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Coronavirus Kent: Ashford Olympian Tom Ransley has retired from the sport after the Tokyo 2020 was delayed for a year because of the pandemic

Kent rower Tom Ransley has retired after the Olympic Games were delayed for a year.

Ranlsey, who hails from Ashford and went to King's School Canterbury, was set to compete in Tokyo this summer as part of the men’s eight, who were defending their Olympic title.

Kent rower Tom Ransley has decided against competing in Tokyo next year Picture: Naomi Baker
Kent rower Tom Ransley has decided against competing in Tokyo next year Picture: Naomi Baker

The coronavirus pandemic forced organisers to reschedule the Games for the following summer. They will now take place on July 23, 2021 and run to August 8.

Ransley, 34, won men’s eight Olympic gold in Rio 2016, adding that medal to his two world championships and one European crown. He had won Olympic bronze at London 2012.

Most of his major success has come in the men’s eights, although he has previously won bronze at the World University Games in 2008 and took a silver in the fours seven years later at the Europeans.

He has been rowing for 20 years but admits he has “nothing more to give and nothing left to gain.”

Training with the British team has dominated his life for the best part of a decade and he was gearing up for his third Olympics.

He said: “I had already lived it and breathed it, twice. I knew how deep I would need to dig within myself to produce the necessary results.

“I feared that the Tokyo Olympics was never meant for me, and that no matter how deep I dug I would not find what I needed because it no longer existed. The fire was slowly burning out.”

Once it was announced that there was a year’s delay to the Tokyo Games, Ransley decided it was time to bow out.

He said: “I have used up everything I had, and I know that to get myself in the necessary condition to compete for a seat in 2021 is a step too far. In short, I'm knackered.”

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