2012 gold medallist Anna Watkins announced yesterday that she was pulling out of the selection process for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Watkins, who took three years out after winning gold in London in the double sculls, said that it “is not a decision I’ve taken lightly”. The 32 year old returned to training in 2015, despite announcing in 2014 that she would not defend her title in Rio. After recent testing, she decided that she was not at the required level.
Watkins won gold in London with Katherine Grainger, who returned to the team in 2014. Grainger went on to partner Vicky Thornley in the double sculls, where they made the A final at the world rowing championships in 2015, qualifying the boat for Rio.
During her time out, Watkins had two children.
“Rowing has been such a big part of my life and I am sure that I will remain involved in some way,” she said.
“I am just taking some time to think this over, but I’ll continue to support my team-mates in whatever way I can”.
GB coach Paul Thompson said: “Anna is an outstanding athlete and an extremely ambitious and talented individual.
“Anna gave this her best shot and it unfortunately hasn’t worked out. She is a fabulous ambassador for our sport and a great champion”.
Photo copyright – Getty Images