Redgrave ready to take on the world

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The Independent Online
Steve Redgrave is now officially ready to capture a historic fourth consecutive gold medal in Atlanta next month. Redgrave and partner Matthew Pinsent will spearhead a 44-strong British Olympic team that was named yesterday.

The 34-year-old will be bidding to become only the fourth person in Olympic history to win gold at four successive games. "Our aim for the last four years has been Olympic gold. With six weeks to go, there's no reason why it should change now," said Redgrave, who has already announced he will hang up his oars after Atlanta.

The duo, who will defend their coxless pairs title, pulled out of the pre-Olympic regatta in Switzerland last weekend as they had both been struck by minor illnesses in recent weeks.

"Things are going very well at the moment, although we realise it is going to be very tough in Atlanta," Redgrave said. "You are talking about eight or nine boats that have a chance of getting to the final, and when you get a field like that, you know how difficult it's going to be."

The Searle brothers, Greg and Jonny, who won Britain's other gold medal in Barcelona in the coxed pairs, will be joined by Tim Foster and Rupert Obholzer to compete in the coxless four in Atlanta.

"The overall strength is higher than for Barcelona," Brian Armstrong, the international manager, said. "Of the 10 crews going, at least half have got a very good chance of being on the starting line for the big finals. If we can match the two golds we won in Barcelona and get a couple of minor medals, that would be a great achievement."