Road to Rio under way for Gloucestershire Olympians
THE road to Rio has begun for county Olympians.
While the country still basks in the Olympic afterglow, athletes who represented Team GB at the Olympic and Paralympic Games are thinking about Brazil in 2016.
Alex Gregory, from Wormington, who won gold in the men's rowing four at Eton Dorney, said he is now thinking about Rio.
Gregory, who crossed the line ahead of the Australians in second and the USA in third, said: "In three weeks' time I will be back in training.
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"Since London, I've had a really good break.
"I haven't been in a boat since the Olympics, which is the longest time I haven't been in a boat.
"But the training and competition cycle begins soon, looking ahead to World Cups and World Championships next year.
"And the aim is Rio. When we go back to training, it is pretty much back to the start again.
"We will have to earn our position in the team.
"After London, the motivation will be different, but it will be there."
Fellow county rower Beth Rodford is already back in training and said she will aim for Rio.
Rodford, who has been racing with Gloucester Rowing Club, had what she describes as a "disappointing" Olympics on the water.
Rowing in the women's quadruple scull, Rodford qualified for the final, finishing in sixth place.
She said: "I am carrying on and want to go to Rio.
"I have been in training for two weeks and the long-term goal is Rio, that's the ultimate aim, but there is lots to do before then.
"London was amazing and we felt we had the whole nation behind us.
"I came away disappointed with our result. I would have liked to have had a better performance, but it was great to be part of that team.
"We have the trials next month, so I am throwing myself into that."
Paralympian Mel Nicholls, from Tewkesbury, reached the final of the women's T34 200m wheelchair race, finishing seventh.
She said: "I am back in training, preparing for winter training, which is when the hard work begins to get faster and stronger.
"The next big event for me is the World Championships in Leon, France, next July.
"I have committed to training for the next few years, looking to Rio.
"London was my first Paralympics and I while I did all I could, I would have liked to have done better.
"But it was a good platform to go forward from and improve."