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British trio looking to defend Paralympics rowing titles

ParalympicsGB finished top of the rowing medals table at Rio 2016.

Reigning Paralympic rowing champions James Fox, Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley have been named in Great Britain's squad for Tokyo alongside five debutants.

Fox was part of the gold medal-winning crew which won the mixed coxed four (PR3 Mix 4+) at Rio 2016 and will race alongside Games newcomers Ellen Buttrick, Giedre Rakauskaite, Ollie Stanhope and Erin Kennedy (cox) in the same event this summer.

Rowles and Whiteley will bid to defend their mixed double sculls (PR2 Mix 2x) title, while European silver medallist Benjamin Pritchard, who will compete in the men's single sculls (PR1 M1x), completes the eight-person line-up.

Fox and his current team head to Japan having won the world title in 2019, in addition to the 2021 European Championships in Varese, Italy.

"Despite limited recent racing, we've built up strong momentum over the past few years and a record of results, most recently at the 2021 Europeans," the 29-year-old said in a statement.

"I feel like we win because we train really hard, do a lot of things right and have an incredible crew bond and we can't wait to try and keep that record intact in Tokyo."

ParalympicsGB finished top of the rowing medals table at Rio 2016 after claiming three golds and a bronze.

Defending champions Rowles and Whiteley have had limited recent racing experience due to the coronavirus pandemic but claimed gold at the European Championships in April.

Great Britain's Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley won gold in Rio five years ago
Great Britain's Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley won gold in Rio five years ago (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Rowles said: "The first Games (Rio) was about doing it for a seven-year-old me, whose childhood dream was to become a Paralympian.

"Now, going into my second Games, it's about doing it for the next generation and building a legacy that will hopefully inspire other seven year-olds to take up sport."

Welshman Pritchard made his international debut just two years ago after a cycling crash in September 2016 left him paralysed from the waist down.

"If someone had told me five years ago that I'd be about to compete at the Paralympics for ParalympicsGB, I'd have said 'no chance'. I didn't even know what Paralympic rowing was," said the 29-year-old.

"My accident happened in the middle of Rio 2016 so it's quite special that five years on I'm now headed to Tokyo."

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Team GB's Helen Glover and Heather Stanning pose with their gold medals at the Rio Olympics on August 12, 2016
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina21131246
JapanJapan175830
United StatesUnited States16171346
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151137
AustraliaAustralia1031427
Great BritainGreat Britain891128
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events


GOLF
· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

CYCLING - BMX
· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

SWIMMING
· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

TENNIS
· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

SAILING
· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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