PETE REED has been told he faces stiff competition to retain his place with Britain’s gold-medal winning coxless four, writes Ben Baker.
The warning comes from Team GB’s rowing coach Paul Stannard who is delighted by the pool of British talent in the sport’s ranks.
Reed, the 31-year-old former Cirencester Deer Park pupil, alongside Andy Triggs Hodge, Tom James and Alex Gregory, memorably edged out Australia in a thrilling race at London 2012, taking gold at Eton Dorney in a time of 6min 3.97secs.
It was a typically successful Olympic Games for GB’s rowing squad, who are based in Caversham, with nine medals won including three gold.
But Stannard is predicting plenty more glory in the future owing to the amount of talent at his disposal.
“Thankfully, I don’t have to make the tough decisions as to who it is in which boat, as those decisions fall under Jurgen Grobler and David Tanner,” said Stannard, who was speaking at the UK Coaching Awards 2012, supported by Gillette, where he collected the Performance Development Coach of the Year award.
“But in the last two years we have been planning for Rio so it is a six-year project as opposed to a four-year project.
“Over the course of this summer I finished work on the Saturday evening and was back coaching on the Monday morning with the European squad, who were a completely different bunch of guys.
“And they are now the bulk of our senior team. We had them in the pipeline raring to go and they have hit the ground running, making really good progress, and they are at Caversham amongst the senior guys.
“So we have a good mix of experienced guys like Pete and younger guys, and they are all champing at the bit to follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before.”
Gillette’s support of the UK Coaching Awards follows its partnership with Sports Coach UK earlier this year as part of the ‘Great Starts’ campaign, introduced to celebrate coaches and inspire the next generation by awarding coaching grants.