World Rowing Cup: Victoria Thornley aims to improve on return

Victoria Thornley & Katherine Grainger
Victoria Thornley and Katherine Grainger had failed to win places in Great Britain's women's eight for the Rio Olympics.

Olympic rowing silver medallist Victoria Thornley says she aims to improve on her return to international action having resisted retirement.

The 29-year-old from Wrexham won silver in the double sculls at Rio 2016 alongside Katherine Grainger.

Thornley considered quitting after the Games in Rio but is part of a 43-strong GB squad for May's first World Rowing Cup in Belgrade.

"I knew I could be better," Thornley said.

She continued: "In Rio, I was the best I'd ever been, but I knew I wasn't the best I could be. I wanted to see how much faster I could get and not have those 'what if' questions."

Thornley will compete in the women's single sculls, her first single race since 2014, first World Rowing Cup of the season which starts on 5 May.

She secured her place in the British team by winning her fourth consecutive national title at the British Senior and under 23 rowing trials in Caversham in April.

In August 2016, Thornley became the first Welsh woman to win an Olympic rowing medal with silver in the double sculls with Grainger.

Grainger retired after she became Britain's most decorated female Olympian when she won a fifth medal - a fourth silver to go with her 2012 gold - in Rio.

Thornley considered her own future in the sport after the Rio Olympics, taking a longer break than her two months off after London 2012, but aims to compete in the next Games in Tokyo.

"Rio was the best race we had ever put together and I am so proud of the race we delivered on that day," Thornley said.

"Katherine and I had a great working relationship and still enjoy a friendship now.

"It's all about the Olympics. They are a long way away at the moment but I have signed up for Tokyo.

"That's my aim and I want to improve on the silver medal. That's why I have come back."

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