Hunter could row on to Rio
August 7, 2012 18:13 pm
Mark Hunter's emotions, still raw following the silver medal in rowing he won with Zac Purchase on Saturday, are telling him to seek redemption in Rio.
Hunter and Purchase were inconsolable for hours after losing their lightweight double sculls Olympic title to Denmark, who snatched victory with a powerful late surge to the line.
Even now, Hunter cannot watch the entire race back and it was only during a television appearance that he caught the dramatic closing stages and his emotional post-race interview.
However, 34-year-old Hunter told Press Association Sport: "I don't want to make an emotional decision. My emotions are saying, 'You can't leave it there'. I need some time away to do different things. To see my family and friends. To live a normal life and get involved with charities and sponsors.
"At some point the coaches will sit down and ask our plans. It is a four-year decision. Over time I will appreciate a medal from a home Olympics. At the moment, you want to come out of that little nightmare and for it to be the other colour. But you know you can't."
Purchase is getting married in three weeks' time and also plans to take this year off before considering whether to compete on until Rio de Janeiro hosts the Games in 2016.
Hunter makes no apologies for his reaction to winning silver, arguing vehemently that these Olympics have proven that just taking part is no longer acceptable in British sport. Purchase and Hunter apologised for letting the nation down because they missed gold.
"It is the mentality to go out and want to be the best," Hunter said. "It's a great way to look at sport now in this country. Everyone wants to go out there and win.
"Over time I will have to try to watch it and embrace the facts of what happened. I was doing an interview on the television and they showed the last few strokes, when we were level. I didn't realise it was that close. I knew we hadn't won but I didn't know by how much or how little.
"Then I saw that and it made it even worse. I need to sit down and watch it. It is easy to sit down and watch our successes. It is hard to sit down and watch your disappointments. But I need to so I can have some closure."
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