ROWING: Purchase says time is right to call it a day

Bicester Advertiser: Zac Purchase (left) and teammate Mark Hunter with their double sculls silver medals at the London Olympics Zac Purchase (left) and teammate Mark Hunter with their double sculls silver medals at the London Olympics

WALLINGFORD’S Olympic gold medallist Zac Purchase has announced his retirement, ruling out a bid to reclaim the Olympic lightweight double scull title at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The 27-year-old won gold with Mark Hunter at the 2008 Games in Beijing, and four years later in London, the pair claimed silver in a dramatic final as Denmark’s Mads Rasmussen and Rasmus Quist prevailed.

Hunter retired last summer and now his partner for two world titles and two Olympic Games has followed suit.

Purchase said: “Since London, I have spent time reflecting on those results and I felt it was the right time to step away from rowing to explore other opportunities.

“I have been part of the GB Rowing team for nearly a decade and during that time have shared a tremendously successful period with some of the world’s finest athletes.

“Winning the gold medal with Mark at the Beijing Games in 2008 is as memorable today as it was those six years ago.

“To then have the chance to compete on home water in London and to win silver in front of a rapturous home crowd, was an honour and something I will never forget.

“Rowing has played a significant part in my life, and was how I met my wife. I wish the British team well for the Rio Olympics and beyond.

“I plan to keep fit just in case a sporting challenge presents itself.”

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