MATT Gotrel has set his sights on the Rio 2016 Olympics after striking gold for Great Britain at the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam.
The 25-year-old from Chipping Campden enjoyed a memorable triumph on the biggest rowing stage of his life.
Gotrel was part of the GB men’s eight who powered to the title ahead of Olympic champions Germany.
Olympic champion Alex Gregory from Wormington, near Broadway, also tasted success for Great Britain, storming to a gold medal in the men’s four.
It was Gotrel’s first appearance at the world championships and capped an enjoyable weekend for the star from Henley-on-Thames-based Leander club.
Gotrel was part of the GB octet of Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell, Mat Tarrant, William Satch, Pete Reed, Paul Bennett, Tom Ransley and Constantine Louloudis, coxed by Phelan Hill.
The Cotswold rower revealed the crew carried out their perfect game-plan with Hill making the call to go at around the 1,000-metre mark.
Gotrel said: “I had to keep my head in the boat, listen to Phelan and we all worked through the middle thousand (metres).
“I didn’t know we had won until I heard Noddy’s (Reilly-O’Donnell) roar.”
Gregory, meanwhile, joined Mohamed Sbihi, George Nash and Andrew Triggs Hodge in racing to victory ahead of the USA and Australia in a time of five minutes 40.24 seconds.
The four had previously won gold this year at the European Championships in Belgrade and the Rowing World Cup in France and Lucerne.
Gregory, who learned to row at Evesham where he was coached by Mark Earnshaw, was delighted with his crew’s victory.
“We were unbeaten this season and all knew we had to go out and perform,” the 30-year-old, who attended Bredon Hill Middle School in Ashton-under-Hill, said.
“For us, it was all about keeping cool and calm and then to pull away when we needed to.
“Moe (Sbihi) made the call at just the right time and we all responded and the boat just flew.”