FEATURE: Angus Groom looking to build on winter win at Olympic Trials
Four years after being at Eton Dorney to see Alan Campbell win a historic medal, rising rowing star Angus Groom hopes to join his fellow sculler on the Olympic stage at Rio 2016.
Groom made his senior GB Rowing Team debut less than two years ago but is making a concerted push for Rio selection.
After winning World Cup gold as an injury replacement in the men’s quadruple scull in Varese, Italy, last summer, the 23-year-old signalled his intention to gain a regular starting place by winning the second GB winter assessment just before Christmas.
The next chance to impress is the Olympic Trials, taking place at the GB Rowing Team’s Caversham headquarters on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Groom says he is determined to make his Rio dream a reality.
“We only have a couple of tests left now to show what we can do before selection for the Olympics, so there is a lot at stake,” he said.
“But I’m more excited than nervous because I feel in quite a strong position at the moment. Obviously I was pretty happy to win the trials back in December and I feel I have carried that momentum into the new year.
“Rio is on my mind every day but the main focus is always on my next goal. I’m trying not to think about it too much because I know all the short-term goals added up together, if I do them to the absolute best I can, will put me in better stead for that long-term goal.”
Getting to Rio would be the culmination of a lot of hard work. This is what every rower sets out to achieve, it is just the ultimate in sport.
Groom is part of a strong men’s sculling group that also includes Campbell, whose battling bronze at London 2012 was the first men’s single scull medal won by GB since 1928.
Watching in the crowd that day, just a couple of weeks before making his World U23 Championships debut, was Groom – and he was inspired by what he saw.
“I only went to one day at London but was fortunate enough to get tickets for the Friday finals, so I got to see Katherine Grainger finally get her gold medal and Alan win his bronze,” he said.
“It’s really cool being in the team now, working alongside those people day by day and also training with scullers like Alan. They are all great role models.
“Getting to Rio would be the culmination of a lot of hard work. This is what every rower sets out to achieve, it is just the ultimate in sport. Just being an Olympian would be one of my life’s greatest achievements to date.”
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