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Tom James MBE
At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Tom raced in the men's four with Alex Gregory, Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs-Hodge. Despite pressure from the experienced Australian crew, the oarsome foursome lead their final from the start to become Olympic Champions.
Tom, a former Cambridge Blue, is the reigning Olympic Champion in the men's four, winning gold in Beijing in a thrilling race over Australia and France. He was awarded an MBE in the 2009 New Year's Honours list in recognition of his achievement.
During the 2012 World Cup Season, Tom raced in the men's four. The newly formed crew won gold in both Belgrade and Lucerne. In Munich, the strong four from Australia pipped the British four to the post and took the gold.
At the 2012 GB Rowing Team Senior Trials held on 10/11 March at Eton/Dorney, Tom and crew mate Ric Egingon came fourth in the men's pair.
At the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia, Tom raced in the men's four with crewmates Matt Langridge, Ric Egington and Alex Gregory winning a fine gold medal ahead of Greece in 2nd and Australia in third.
During the 2011 World Cup Series, the same line-up won gold in the men's four in both Munich and Lucerne
At the 2011 GB Rowing Team Senior Trials held on 16-17 April at Eton/Dorney, Tom took second place in the men's pair with Alex Gregory after a thrilling race with the successful World silver medallists. This boded well for Tom's return to training for the 2011 season after an injury in 2010 kept him out of competition for that year.
Tom took up rowing after a knee injury meant he had to give up running. He won his 1st GB junior vest in the eight in Duisburg in 2001, winning a bronze medal in an exciting finish. In 2002 he was selected in the four for the World Rowing Junior Championships which took the lead with 250m to go in the final but were pipped on the line, taking a well–deserved silver medal.
Tom made his GB Senior team debut as a 19 year old in 2003, winning his place in the men's eight and stroking it to a very creditable bronze medal at the World Rowing Championships. The eight had improved throughout the season and showed their class in Milan by qualifying for the final and the Athens Olympics by taking second place in their semi final, splitting the 2002 silver and bronze medallists.
Tom was third in the 2004 GB Rowing Team Senior Trials in the men's pair and went on to compete in all three World Cups in the men's eight. He was part of the eight which took 9th place overall at the Olympic Games in Athens. He could not compete in the semi–final because of illness but returned to stroke the boat for the B Final.
In 2005 he took a year away from GB rowing to concentrate on his studies as an engineering student at Cambridge. He has raced four times in the Cambridge Blue Boat in the University Boat Race – in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007. In his final year as Cambridge President, Tom finally tasted victory for the first time.
In 2006 he was selected in the men's pair late in the season because of his academic commitments. Racing with Colin Smith they had a dramatic race at the Lucerne World Cup Regatta narrowly losing to the New Zealand World Champions, to take silver. At the World Rowing Championships in Eton they qualified for the A final finishing 6th.
Tom won a bronze medal in the eight at the 2007 World Championships in Munich.
In 2008 he won his seat in the men's four but had to step out for the first and second World Cups due to an injury. He placed 2nd in the last World Cup of the season in Poznan, before going on to Beijing for what culminated in one of the finest races of the Olympic Regatta and his cherished gold medal.
Following his Olympic victory Tom decided on a 'year out' from training and undertook a variety of charity, coaching and work-related activities and ran the London Marathon. He returned to training for the 2010 season but sustained an injury which kept him out of competition for the year.
Tom, a proud Welshman, is one of only 3 people to bring back a gold medal for Wales after Beijing. He is a patron of two charities which his family is connected to - WVP Kenya, a charity based in Kenya to bring education and support to children, and the Movement Centre aimed at helping disabled children with movement difficulties.
Tom is Lottery Funded through UK Sport