Men’s eight for Rio confirmed as Team GB finalise squad

The British Olympic Association has today announced the rowers who will race in the men’s eight at this summer’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games in a line-up bristling with World and Olympic Champions and medallists.


The men's eight for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games © Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images

Scott Durant, Tom Ransley, Andrew T Hodge, Matt Gotrel, Pete Reed, Paul Bennett, Matt Langridge, Will Satch and cox Phelan Hill are named for Rio today. This crew pressed the German Olympic Champions all the way to the line before narrowly taking silver at last month’s world cup in Poland.

Hodge and Reed have twice won Olympic gold in the men’s four. Ransley, Langridge and Hill were men’s eight bronze medallists in London, while Satch won bronze in the men’s pair.

Gotrel, a former international sailor who swapped to rowing at University, Bennett and Durant will be making their Olympic debuts.  All three have been in either World gold medal winning crews or on the World podium in other boat classes.

In all three men’s eight World finals, the main opposition has come from Germany.  However, the Dutch, third at last year’s World Championships and winners at the Lucerne World Cup, will also prove strong contenders in Rio this summer.

Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell and Mat Tarrant will provide cover for the Olympic open-weight men’s sweep squad.  The duo have been World Champions themselves in the eight since London.

Team GB also announced today that Vicki Meyer-Laker will be the reserve for the open-weight women’s squad.  That brings the total of rowers to 47 and completes the selection for the sport – click on the expander box below to see the full squad.

The squad will now be focussing on a month of hard training in European-based camps before travelling on to Rio.

Mark England, Team GB’s Chef de Mission, said: “GB has had powerful success in the men’s eight since London 2012 and we are delighted to welcome this crew into Team GB today.”

Sir David Tanner, British Rowing Performance Director and Team GB Rowing Team Leader, said:  “The GB men’s eight showed strong form at the season’s world cup finale, taking a superb silver and putting the Olympic Champions, Germany, under pressure. We are taking one of our strongest open men’s sweep squads to the Games in Rio and the men’s eight is one of our headline crews.”

The men’s eight (who may have been watching Star Wars on training camp by the looks of things) hope the force will be with them when the Olympic rowing regatta starts in 36 days time.

Matt Langridge said: “It’s great to be officially selected in the eight, I’m very confident that this group of guys have what it takes to win in Rio and, with Jurgen’s programme, we’ll be in the best possible shape come Rio – the force is strong with that one.”

Scott Durant said: “It feels great to be selected but now the real work begins. In my experience there is no such thing as luck.”

Andrew T Hodge said: “Do. Or do not.  There is no ‘try’. Rio, here we come, finally.”

Will Satch said: “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”

Phelan Hill said: “It’s a real honour to be selected to represent for Team GB at the Olympics. The circle is now complete. When I competed at London, I was but the learner now I am the master.”

Paul Bennett said: “Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!”

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