Olympic rowing champion Ransley retires

Olympic gold medallist and two-time world champion Tom Ransley has called time on his rowing career after more than a decade on the international scene.

Ransley was part of the men's eight that claimed gold at Rio 2016, four years after winning bronze in the same boat on home waters.

The 34-year-old made the decision to call it a day after the Tokyo Games were pushed back a year, and reflected on what it meant to become Olympic champion four years ago.

He said: “Rio was very special. I had a brutal time trying to get myself there, as did the rest of the crew. There were some really tough individual journeys along the way and I’m incredibly proud to be in the company of that eight.

“There are so many legends in the boat – world and Olympic gold medallists – and working directly under Jürgen (Grobler) is always an honour. I have lots of special memories of that tight-knit team.

“The race itself felt like it was a decade in the making; it was what I’d been aiming for my whole career. To be able to win the big one in an awesome setting was amazing.”

Ransley won 23 international medals in all, and was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list in 2016.

He started rowing at 15 at York City Rowing Club before moving to the University of York and University of Cambridge, twice representing the light blues in the boat race. His Great Britain debut came in 2007 at the World Under-23 Rowing Championships in Glasgow.

British Rowing director of performance Brendan Purcell said: “Tom has had an outstanding career representing the GB Rowing Team. His incredible career as an athlete is a testament to his professionalism and drive and will undoubtedly inspire many to follow after him.

“I am confident that he will go on to have every success in the future.”

Olympic chief coach Jürgen Grobler paid tribute to Ransley, saying: “Tom has been a fantastic athlete. He is a really honest person and a big team player.

“You could always rely on him and he’s someone you’d always want to have in a boat; you could tell others in the team always liked him and valued having him in their crew. He was always positive and would always go above and beyond for the team.”

Sportsbeat 2020