GB include Andy Hodge in prime fours boat

Craven Herald: Double Olympic gold medalist Andy Hodge Double Olympic gold medalist Andy Hodge

Andy Hodge of Hebden will be part of a new-look Great Britain men’s coxless four at the Belgrade European Championships in a clear statement of Olympic intent for Rio 2016.

Double Olympic gold medalist Hodge, Alex Gregory, George Nash and Moe Sbihi will link up for GB Rowing’s first European Championships regatta, being held from May 30 to June 1.

Britain boast 15 Olympic medalists in the squad, with 50 rowers across 17 boat classes contesting the event.

Men’s head coach Jurgen Grobler has opted to put his top rowers back into the four, in contrast to 18 months ago when the men’s eight was the top boat.

Britain won gold in the four at London 2012 and now look primed to go all-out for a repeat in Brazil in two years’ time.

Gregory and Sbihi were the top pair at the recent GB Rowing senior trials, where Hodge and Nash finished second.

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