GB rowing eight 'expecting medals'

James Foad believes Great Britain's rowing eight will get it right when it matters at the London 2012 Olympics.


Three-time world champions Germany are hot favourites for gold while the home crew, which includes 1992 gold medallist Greg Searle, have posted some mixed results this season.

Twelve years ago they won gold in Sydney then claimed silver in Beijing but settled for bronze behind Poland and Australia in their final World Cup race, which was missing Germany and defending Olympic champions Canada.

But Foad is adamant that these setbacks could prove vital in terms of motivation as they put the finishing touches to their Olympic campaign during an altitude training camp in Austria.

“As a group, we feel we’ve been a little bit inconsistent in our racing this year, which is not great or that helpful,” said the 25-year-old.

“But we’ve proved what we can do. We’re well in the mix and we’re well up there with the three-times champions Germany.

“We were only a second off them in Lucerne. Things didn’t go well in Munich, which gives us things to work on.

“If it had all gone hunky dory, then maybe our heads wouldn’t have been in the same place and we would have just done as much as we could in the final few weeks. It kind of kicks you back into reality as you’re not unbeatable.

“We will get fitter and stronger at an altitude base in the next couple of weeks. It’s quite a hard camp as you’re up in the mountains in these tiny little huts. It’s great for the camaraderie of the crew, it brings us together and hopefully we’ll start to be united and more as one.”

Foad was part of the eight that won silver at the World Championships in 2010 but will be making his Olympic bow on Dorney Lake this summer.

But he insists that no stage will be too big for him and his crewmates when the starting gun fires.

"In my head and heart, I know we’re all capable of winning. It’s about coming together in that final race and putting our lives on the line and stick to what we say we’re going to do. If we all do that, then we’ll be fine,” he added.

“I’ve not been to the Olympic Games before so I don’t know if there’s any pressure. It could be completely different to a World Championships.

“But at the moment, I’m telling myself it just a worlds. You’re racing the same crews as you did last year, the year before and few weeks ago. The only difference is that you’re in your home country and you’ve got the whole country behind you, and you’ve got your family and friends at the course shouting.

“I don’t see why it’s going to be any more pressure. I’m expecting to win medals, and that’s the pressure I’m putting on myself. Other people can put whatever pressure on me they want but I can only affect what I do.”

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