03.02.2014 News / Press

2008 Olympic champion Zac Purchase has not ruled out future sporting challenges but has called time on a rowing career which also saw him take Olympic silver in London.

Purchase, with Mark Hunter, competed in the lightweight double scull - an event for which both men had to keep their average weight to 70kg during every racing season. 

The duo were also World Champions in 2010 and 2011 and Purchase won a lightweight men's single World Championships title in 2006 - a year after taking the World U23 title in this event.

Purchase intends to keep up his fitness levels with an eye on future sporting challenges.

Zac Purchase said: “I have been part of the GB Rowing team for nearly a decade and during that time have shared a tremendously successful period with some of the world’s finest athletes. Winning the gold medal with Mark at the Beijing Games in 2008 is as memorable today as it was those six years ago. To then have the chance to compete on home water in London and to win silver in front of a rapturous home crowd was an honour and something I will never forget. Since London, I have spent time reflecting on those results and I felt it was the right time to step away from rowing to explore other opportunities. I plan to keep fit just in case a sporting challenge presents itself.  Rowing has played a significant part in my life, and was how I met my wife. I am indebted to everyone who has supported my career as a lightweight athlete over the years, particularly Fliss my wife and my parents. I wish the British Team well in their build up to the Rio Olympics and beyond.”

Sir David Tanner, GBRT Performance Director said:   "Zac burst onto the scene with some outstanding performances as a young, lightweight rower and carried those through into a top-flight Olympic career in the lightweight men's double.  We wish him well whilst he considers his next steps"

Paul Thompson, GBRT Chief Coach Women and Lightweights said:  "Zac possesses significant talent as a rower and converted that into gold medal success through hard work with Mark Hunter in Beijing in 2008, with a follow-up silver from the same crew at London 2012.  Zac has had a stand-out career in lightweight rowing and is one of GB's greatest lightweight rowers of all time".

Regular rowing observers all agree that the duo were an exciting combination and made a step change in the standard of GB lightweight rowing.

Few will forget the drama of the Olympic final in London in which Purchase and Hunter just missed out on a second gold to follow their victory in Beijing which was GB's first Olympic lightweight rowing medal of all-time.


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