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Oar-inspiring medal booty awaits York rowing ace Tom Ransley
10:22am Saturday 28th July 2012 in Sport
TOM RANSLEY is being tipped for London 2012 glory by his York City Rowing Club mentor, writes James Scott.
The 26-year-old University of York graduate and his Great Britain eights crew begin their Olympic campaign in the heats today and former coach John Sparrow believes gold is within their grasp.
“I’m confident the Great Britain rowing eight will have a rewarding Olympics,” said Sparrow, York City Rowing Club’s joint honorary president.
“They certainly have the quality to get a silver or gold medal.
“We’ve seen recently the success of Great Britain’s Olympic team. I don’t see why Tom shouldn’t help to add to that success in London.
“We are all very proud of Tom at York City Rowing Club and we appreciate all that he did with us. The coverage over the past couple of months by The Press has greatly increased his profile and ours at the club.”
Ransley joined the River Ouse-based club at the start of his university course and Sparrow revealed he took time to reach the first eight crew. “He was initially placed in the second eight at York City Rowing Club, which says more about the quality of the rowers available at the time than anything else,” he said.
“I helped to coach him in the second eight and he always applied himself well. Despite beginning in the second team, it was clear he had the mental and physical abilities to succeed.
“He went on to become an invaluable member of the crew that won the Britannia Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta in 2007.”
By that stage, Ransley was already making a name for himself on the world stage, finishing sixth in the men’s eight at the Under-23 World Championship.
Since joining the senior GB rowing team, Ransley has won silver medals at the last two World Championships.
Today, the eight will be aiming to book their place in the Olympic final. They have been drawn in a tough second heat alongside reigning Olympic champions Canada and world champions Germany.
The first heat will take place at Eton Dorney at 10.10am today.
The heat winners will go straight into Wednesday’s final, with the remaining crews battling it out in the repechage on Monday.