Molesey Boat Club’s James Foad is delighted to be back in the big boat for the new rowing season, having had a difficult year following back surgery.
Foad has been selected in the men’s eight that will compete in the European Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, at the end of this month.
And the 27-year-old has his sights fully set on one colour medal, and one colour only.
“My ambition is quite high,” he said.
“I’m fed up of getting silvers and bronzes in the past four or five years, so
my ambition is to go out
“That’s what I want to achieve from the European Championships and nothing lower than that really, I’ll be quite disappointed with a silver or a bronze.”
Foad was in the eight boat, along with Molesey club mate Moe Sbihi, which finished third at the 2012 Olympics, having rowed in the eight throughout the four years of the London Olympiad.
But last year he had to have back surgery and struggled to break back into the boat, finishing the year at the World Championships in the pair, winning the B final, and finishing seventh overall, with Oliver Cook.
“Last year was a rebuild for me after surgery,” he said.
“I’m excited to be back in the eight and hopefully I can stay in it for the rest of the year.
“I love rowing in the boat. It’s probably my favourite boat to race in. It is fast, aggressive, and I like the teamwork involved in it.”
New dad Foad has had a busy year, which has seen him marry girlfriend Sophie, buy a house and welcome baby Erin to the world four weeks ago.
He admits that when he does come to look back on his career he does not want it to be one still missing that big medal.
“When you look back at what you achieved, an Olympic bronze is not a bad thing,” he added.
“But I’ve not won a major event yet and I feel like I will be disappointed if I finish my career having not won one a major title.”
Foad is joined in the eight boat by Matthew Tarrant, Will Satch, Pete Reed, Matthew Langridge, Matthew Gotrel, Scott Durrant, Oliver Cook and fellow Molesey rower Phil Congdon – nine rowers have been named at the moment – and the European Championship regatta begins on May 30, with the finals on June 1.