ROWING: Redgrave backs our rowing trio

ROWING legend Sir Steve Redgrave has backed Coleraine’s rowing triumvirate of Peter and Richard Chambers and Alan Campbell to claim glory at this summer’s Olympic Games in London.

Redgrave, who won FIVE gold medals from 1984 to 2000, is an admirer of all three Ulstermen and is confident they can all claim podium places for Team GB at the Games, with gold medals a distinct possibility.

“Alan has impressed me so much over the last six or seven years,” said Sir Steve during a visit to the province last week.

“Coming over from Northern Ireland it wasn’t necessarily the easiest platform to get into the British team but he decided that he wanted to be an Olympic champion and set himself the target to do it in the single sculls, which showed great determination.

“In the Beijing Games four years ago when he had illness and missed a lot of training beforehand I thought for him to get into the final and finish fifth was amazing. He really went up in my estimation after that. To medal in every World Championships since then has put him in good stead for winning a medal at the Olympics.

“I wouldn’t class Alan as favourite to get gold, but he has beaten his main competitors at international regattas and he could do it again at the Olympics.”

On the gifted Chambers brothers, Redgrave said: “Their chance of winning gold medals are stronger than Alan’s, even though the lightweight fours is a very competitive event.

“Richard is an excellent competitor and is a gold medallist from the World Championships two years ago and four years ago. Actually losing the World Championship last year might help by the time the Olympics come around as it will provide Richard and the team with a little bit of extra hunger.

“With Peter coming to the fore I think they will have a very strong boat. He was at the World Cup event last year and won which gives you an indication of his strength and ability.

“It would be a great story if the two brothers could win gold. They have a real chance. I’m confident all three Northern Ireland rowers can win medals in London.”