Rowing - Tanner not resting on London 2012 laurels

British Rowing may have just enjoyed its most glittering summer ever, but performance director David Tanner isn't about to let anyone rest on their laurels - insisting the road to Rio starts now.

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Rowing - Tanner not resting on London 2012 laurels
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Britain's Helen Glover and Heather Stanning row during the women's rowing pair heat at the Eton Dorney during the London 2012 Olympic Games (Reuters)

Building on the triumphs of Beijing four years ago, Team GB scooped an unprecedented nine medals at London 2012, four of them gold, to top the rowing rankings amid jubilant scenes at Eton Dorney where every category saw a British boat in the final.

But the next chapter looms large in the shape of Rio 2016 and for both the returning heroes and emerging talent, the hard work starts now.

Tanner, 64, was appointed senior team manager in 1991 and has guided the British team on an upward curve ever since, and has vowed to continue the trend on to 2016 after the world-beating display of London.

Several Olympic stars have already announced their plans to return. Coxless fours winners Alex Gregory and Pete Reed are already back on board and lightweight sculls champion Kat Copeland has recently pledged her immediate future to the sport.

But Tanner is confident that no matter how many of his Olympic heroes plough on for another shot at the podium, there will be a new crop of talent vying for a place on the plane to Rio.

"The plans for Rio are well underway. I've been there three times and I've prepared my detailed four-year plan," said Tanner, who was awarded a CBE in 2009 for services to rowing.

"We're still working things through with the Olympians who want to come back and those who want a bit of time out from the sport. It's great that so many have already confirmed but we certainly have built a strong shadow group to come through.

"For instance, we took nine boats to the European Championships in September with no Olympians involved and we came back with five medals, so that's extremely positive.

"In terms of building talent, we're deadly serious. We've got a World Championships this year in Korea and we may not produce quite the number of results we did during the Olympics but we intend to build that team right through.

"The coaching team is the same as four years ago and that went extremely well. It's a challenge but we've proved that we can do it."

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