Olympics 2016: Rower Alex Gregory motivated for Rio place

Alex Gregory (left) wins Olympic gold
Alex Gregory (left) was part of Team GB's gold medal-winning coxless fours at London 2012

Rower Alex Gregory says a visit to Rio has made him more determined to be part of Team GB at the 2016 Olympic games.

The 30-year-old won gold in the coxless fours at London 2012 and was part of World and European title-winning crews earlier this year.

He told BBC Radio Gloucestershire a recent orientation training camp in Brazil has inspired him to work harder to keep his place.

"It's motivated me massively to make sure I'm in a seat," Gregory said.

"I can't put into words how amazing the 2016 Olympics is going to be."

The 2016 Games will be the first to be held in South America, and the rowing regatta will take place on Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas in the centre of Rio.

Rowing at London 2012
The rowing events at London 2012 was held at Eton Dorney in Buckinghamshire

"It's going to be very different to London," continued Gregory. "Usually we're on a lake and it's not usually in the city where the Olympics are hosted.

"But in Rio, it's right in the centre of the city. The main business area of the city surrounds the lake and it's 15 minutes from Copacabana beach.

"It will be so exciting to be a rower in Rio."

London was Gregory's first Olympics, having missed out on qualifying for the men's quad at Beijing four years previously.

But he has had huge success in the World Championships, winning four gold medals in the last six seasons, and also claimed gold in the men's four at the European Championships in Belgrade this year.

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Great Britain men's coxless four lead from start to finish to win Olympic gold at Eton Dorney.

The Worcestershire-born rower has now been made captain of the Leander club in Henley-on-Thames, the former base for Olympians James Cracknell, Sir Matthew Pinsent, Anna Watkins and Peter Reed.

"It's a huge honour and it's something I'm really proud of," added Gregory.

"The big thing we have in rowing is history and heritage, with a massive resource of successful people.

"When I was growing up I would turn up and see Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell training and that would inspire me. That's what I want to try and enhance and develop as much as I can."

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