09:41AM, Tuesday 18 August 2020
Maidenhead rower Pete Lambert has announced his international retirement having opted against continuing to next summer’s Olympics in Tokyo.
Lambert has represented Great Britain since 2013 and had been due to compete in Tokyo, but, when COVID-19 led to the games being pushed back a year, he decided it was the right time for him to step away.
Over the past seven years Lambert has proved himself an integral member of the GB squad. Alongside Graeme Thomas, Sam Townsend and Charles Cousins he helped GB to its first ever international men’s quad medal when they won bronze at the 2013 World Rowing Championships.
The next year they upgraded that medal to a silver, claimed two further gold medals at World Cup events and produced a stunningly fast time at the European Championships as they finished 0.08seconds behind the Ukrainian crew.
Lambert reflects fondly on his Olympic Games experience in Rio, despite a turbulent start which saw Jack Beaumont replace Graeme Thomas due to illness. The crew progressed to the A final and finished fifth overall.
“I had already been planning to retire in August after Tokyo, when the games were delayed to next year, I decided I still wanted to step away,” he said. “It feels like the right time for me to start my new chapter and career. I would like to thank my coach Paul Stannard, our chief coach Jurgen Grobler, all our sports scientists and physios and, of course, my fantastic crewmates.”
Lambert was selected again for a new-look men’s quad in 2017, which now featured fellow Maidonian Jack Beaumont, Jonny Walton and John Collins. They won World Cup gold and silver medals before disaster struck just before the start of the World Rowing Championships. Lambert suffered a back injury while the crews were lining up to start the race and Graeme Thomas was hastily brought in to step in for him and the crew went on to secure a silver medal. He made his return to the boat in 2019, helping the crew achieve a European bronze medal in Lucerne and, having helped the men’s quad secure a spot at next summer’s Olympics, his legacy will last into 2021.
“I’m really happy to have qualified the boat in 2019 even though I’m not going to be in it,” he added. “I wish everyone who is trialling for Tokyo the very best. I am looking forward to supporting everyone from the comfort of my sofa.”
GB coach Paul Stannard paid tribute, saying: “It has been great working with Pete over the past seven years and he has been the linchpin of the quads project over that time. His determination and strong work ethic, combined with his ability to be an excellent leader and team player will, I am sure, see him make a success in the next stage of his life.”
Lambert has been enjoying spending more time wit
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