PARA-ROWING: Fox sidelined through surgery but still sets sights on Tokyo

James Fox pictured at the Power8 Sprints launch. From the left are Cambridge City Champion James Fox, London City Champion Mark Hunter, Newcastle City Champion Jess Eddie, Nottingham City Champion Phelan Hill, Manchester City Champion Carly Morris, Oxford City Champion Olivia Carnegie-Brown, Bristol City Champion Matt Gotrel and Exeter City Champion Matt Rossiter. Photo: Tom Shaw/British Rowing
James Fox pictured at the Power8 Sprints launch. From the left are Cambridge City Champion James Fox, London City Champion Mark Hunter, Newcastle City Champion Jess Eddie, Nottingham City Champion Phelan Hill, Manchester City Champion Carly Morris, Oxford City Champion Olivia Carnegie-Brown, Bristol City Champion Matt Gotrel and Exeter City Champion Matt Rossiter. Photo: Tom Shaw/British Rowing
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Hip surgery may have destroyed James Fox’s hopes of more world championship success this year but the para-rower from Peterborough is not letting go of his Tokyo Paralympic ambitions.

The 26-year-old followed up three successive World Championship titles with gold in the PR3 coxed four at Rio 2016, and is currently unbeaten in his para-rowing career.

James Fox poses for a picture during the Power8 Sprints launch event at the City of Bristol Rowing Club. Photo: Tom Shaw/British Rowing

James Fox poses for a picture during the Power8 Sprints launch event at the City of Bristol Rowing Club. Photo: Tom Shaw/British Rowing

And though he is currently on the sidelines, he remains positive about what the next year holds.

“I’ve had a blip in training recently because I’ve had surgery in my hip,” he said.

“I went to the World Championships last year and the plan was to go to them again this year but that surgery nine weeks ago has put an end to that.

“I’m still in the system though, still rehabbing and still planning to go to the World Championships next year and then Tokyo 2020 as well.

“But we’ll see, it’s a long way away and lots of things can happen.

“So things aren’t great for me at the minute - it’s been tough, I’ve just come out of an intensive rehab unit for the last two weeks.

“It’s hard work but it works, it’s a proven method, so hopefully I’ll be back on the world stage soon.”

While he recovers, Fox is doing all he can to boost his sport’s profile – including attending the launch of the new Power8 Sprints.

Power8 Sprints is an innovative new competition launched by British Rowing which sees both male and female crews compete for their city, head-to head in a knockout tournament over a 350m course, rather than the traditional 2,000m.

The inaugural Power8 Sprints race will be held at Bristol Harbour on Sunday July 22, with eight cities competing - Bristol, Newcastle, Manchester, Nottingham, Exeter, Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge and London.

Fox was at Bristol Rowing Club representing Cambridge. For any rowing fans who can’t make it to Bristol on July 22, BT Sport is broadcasting all the action live.

“Rowing is traditionally over 2000m and there are longer races but rarely shorter ones, so this is a completely new idea,” Fox explained.

“It’s an awesome, innovative event.

“They’re trying to combine the Power8 Sprints with the Bristol Harbour Festival, and with such a big audience, what better place is there to develop a new sport.

“I’m always a fan of shorter stuff when it comes to training, I think it’s brilliant and requires completely different physiology to longer races.

“These shorter, sharper races are more accessible, and more people will want to do it because more people will see it – everyone will be able to watch the whole race from start to finish rather than just a snippet.”

James Fox is a City Champion for Cambridge Power8 Sprints rowing crew, who will be competing at the inaugural event on the 22nd July, as the headline act on the water at the Bristol Harbour Festival. To find out how you can get involved, visit www.power8sprints.com