Anna Watkins withdraws from the Rio Olympic programme

Anna Watkins has made the decision to step away from the GB Rowing Team squad which is in training for Rio 2016.

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Watkins, who won gold at the London 2012 Games in the open women’s double scull, made this difficult decision after recent testing where she felt she had not reached a good enough level.

“I am very sad it hasn’t worked out and this is not a decision that I’ve taken lightly.  I’ve had great support from everyone involved with the GB Rowing Team as well as the wider rowing community, my family and friends. I guess I would have always wondered about what might have been if I hadn’t given it a go,” said Watkins who came back into the squad last summer after a break of three years to have her two children.

Paul Thompson, who coached Anna to two world championship titles as well as gold at London 2012 and who is the GB Rowing Team Chief Coach for Women and Lightweights said:  “Anna is an outstanding athlete and an extremely ambitious and talented individual.  Anna gave this her best shot and it unfortunately hasn’t worked out. She is a fabulous ambassador for our sport and a great champion.  We wish her and her family well for the future.”

British Rowing is now working to support Anna with the next phase of her career whilst the GB Rowing Team squad continues with its unrelenting focus on Rio.

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Watkins added:  “Rowing has been such a big part of my life and I am sure that I will remain involved in some way. I am just taking some time to think this over but I’ll continue to support my teammates in whatever way I can.”

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