Beth Rodford confident of defending crown at World's

Beth Rodford

Rodford's gold last year was her first medal at a World Championship's

Beth Rodford has said going into this year's World Championships as defending champion will give her confidence.

Rodford claimed gold in the quadruple skull alongside GB team-mates Frances Houghton, Debbie Flood and Annabel Vernon in New Zealand last year.

And the same team have been selected again to compete  in Slovenia in August.

The 28-year-old told BBC Gloucestershire : "It's a different kind of pressure but to know that I'm at this level is a real confidence boost."

Burton-upon-Trent born Rodford added: "We are confident that whatever combination we put up will be a strong one. It's good that we've got such a good strength in depth.

"Training is going really well, everyone is fit and healthy and it's an exciting time in the run up to the Worlds."

Fellow Gloucestershire-based rower Natasha Page has been named in the initial nine-person team to compete in the women's eight at next month's event, which acts as the main qualifier for London 2012.

And Page insists the GB team should be pushing to win a medal at the regatta.

"It's a bit different for us because even if we get into the final that's not job done," she explained.

"We have to come in the top five to qualify our boat for the Olympics. I think you have to aim for a medal to come in the top five. If you don't you'll definitely be caught napping."