World Rowing Championships: Great Britain name team

By Lawrence BarrettoBBC Sport
Olympic men's four champions Pete Reed, Andy Triggs Hodge, Tom James and Alex Gregory

Britain are gambling on an unchanged men's eight crew for this month's World Championships as they target their first gold medal in the class.

Olympic men's four champions Pete Reed, Andy Triggs Hodge and Alex Gregory feature in a strong octet, which won gold in two World Cups.

Olympic champion Helen Glover and Polly Swann head the British women's squad.

GB are sending a 58-strong team, competing in 17 boat classes, to South Korea.

Britain's rowers topped the field at last summer's Olympics at Eton Dorney, topping the medal table with four golds, two silvers and three bronze.

But in the first year of the Rio 2016 Olympic cycle, GB performance director David Tanner and his team have employed a strategy which has seen Olympians race in different boat combinations alongside promising young rowers.

Although Olympic champion Glover and Swann, who teamed up only this year, won gold in all three World Cups, the overall medal tally has been down.

GB won just one gold and a bronze at the last World Cup in Lucerne in July - which boasted the most competitive field of the season - the team's worst haul since 2003.

That compares to three golds, a silver and a bronze at the same event last year.

Nevertheless, Tanner will continue with the strategy for the eight-day World Championships starting on 25 August.

"This year has been about giving new, young rowers their chance at the top alongside our more experienced names," he said.

"We should not expect big fireworks in Korea but this team still has the talent to sparkle."

Britain topped the medal table at the 2011 World Championships, winning five gold, three silver and four bronze medals.

Britain's men's eight, which is the lead boat in the squad this season, would be expected to contribute to that tally, but they have struggled to gel this season.

The crew took gold in the first two World Cups of the season, but they had to come through the repecharge to make the final in Lucerne and made a late crew change overnight before finishing fourth.

But men's head coach Jurgen Grobler has decided to stick with the eight - Gregory, Triggs Hodge and Reed will be joined by Dan Ritchie and Olympic medallists Tom Ransley, Mo Sbihi, George Nash, Will Satch and cox Phelan Hill - as his main boat, rather than switching back to the four which won gold in London last summer.

London 2012 bronze medallist Alan Campbell will race the single scull for Britain for the ninth time, while the Chambers brothers, Richard and Peter, who have moved from sweep to scull this season, race the lightweight double.

Elsewhere, Frances Houghton and Victoria Meyer-Laker, who won gold at the Eton Dorney World Cup in June, will race the women's double scull while Vicky Thornley retains her place in the women's single.

GB returned from their training camp in the Alps last week and have been finalising their preparations at their base in Caversham before flying out to Korea next week.

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