THE King’s School’s proud reputation for rowing has been bolstered by the presence of two former pupils in Beijing.
Tom James lines up in the flagship men’s coxless four, who are out to retain the gold medal they won in dramatic fashion when Matthew Pinsent was part of the crew in 2004.
Another former King’s rower, Olivia Whitlam, will partner Louisa Reeve in the women’s pair.
Britain has qualified boats in 12 of the 14 classes at the Olympics and there are high hopes for the men’s four, which should be pushing for gold despite being dogged by injury problems this year.
James missed the first and second of this season’s World Cup meetings due to a rib problem, but he returned to claim silver at the last World Cup of the season in Poznan, Poland.
James, who hails from Coedpoeth, Wrexham, led Cambridge University to victory over Oxford in the 2007 Boat Race after enduring defeats in 2002, 2005 and 2006.
Cambridge warmed up for last year’s races by spending a week training on the River Dee, using the King’s School boathouse as a base.
James, 24, and crew-mates Steve Williams, Peter Reed and Andy Triggs Hodge face their first race tomorrow.
Daresbury’s Whitlam will also be in action tomorrow, partnering Londoner Reeve in the women’s pair heats.
The Chester-born 22-year-old started her rowing in the upper sixth at King’s and went on to become World Under 23 Champion in July last year, winning gold in the pair with Heather Stanning. She now competes for Agecroft Rowing Club, based at Salford Quays.