Black Isle rower Alan Sinclair will prepare as normal despite uncertainty over whether the Tokyo Olympics will go ahead.
Organisers have this week reiterated their intentions to host the Games in the summer – a year after they were originally scheduled – despite a rise in Covid-19 cases in Japan.
It is despite claims from Sir Keith Mills, who helped organise London 2012, that the Games were unlikely to go ahead and plans should be made for a cancellation.
Sinclair, who will find out at the end of March if he has a seat for the Games, insists and he and his British Rowing team-mates can do nothing but gear up for Tokyo going ahead as planned.
He said: “It’s a moving target and you never know what’s around the corner with the virus. We just have to trust it will come good and make sure we are ready for it.
“There’s no point waiting until we’re absolutely certain it’s going ahead, then starting plans to make sure we’re in the best possible shape.
“It’s a weird situation to be in. I’ve got no influence over whether it goes ahead or not. I’m just trying to do the best I can to make sure the team is putting the best athletes forward, to give us the best chance of getting medals.
“It’s quite hard to not feel like the Olympics isn’t the most important, when you look at (the number of) infections and deaths. But there’s a reason the Olympics happen; it’s a coming together of sports, nations and people to celebrate sport.”
Sinclair, who hails from Belmaduthy just north of Inverness, competed at the 2016 Games in Rio and came fourth in the final of the men’s pair.
He is currently with the men’s team on a training camp at St George’s Park, the home of the England football team, until tomorrow. The squad would normally head overseas at this time of year for altitude training, but have stayed in the United Kingdom due to the pandemic.
The GB Rowing Team men’s squad are staying in the UK for their next training camp – they're off to the home of England football @FA at St George’s Park! ⚽
— British Rowing (@BritishRowing) January 10, 2021
As well as traditional training on the ergometer, the team have also been using exercise bikes with oxygen simulation masks, which the 34-year-old used when rehabilitating his shoulder injury.
Sinclair added: “It’s been nice to be back training with the group and making some progress. It’s one of the most expensive camps we’ve been on and it doesn’t involve much travelling.
“The guys who are into their football obviously love it. The food and the level of service we have had has been superb.”
Another camp in Portugal had been planned, however, it is in doubt given the current travel restrictions.
Sinclair said: “The women’s team went out to Portugal, but they had a lockdown, so they had to drive to Madrid, fly back and then quarantine.
“We’re due to have one out there in just over four weeks’ time, but that will depend on whether it can be done normally.”