Return To Action

Olympic champions Mark Hunter, Zac Purchase and Tom James as well as twice Olympic silver medallists Debbie Flood and Frances Houghton have returned to action this week with The GB Rowing Team after a year’s break from the sport.

Cox Acer Nethercott, winner of Olympic silver in Beijing, has also indicated his intention to return to the squad when the coxes join the programme later in the season.

"It’s fabulous to see all these guys back in training. They are hugely motivated and this is a good news story for the sport", said the GB Rowing Team Performance Director, David Tanner.

Hunter, winner of the lightweight men’s double scull gold with Purchase in Beijing, has been coaching in California during his year out whilst Tom James has undertaken a variety of charity, coaching and work-related activities and ran the London Marathon. Purchase himself was ruled out of the competitive season after the aftermath of a virus in February prevented him from coming back to full fitness in time for the world cups and World Championships.

Hunter, meanwhile, said:  "My year away coaching at UCLA has totally refreshed me and watching my athletes
train and compete with such a buzz and excitement reminded me why I love training and racing so much. Also
with 2012 being in London how could the East End boy miss his home Olympics!", said Hunter.

Houghton followed her passion for cookery to Ireland, Italy and beyond whilst Flood has been completing her probationary year with the Prison Service.

"I am very excited and really looking forward to being back", said Houghton for whom Beijing was her third Olympic Games in succession after a successful career as a junior.  "It’s amazing what a break can do and, after an incredible year, I couldn’t be more motivated to get there again".

The lightweight men’s squad will also be strengthened by the news that Richard Chambers, world champion in the lightweight men’s four in 2007, has recovered from a back injury to come back to full training.

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