Watkins reluctantly brings curtain down on Rio dream

Watkins reluctantly brings curtain down on Rio dream

10 February 2016 / 20:20

She may have opted to step away from her Rio dream but London 2012 Olympic rowing champion Anna Watkins admitted she would have always been left wondering if she had not at least tried.

Watkins returned to rowing training in August 2015 five months after having her second baby with a view of trying to make the team for Rio.

A double sculls bronze medallist at Beijing 2008, the 32-year-old upgraded that to gold four years later in London alongside Katherine Grainger before taking time off for the birth of her two children.

And while returning to training with the GB Rowing Team squad, she has now made the difficult decision to step away from those building towards Rio after recent test results left her feeling she had not reached a good enough level.

“I am very sad it hasn’t worked out and this is not a decision that I’ve taken lightly,” Watkins told British Rowing.

“I’ve had great support from everyone involved with the GB Rowing Team as well as the wider rowing community, my family and friends.

“I guess I would have always wondered about what might have been if I hadn’t given it a go.

“Rowing has been such a big part of my life and I am sure that I will remain involved in some way. I am just taking some time to think this over but I’ll continue to support my teammates in whatever way I can.”

Paul Thompson, who coached Watkins to two World Championship titles as well as gold at London 2012 and who is the GB Rowing Team Chief Coach for Women and Lightweights said: “Anna is an outstanding athlete and an extremely ambitious and talented individual. 

“Anna gave this her best shot and it unfortunately hasn’t worked out. She is a fabulous ambassador for our sport and a great champion. We wish her and her family well for the future.”

Sportsbeat 2016