Gold still in sights for Taylor

NICHOLAS BOYACK
Last updated 10:51 29/01/2013
HUTTaylorweb
NICHOLAS BOYACK

Old boy: Peter Taylor shows off his Olympic bronze at a visit to Wellesley College last August.

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Olympic bronze medallist Peter Taylor is heading in a new direction but winning gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics remains his number one priority.

The former Days Bay resident combined with Storm Eru to win bronze in the lightweight double sculls at London. With Eru heading overseas to study, Taylor has switched boats and has joined a lightweight four.

Instead of sculling, it is a sweep boat and Taylor is looking forward to the challenge of trying something new.

Since his days at Wellesley College, a challenge is something he has always enjoyed.

At Wellington College, he played rugby, cricket, waterpolo and swimming. A handy rugby player he was enticed to try rowing by his older brother Simon, initially as a cox, and the sport grabbed him.

Rowing is a sport that requires tremendous dedication. His motivation comes from a "hunger to win" and despite rowing up to 225 km a week, he says that at 28 he is still 100 per cent focused on his sport.

After he returned from London it took him a while to find his competitive spirit but now he has a new boat, he is as enthusiastic as ever.

'It took me a while to get back on the water and get the fight back, to get that aggressive hunger to win . . ."

Rowing with others (James Lassche, Curtis Rapley, Armin Svobodia and Alistair Bond) has him feeling "excited" and looking forward to the next year.

He has committed to the new boat for one year and will thenreassess where he is at.

By the time Rio rolls around, he will be 32 and at the peak of his career.

Although he enjoyed winning bronze at the Olympics, to add to the world championship he won with Uru, it is Olympic gold he wants.

His decision on what boat to be in, will be based on what is his best chance of gold.

Since London he has made a number of trips back to Lower Hutt and although he has to base himself at Karapoi, he says he will always regard himself as a Hutt boy. His parents live in Eastbourne and it is an area he loves.

"That is definitely home. I was down there over Christmas and I went down to the beach and it felt just like it did when I was a kid."

Peter Taylor is the early favourite for the Hutt Valley Sportsman of the Year. Nominations will soon be called for the May 2 event.

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