Fired up for Rio

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport - By Alex Hoad

Tom Rans­ley says the dis­ap­point­ment of only claim­ing bronze at last week­end’s World Cham­pi­onships will fuel him as the road to Rio en­ters the fi­nal straight.

Ash­ford-born Rans­ley also fin­ished in third at the Lon­don 2012 Olympics but played his part as the GB men’s four se­cured a berth at the 2016 Games on the back of their per­for­mances at the World Cham­pi­onships in Lac d’Aigue­belette, France, last week­end.

With the top-11 boats se­cur­ing an Olympic spot, the cox­less four knew qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the World fi­nal would be enough to guar­an­tee a place at Rio and de­spite need­ing to come through the repechage round to qual­ify, the Brits stormed to sec­ond place in their semi-fi­nal to achieve their goal.

Rans­ley, Alan Sin­clair, Scott Du­rant and Stewart Innes over­hauled Canada to fin­ish in a time of 5min 52.52sec, be­hind even­tual gold medal­lists Italy, although they were pipped to sil­ver in the fi­nal by Aus­tralia by just 0.26secs.

The for­mer King’s School (Can­ter­bury) pupil said: “The most im­por­tant ob­jec­tive for us was to qual­ify this boat class into the Rio Olympics next year.

“To be frac­tions of a sec­ond away from sil­ver and just a cou­ple of seats down on the gold has put our team in a strong po­si­tion go­ing into the Olympic year. I’m look­ing for­ward to it.”

He added: “I am glad to come away with the medal but the ini­tial re­ac­tion on cross­ing the line – aside from the pain and ex­haus­tion – was dis­ap­point­ment.

“The crew had set out to chal­lenge at the front of the field and that am­bi­tion slipped out of our hands early on.

“I am proud of my crew. Although we didn’t have our best start, we re­acted well. We didn’t panic and chase the race and get pulled off what we do well.”

Rans­ley, who turned 30 on Sun­day, had claimed gold at the two pre­vi­ous World Cham­pi­onships in the eight but did col­lect his first fours medal this sum­mer by claim­ing the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship ti­tle in Poz­nan, Poland.

He said: “I hope to use my ex­pe­ri­ence in the eight for the ben­e­fit of the four and like­wise I want to learn from the fours to im­prove my­self as a rower.”

The World Cham­pi­onships was the cul­mi­na­tion of a two month solid block of train­ing, with Rans­ley ad­mit­ting: “The energy and com­mit­ment is sec­ond to none and I am con­fi­dent the hard work will be worth it.”

Pic­tures: Peter Spurrier/ In­ter­sport Im­ages

Tom Rans­ley claims bronze in the men’s four at the World Cham­pi­onships. From left, Scott

Du­rant, Alan Sin­clair, Rans­ley and Stewart Innes. Be­low, the GB four with

their medals

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