Ransley ready for Olympic challenge after World Rowing Championship bronze
16 September 2018 / 15:39
Olympic gold medallist Tom Ransley believes his men's eight team must keep improving if they are to medal at the 2020 Olympics after scooping bronze at the 2018 World Rowing Championships.
Ransley, who won gold at the 2016 Olympics and bronze in London fours previous, warned his squad not to become complacent after they were pipped to silver in the men’s eight final by Australia, with just 0.03 seconds the difference.
The team, featuring Ransley, James Rudkin, Alan Sinclair, Tom George, Moe Sbihi, Ollie Wynne-Griffith, Matthew Tarrant, Will Satch and Henry Fieldman, clinched Great Britain’s fourth medal success in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Ransley said: “We’ve got to seize the opportunity when you get it, so it’s nice to come away with a medal, even though we’re wanting to go further and get on the top of the podium in Tokyo - and before that, if possible.”
“It has always been a dynamic sport and I’ve been in it long enough now to see nations come in and out of the medals.
“We’ve got to get next year right and it’s one of the steps along the way to getting Tokyo right, so we’re certainly not going to underestimate it.”
Fellow Olympic champion Moe Sbihi echoed the sentiments of his teammate and stated that the success must mark a turning point for the men’s eight after a difficult season.
“I’m happy we got on the right side of what could have been a really tough result,” Sbihi said.
“With the season we’ve had, with the ups and downs, injuries and illnesses, this shows we’re on the right path, so we’ll take positives from it.
“It’s not a nice feeling to get bronze as we always want to get gold but I’d much rather have it round my neck than be sitting on the pontoon crying my eyes out.”
While, British Rowing director of performance Brendan Purcell admitted that not everything had gone to plan for the British team, he had seen plenty of positive signs with Tokyo 2020 rapidly approaching.
He said: “It’s always good to win a medal to close a regatta and the men’s eight saved one of their best performances for when it was needed to win bronze.
“While we didn’t win as many medals as we would have liked, it was great to see so many of our crews really challenging for podium places this weekend. There are a number of positive performance indicators we take from the week.
“With the Olympic and Paralympic qualification regatta coming in 2019, our focus is on qualifying as many boats as possible to the Games in Tokyo.
Elsewhere, in the men’s single sculls Harry Leask claimed a fourth-place finish after Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne and Anna Thornton finished in the same position in the women’s double sculls.
There was a similar story in the men’s double sculls, with the pair of Angus Groom and Jack Beaumont narrowly missing out on a medal by just half a length to New Zealand.
Photo credit: Naomi Baker