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ROWING: Oxfordshire's oarsome foursome out for gold again
9:10am Thursday 7th June 2012 in Olympics
Great Britain’s flagship boat for London 2012 will be an all-Oxfordshire line-up.
The men’s four, who will be defending their gold medal from Beijing, comprise Oxford’s Andrew Triggs Hodge, Leander club members Alex Gregory and Pete Reed, plus Tom James, from Henley.
They are expected to be Britain’s strongest hope of a gold medal at the London Olympics, which will be contested on Eton College’s Dorney Lake.
Of the 48 rowers named in the British Olympic squad in Windsor, 26 either live in Oxfordshire, went to university in Oxford or belong to clubs in the county.
Triggs Hodge said: “Oxfordshire has a huge heritage in rowing.
“The River Thames starts off through the Isis in Oxford with all the colleges, then past huge rowing schools in Radley and Abingdon all the way down through Henley and the clubs around there.
“Oxfordshire is one of the centres of British rowing and I hope something the county is proud of.
“I live in Oxford. It is a fantastic city and it is extremely conducive to rowing, just because it has a very relaxed atmosphere.
“The students bring a liveliness about it, but if you live in London where things are hectic and manic, Oxford is a wonderful place to locate.”
He added: “We have all worked very hard to be in this position. This crew is a culmination of four years’ very hard work by four individuals.
“We still have a lot to do and things to get right. The rhythm still has to come together.
“We are still testing a lot of things. However, we feel we are making huge inroads into that challenge.
“We are getting faster every day and we can feel the boat improving.
“That is what really gives us the belief that we can achieve something in London which I believe the nation will be very proud of.
“And also hopefully it will vindicate all the sacrifices we have made over the past four years.
“It lifts our spirits when we think about it.”