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Medal-winning York rower Tom Ransley drenched in confusion
SOME 48 hours after he stepped on to the podium to collect an Olympic Games bronze medal, York rower Tom Ransley was still immersed in confusion.
The City of York Rowing Club star was part of the GB eights team who blasted out from the start to try to power to the gold.
But their explosive and risky gung-ho ploy did not yield the desired reward of gold as world champions Germany reeled them in, with Canada then sneaking to the line for second place and silver at the Eton Dorney course.
Atop the podium, Ransley and crew-mates were a far from picture of exhilaration, despite their gallant efforts.
But as the 26-year-old woke to a flood of goodwill messages and congratulations from family friends and rowing devotees, he admitted to being overwhelmed.
Said the University of York graduate: “I have to say I was pretty gutted at the end of the race because we had gone flat out to win the gold.
“And it is still a really confusing place inside my head as to how I really feel.
“On the podium I was devastated, because everything was geared to getting gold. It was an Olympic final and we wanted gold.
“Since then it’s been overwhelming – all the support and thanks we have all got from family and friends and supporters of the sport.
“When there’s such a surge of people saying you’ve done really well, people who you trust, then you know that it helps. The bronze medal is then a sort of achievement.”
The rower added how he found it hard to reconcile that the team’s tactic – first unveiled in the repecharge which they won convincingly to make the final – just ran out of steam.
“We all knew there was a risk involved, but we knew our best chance was to go out really fast,” declared Ransley.
“We wanted to put the Germans under as much pressure as possible because we believed that would give us a bigger shot at gold. But if we were going to take that risk then we were aware there could be consequences,.
“We never made any big mistakes. We did everything we could have done physically so that by the end there was nothing left.”
Ransley paid immense credit to the crowd at Eton Dorney, describing the atmosphere as “surreal”.
“It’s a place where we’ve rowed before but not with a crowd like that,” he said. “It was like rowing in an arena. The wall of noise was totally different to anything else and I really enjoyed that part of the experience. It was incredible.”
Of his competitive future, Ransley said it was too early to make any decision.
“When you pursue something so ferociously it’s a huge void when it’s over, so I will give it a few weeks, even months, for my head to clear,” he said.
His immediate task was to remain at the rowing headquarters to back the other British rowers before heading to the athletes’ village at the Olympic park to lend his support to the rest of Team GB.
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