GB rowers set for key World Cup squad announcement

Olympic silver medallist Alex Partridge feels he has done all he can as he waits to learn whether he will go for gold in the four or eight this summer.

The Great Britain World Cup squad will be named on Wednesday, with the team likely to stay the same for the Games, barring injury or loss of form.

"I'm going to race at the Olympic Games and it's going to be in an eight or a four," Partridge told BBC Sport.

"Which, I don't really care. Both have a good chance of winning gold."

Both [the four and the eight] are going to be different line-ups to what they were at the World Championships

Alex Partridge

Chief coaches Jurgen Grobler (men) and Paul Thompson (women and lightweights) will reveal the make-up of the British boats on Wednesday for May's opening World Cup regatta in the Serbian capital of Belgrade, having evaluated the squad over the last month since the GB trials at Eton Dorney.

Partridge and Alex Gregory came second behind Andy Triggs Hodge and Pete Reed in the men's pair at the trials.

Of those four, only Gregory was part of the gold medal-winning quartet at the World Championships last year, while Reed and Hodge were part of the team that won gold in the event at the Beijing Olympics.

Grobler must now decide whether he wants to drop Tom James, Ric Egington and Matt Langridge to allow Hodge, Reed and Partridge back into the team.

BBC Radio Berkshire understands that Reed and Triggs Hodge will indeed move into the four, while 20-year-old Constantine Louloudis will be brought in to stroke in the eight.

"Both [the four and the eight] are going to be different line-ups to what they were at the World Championships," added Partridge.

"Both [boats] have no previous history. Of course they have got the legacy of the boats in the past but really it's irrelevant.

"It's a new season. I'm going to race for a gold medal whatever boat I'm in.

KEY DATES

  • 4 April - World Cup squad announced
  • 6 May - World Cup I, Belgrade
  • 27 May - World Cup II, Lucerne
  • 6 June - Olympic squad announced
  • 17 June - World Cup III, Munich
  • 28 July - Start of Olympic regatta

"I've put myself in a strong position to be in the four. I'm just getting sick of trying to hold on to this position. It's now mine to lose."

Partridge was set to go to the Athens Games in 2004 when he suffered a collapsed lung, but he battled back in Beijing to win silver in the eight. Now he wants gold.

"I don't think I've had the best of luck in the Olympics," he said. "I was rowing with Matthew Pinsent six weeks before Athens when I collapsed my lung.

"I'd won the trials, I was with a then three-time Olympic gold medallist and I was going to go to the Olympic Games and I was going to win a gold medal but it went like that [clicks fingers].

"In Beijing, we got a silver medal. The lesson I learned was that the final comes down to whoever crossed that line first.

"It doesn't matter how many races you have won, how many trials you won, how many ergo tests you did well in.

"If you cross the finish line first, you're Olympic champion."

Greg Searle, who turned 40 last month, is among others waiting to learn their fate on Wednesday, with a place in the eight a real possibility for the 1992 Olympic gold medallist.

Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins are sure to be selected together in the women's double sculls as they look to repeat last year's unbeaten season in the build-up to London.