TOM RANSLEY will be rowing for gold at Rio 2016. The York City Rowing Club oarsman admitted he considered quitting the sport in the wake of his bronze medal-winning achievements with the Great Britain eight crew at London 2012.
However, the 27-year-old declared he “wasn’t satisfied” with third place behind Germany and Canada at Eton Dorney and “needed to try again”.
“I did have thoughts of stepping down,” he said. “But, as soon as I finished the Olympic final, I knew in my heart that I wasn’t satisfied and I needed to try again.
“I also knew that I couldn’t be expected to really make that decision until I had tried to separate myself from my rowing environment and psyche.
“In other words, I didn’t want to trust that instinct until I’d had time to reflect.
“I think it was important to go away and think seriously about the alternatives to carrying on.
“That way, whatever decision you make, you know it has robust foundations and it’s not something you just drifted into.
“I know a life in sport can have some really tough times so it’s important to have faith in the decisions you make.”
Ransley’s crew made a brave attempt to overhaul an all-conquering German boat in the London 2012 final and almost missed out on a medal as a consequence.
In the immediate aftermath of the race, Ransley appeared distraught at missing out on gold.
Having had four months to reflect on the eight’s achievement, he said: “I’m glad we didn’t come fourth!
“I have no regrets about our raceday strategy. I’d rather live with a bronze knowing I gave everything and risked everything to get gold, rather than have a silver and a whole lot of ‘what-ifs’.
“Also, it’s great seeing people’s reactions to an Olympic medal. It helps bring it home. I have been to a few schools and let the pupils see the medal and they love it.”
The Great Britain Rowing Team are back in training ahead of the 2013 international campaign and University of York graduate Ransley said: “At this stage it is also important to focus on short-term goals and I am rebuilding my fitness after taking some time out.
“It can be difficult to re-motivate yourself after peaking for the Olympics.
“It was strange watching some of the cyclists compete at their World Cup while I felt incredibly out of shape.
“I had already started training, but I wouldn’t have wanted to race internationally so soon after the Olympics.
“I’m currently volunteering full-time for The Prince’s Trust and also trying to fit training in around work. It can be challenging but it is also refreshing