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Searle named in GB rowing squad

ESPN staff
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Greg Searle has a chance to win a second Olympic gold © Getty Images
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Veteran Greg Searle has been confirmed in Great Britain's Olympic rowing squad, with Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase getting the chance to defend their title in the lightweight men's double scull.

Searle, 40, will be aiming to win a second Olympic gold having triumphed at the Barcelona 1992 Games alongside his brother, Jonny, in the men's coxed pair.

Searle, challenging for a place in the men's eight for this summer's Games, will be competing in his fourth Olympics and his first since Sydney 2000.

Five of the six Olympic champions from Beijing were selected on Wednesday: Hunter and Purchase will fancy their chances of a repeat performance in the lightweight men's double scull, while Andy Hodge, Peter Reed and Tom James have been given the chance to defend their crown in the coxless four - this time alongside Alex Gregory.

The 48-strong squad, which will grow to 52 once final selections have been made, also contains the experienced triple Olympic silver medallist Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins, who will lead the women's medal hopes in the double scull.

Grainger said: "It's been an incredible honour and privilege to be part of the past three Olympic Games and as wonderful as they have all been there is a sense that the upcoming home Games will be on a different scale to anything we've ever seen before. As athletes we already feel the incredible support, enthusiasm, pride and excitement from the public and that will just keep building to the Games. And I for one can't wait."

Hodge added: "It's such an honour to continue to be a part of such a strong team heading to London 2012. Such drive and dedication from all the athletes support staff and from the national lottery means this is the best team ever sent to an Olympic Games. I'm just looking forward to helping to make GB proud."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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