Continuing our series spotlighting iconic Olympic and Paralympic finals, Martin Cross talks to Tom Aggar who won a historic gold in the inaugural rowing competition at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing
Tom Aggar burst on the Para rowing scene in 2007, when he defeated Australia’s Dominic Monypenny, the reigning world champion at the Munich World Championships. It was a stellar introduction to the sport for a man who had only recently taken up Para rowing. For Aggar, it seemed like the stars had aligned at just the right time because at the Beijing Games of 2008, rowing would be included in the Paralympic programme for the first time.
However, the route to his Paralympic final would not be easy, as Martin Cross found when he got together with Tom Aggar to talk about those memorable Games and how they affected Aggar in his long career as Britain’s top PR1 oarsman.
Tom: The starting point was in 2007 when I’d gone to Munich as a complete unknown. The goal was to topple Dominic Monypenny, the reigning double world champion. I’d only been training for a year and a half. I have to admit that I was a little bit in awe of him. When I beat him in Munich it was like next year in Beijing, this guy’s going to come back and get revenge – it’s going to be me versus Dominic Monypenny. I spent quite a lot of time that Beijing season feeling like I was being chased, but in 2008, I had another really good season getting quicker and quicker.(more…)