British Rowing head coach Jurgen Grobler steps down ahead of Tokyo Olympic Games

Jurgen Grobler from Germany has officially stepped down from his role
Jurgen Grobler from Germany has officially stepped down from his role (PA)
9:06am, Sat 22 Aug 2020
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British Rowing head coach Jurgen Grobler has officially stepped down after almost 30 years in the role. 

The 74 year-old made the decision with just under a year before the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

He is the most successful rowing coach in history after coaching 20 British Olympic athletes to 33 gold medals across eight teams since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Grobler coached East Germany where he guided athletes to medals at every Olympics since 1972, except for Los Angeles in 1984, before switching roles. 

He planned to retire after this year’s Tokyo 2020 Games before it was delayed a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

He said: "I have had the most incredible experience with the British rowing team working with fantastic athletes for nearly three decades.

“This has been a hard and difficult decision but British Rowing has big plans for Paris 2024 and we want to organise it to give the team the best chance of success. I can’t commit for the next four years so I have resigned in order to let everything start now.

“For nearly 50 years of my coaching career I have been in the driving seat, working with athletes and fellow coaches. People trusted me to help them achieve their dreams but the show must go on.”

Throughout his coaching career with GB he was the chief coach for the men but coached both the men and women in recent years.

The International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach added: "Behind every great athlete and every great team is a great coach.  They are the unsung heroes of sport.  So it gives me great pleasure to pay tribute to Jürgen Grobler who is an exceptional talent and someone who has benefited so many athletes.  

“His dedication is a great example for everyone in the Olympic Movement. I wish him all the best for the future.”

World champion Victoria Thornley paid tribute, writing: “Jurgen Grobler. A true legend of sport. To have trained under him for the last two years has been an honour, and I am a better athlete for it. 

"His dedication and passion for our sport is awe inspiring, and I will miss his support and guidance. Thank you and happy retirement Jurgen.”

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