Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'British Rowing at Its Strongest for Games'; Sir Steve Redgrave Believes Cut-Throat Decisions by Coach Jurgen Grobler Will Give the Team Their Best Olympics by Matt Majendie LONDON2012

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'British Rowing at Its Strongest for Games'; Sir Steve Redgrave Believes Cut-Throat Decisions by Coach Jurgen Grobler Will Give the Team Their Best Olympics by Matt Majendie LONDON2012

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Majendie

[bar] PETE REED and Andrew Triggs Hodge will break up Britain's World Championship-winning coxless four by returning to that boat to defend their Olympic title in that event, according to Sir Steve Redgrave.

Reed and Triggs Hodge have suffered 14 straight defeats to New Zealand in the men's pair and have long been tipped to make a switch to the four in Olympic year.

No announcement is expected until next month but Redgrave believes head coach Jurgen Grobler decided on his quartet to go for gold long before this month's senior trials, in which Reed and Triggs Hodge rowed to an eighth successive title, and that they will be joined in the boat by Alex Gregory and Tom James.

"I believe Pete, Andy and Alex Gregory will definitely be in the four, which leaves one seat open," said Redgrave. "I think that's been earmarked for Tom James. He had some heart issues earlier this year but he seems to be over that now.

"Alex Patridge did well at the trials but I don't think he'll be in the four. I wouldn't discount Matt Langridge -- he's still in with a shout -- but I think that last seat will go to Tom."

The decision to break up the four of Gregory, James, Langridge and Ric Egington seems harsh bearing in mind the manner in which they have dominated the event, winning the world title in Slovenia last year.

Redgrave said: "It does look very cut throat from the outside but that's the way rowing is. The best athletes can almost choose which boat they want to be in, and Andy and Pete are the best rowers. They've shown that consistently.

"And you have to remember they're the Olympic champions in that event and they're going back into that boat in a bid to regain their Olympic title.

"Also, the next best sweep boat is likely to be the men's eight and, if you look at the calibre of rowers in there, you'd have to say they have an excellent chance of the gold as well."

Redgrave rowed to the fifth of his Olympic titles in Sydney in 2000, a Games in which Britain won two golds and a silver on the water. …

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