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Alan Campbell honoured to be Northern Ireland's first four-time Olympian

By Frank Brownlow

Published 10/06/2016

Spelling it out: Ulster rower Alan Campbell at the Team GB Olympic Games announcement at Henley-on-Thames yesterday
Spelling it out: Ulster rower Alan Campbell at the Team GB Olympic Games announcement at Henley-on-Thames yesterday
Clare Abbott

Alan Campbell has spoken of his pride at being the first person from Northern Ireland to be selected for a fourth Olympic Games.

Campbell will achieve the feat when he rows in Rio in August after yesterday being named as the single sculler in the Team GB line-up.

The Coleraine oarsman took bronze at London 2012 after competing in Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004.

The 33-year-old said: "I feel very honoured, it's very special and I'm just so happy and proud.

"Sport is something very special in Northern Ireland and to go to the Games for a fourth time is unbelievable.

"The Olympics is the pinnacle, what makes all those horrible mornings, driving snow and sleet worthwhile.

"It brings together the best of the best and I'm glad I will be there once again."

Campbell has been the GB Rowing Team's leading single sculler for the past 10 years, winning three World Championship medals.

Campbell will be joined in Rio by fellow Coleraine rowers, brothers Peter and Richard Chambers.

Peter Chambers is in the men's lightweight four - with Chris Bartley, Jono Clegg and Mark Aldred - while Richard Chambers partners Will Fletcher in the lightweight double scull.

Peter Chambers tweeted: "Very pleased to be selected for Rio 2016 with these very talented athletes."

Peter is a London 2012 silver medallist and has a world title to his name.

Richard collected silver at London 2012 and is a double world champion.

Sir David Tanner, British Rowing Performance Director and Team GB Rowing Team Leader, said: "I am confident that we have a very strong team.

"We have had a few curved balls this season already with illness and have a final run-out at the World Cup in Poznan next week before going to Rio.

"I am sure these will be a challenging but exceptional Games with a truly brilliant field of play for rowing at the Lagoa."

Mark England, Team GB's Chef de Mission, said: "The Olympic experience in this squad is hugely impressive and will no doubt be a valuable asset to the team in Rio.

"It's also great to see a number of rowers making their Olympic debut and demonstrates the strength in depth this sport continues to produce."

Meanwhile, Hillsborough's Clare Abbott (left) has been named in the Ireland Eventing Team for the Olympics.

The 29-year-old will ride chestnut gelding Europrince at the Rio Games.

"It's very exciting. It's a fantastic opportunity," she said.

"The facilities in Rio are top class and it just makes you want to get out there and compete."

Belfast Telegraph

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