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Mum Anna takes break

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: January 29, 2014

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STAFFORDSHIRE Moorlands golden girl Anna Watkins MBE, pictured above, is taking a break from international rowing.

The 30-year-old says she won't be defending her Olympic double skulls title at the 2016 Rio games.

However, Watkins hasn't ruled out a comeback at Tokyo in 2020.

She has decided to focus on motherhood for the time being, after giving birth to her first child in September.

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However, the former Westwood College student, who was raised in Longsdon, is not calling time on her rowing career completely.

She said: "I definitely have the drive to want to do it all again. Rio is pretty unlikely, but a Tokyo 2020 comeback is a really exciting idea."

After taking bronze in the double sculls at the 2008 Beijing Games with Elise Laverick, Watkins became Olympic champion with Scotland's Katherine Grainger on August 3 2012. The unbeaten partnership set a new Olympic record in the semi-final on Lake Dorney on their way to a gold medal.

The success capped a brilliant rowing career for Watkins, who already a collection of World Championship gold medals.

But following the arrival of son William, she has decided to focus on family life for now.

Watkins said: "Now has come a time where rowing has to take a back seat for a while whilst other life-changing events take precedence."

She is continuing to read for her PhD in Mathematics at Reading University, and has entered this year's London Marathon to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

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