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Olympic hype put aside by rower Tom Ransley
SIX months away from the race of his life, York City Rowing Club’s Tom Ransley is trying not to get caught up in the hype and hysteria surrounding London 2012.
The 25-year-old is almost certain to line up as part of the medal-chasing Great Britain eight crew when the Olympic rowing regatta gets under way at Eton Dorney on Saturday, July 28.
But, with selection yet to be finalised, the University of York graduate insists his main focus has to be on building up to final senior trials in March rather than the end point of the Games.
“The priority is making sure I get the best out of myself and try to make sure I get it right in the races leading up to the summer so I am there for all the hype,” said Ransley, at a GB rowing event marking the six-month countdown to the Olympics.
“I was driving into London a couple of months ago on the Great West Road and you pass the GlaxoSmithKline building which has a huge 2012 banner on the side.
“It is quite exciting, I guess, to think you have the opportunity to be part of that. But on the whole I am wrapped up in my own world of ‘home, lake, sleep’ and you can become oblivious to everything outside that.”
The nation’s rowers will be expected to continue a run of success which has garnered 25 medals – ten of them gold – in the last nine Olympic Games.
The golden legacy of Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent is an inspiration rather than an overbearing pressure, according to Ransley, a two-time World Championship silver medallist.
“It is reassuring and inspiring to be part of a system and a set-up that has produced some really outstanding results over the years,” he said.
“My coach is Jurgen Grobler and he really is second to none, so you also take a lot of confidence from that. You are working under someone who knows what he is doing.”
• The GB team rowing team are inviting people from York and North and East Yorkshire to join in with the Nation On Trial initiative.
The scheme, sponsored by GB’s high-performance partner Siemens, encourages people to get on a rowing machine and take their own two-kilometre trial to mark a big year for British sport while also raising money for the event’s charity partner, The Stroke Association.
Anyone of any ability can register on the www.nationontrial.org website.