Tom James excited by Great Britain rowing return
INTERNATIONAL ROWING 2011
- World Cup 1:
- 27-29 May
- Live on BBC Red Button and online (UK only) 29 May 1000-1315 BST; Highlights on BBC2 30 May 1300-1430 and afterwards on iPlayer; news reports on BBC Radio 5 live
Tom James believes he has benefited from two-and-a-half years out of action in the run-up to London 2012.
The Welshman, 27, won gold as part of the coxless four in Beijing before taking a year's break and missing the next season with a back injury.
"I feel pretty fresh compared to some of the guys," James told BBC Sport. "I have had some of my best rowing ever in the last two months."
James is in the Great Britain four for the World Cup in Munich from 27-29 May.
He will race alongside Ric Egington, Matt Langridge and Alex Gregory in the first of three World Cup events this season which lead up to the World Championships in Slovenia in September.
While James believes he is in the best form of his career, he is also confident that the Great Britain squad is a stronger unit than the one that delivered six medals in China.
"Since I was last in it properly back in Beijing things have stepped on again. The team have really grown and there is a lot of camaraderie," he added.
"The distinction between the boats isn't as obvious, there is a real feeling of a team and I think that is really important going into London."
Rowing at number three in the boat behind Gregory, Cardiff-born James is relaxed about his lack of recent competition compared to the rest of his crew.
"It's just great to be back in training rather than doing my rehab and being pretty annoyed and miserable," he said.
"It is hard grind, but I have slipped back in with 15 months to go until London and for me it is going to be straight uphill, working straight up to the Games.
"Even if I am not there physically, that will come having a good winter's training, everything is going really well for me."
Great Britain performance director David Tanner admitted that Constantine Louloudis and George Nash - who competed in opposing crews in this year's Boat Race - had "earned themselves the right to be looked at" with a strong fourth-place finish at last month's trials.
Neither are part of the squad for Munich as they concentrate on their studies, but they may be involved in the final World Cup in Lucerne in July as part of their preparations for the under-23 World Championships in Amsterdam later that month.