Purchase expecting tough tests ahead

Zac Purchase knows full well all the other Olympic rowing crews would like nothing more than to leave Team GB trailing in their wake at Eton Dorney.

Britain topped the rowing medal table at the Beijing Games, returning from the Shunyi park with two each of gold, silver and bronze.

Purchase, 26, claimed the lightweight double sculls title alongside Mark Hunter.

However, the Marlow Rowing Club oarsman knows it is not going to be easy for Britain to repeat that success this summer with plenty of threats for the host team to contend with across all 14 events.

"There will be some crews who are there just to make up the numbers, but the majority will be capable of winning a medal," said Purchase, who has been out with the rest of the Team GB squad at their warm-weather training camp in Portugal.

"It just proves how much people really want to get out there and how much they are prepared to work for that gold medal, which makes it even more special when you win."

The British lightweight double scull claimed the 2011 World Championships crown again in Slovenia and also gold at the 2012 World Cup Series in Belgrade, which was followed by fifth place in Lucerne and then sixth in Munich.

Purchase believes those results show just how tough defending their Olympic title will prove to be.

"If you look back at Beijing, before we won every single race we entered, this year has been more challenging," he said.

"But that is because everybody else is really pushing for that gold medal as well - and it would not be the same event without it."