the credentials and he can get there

Sean Bowden

That was enough to convince Bowden that Louloudis has what it takes to appear at the highest level - the Olympic Games - four years earlier than expected.

"I don't see why not. I know the numbers. I know what he did in a scratch pair at the last set of trials and that's just after one afternoon of training," Bowden continued.

"It's a big challenge. The good guys in the team are at an extremely high standard but Stan's got the credentials and he can get there."

Louloudis, who has Greek ancestry, has been compared to four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Matthew Pinsent, who followed a similar route from Eton College to Oxford University before his Olympic success.

Pinsent watches Boat Race 'beast' in fitness test

Pinsent, who has watched Louloudis take part in fitness testing, said: "In order to win a seat in the Olympic team he would have to convincingly beat athletes in their mid-20s, who have been practising for five years at a level he is just beginning to.

"If the Games were in 2014, he would probably be there. For London 2012, he's a possible."

But Bowden argued: "He's only been rowing four years and he's only going to get better technically.

"The physiology is exceptional, particularly for his age and his size, and he likes to win. That's what you want to see from Olympians: people who will take a race by the scruff of the neck."

Louloudis is considering taking a year off from his undergraduate course in Classics to push for the Olympics next season.

He could win a place in the Great Britain team this summer if he is successful in the trials from 16-18 April at Dorney Lake.

For the event, he has been asked to form a new pair with George Nash, who was part of this year's defeated Cambridge crew, having been a member of the winning team last year.

MATTHEW PINSENT'S BLOG

Fourteen places are available to sweep rowers in the GB squad for three World Cup regattas , leading up to the World Championships in Slovenia in August

Louloudis said of the selection trials: "I'll take that when it comes but at the moment that's not at the front of my mind.

"We haven't interacted in the last week but I've got a huge amount of respect for George and I'm looking forward to doing a pair with him."



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see also
Louloudis reveals 2012 ambition
25 Mar 11 |  Rowing
Oxford surge to Boat Race victory
26 Mar 11 |  Rowing


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