WELSH ROWERS SELECTED FOR BEIJING

26 Jun 2008

Two Welsh rowers have today been selected to compete at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Wrexham’s Tom James – who competed in Athens four years ago – has been selected for the flagship boat – the men’s four. This British boat were world champions in 2005 and 2006 and so are strong contenders for the Beijing podium. Tom Lucy – the youngest rower named in the rowing squad – will compete in the men’s eight. The twenty-year-old learnt to row at Monmouth School. Tom Lucy Credit Peter Spurrier - GB Rowing - Thumbnail

David Tanner, Team GB’s Rowing Team Leader, said:

"The Olympic Games bring out the best in every athlete whatever the sport. Everyone will be trying to peak at the right time on the right day, including the Chinese hosts who have emerged in the last four years to be a formidable force in our sport. We go to Beijing confident but aware of the size of the task ahead."

James, 24, has tasted world-class success having been a medallist at the World Championships at junior and senior level. He won his seat in the men’s four earlier this year but was soon out of action due to injury. Missing two World Cups, he passed a late fitness test to compete in the recent World Cup in Poznan, Poland.

He took up rowing after a knee injury ruled out a promising running career. He won his first GB junior vest in 2001 and travelled to Athens for the Olympic Games just three weeks later.

Yet, his first-ever Olympics was ruined as a result of illness. He was part of the eight which took ninth place overall but he could not compete in the semi–final.

James has raced four times in the Cambridge Blue Boat in the University Boat Race – in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

While James will know what’s in store in Beijing, Tom Lucy will be making his Olympic bow. He made his senior GB debut just 12 months ago when he won a place in the men's eight which won bronze at the 2007 World Championships in Munich.

At the first World Cup of 2008 he raced in the men's four, substituting for his fellow Welshman who was out with injury. The crew impressed with an exceptional performance to win gold. He also rowed in the eight at the Poznan World Cup and finished in silver medal position.