23 Apr 2008

As Olympic qualifiers across all sports have started in earnest, there are strong hopes that two rowers from Wales will be selected for Beijing this summer.

Tom James and Tom Lucy formed part of the men’s eight boat which took a bronze medal at the 2007 World Championships and the duo are now hoping to again make the GB team, but on an altogether grander stage.Tom Lucy Credit Peter Spurrier - GB Rowing - Thumbnail

If selected, James – who was born in Cardiff but lists his hometown as Wrexham – will take with him the experience gained at the Athens Games in 2004 where the men’s eight finished ninth.

Their bronze at the World Championships would suggest, however, that the crew has matured further.

The former engineering student at Cambridge took up rowing after a knee injury meant he had to give up running. He went on to win his first GB vest in 2001. He has also been a firm fixture in the University Boat Race, having graced the crew four times. In 2007, his final year as Cambridge President, he finally tasted victory.

At 24, James is four years older than Lucy yet the youngster has taken enormous strides in recent years. A World Junior Champion at 18, the Monmouth rower has since been fast-tracked into the senior squad.

In 2007, he lifted bronze in the eight at the Amsterdam World Cup. In the same year, he headed down under to race at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney where he assisted the four to gold and the eight to silver. Despite his youth, Lucy has certainly proved to be a powerful asset.

The 2008 Rowing World Cup series kicks off in Munich from 8 to 11 May.