February 15 - Greg Searle (pictured), the 1992 Olympic coxed pairs champion who has come out of retirement to try to qualify for London 2012, is leaving for Portugal to join a British team training camp.

The 37-year-old Londoner held off a late challenge from Brendan Crean to win the single sculls B final at the GB Rowing Winter Assessment at Dorney Lake yesterday.

Searle - who won his gold medal at Barcelona alongside brother Jonny and cox Garry Herbert - came out of retirement at the end of last year motivated by the challenge of qualifying for London.

Sunday’s victory is the first step on that path but Searle, who was also an Olympian in 1996 - when he won a bronze as part of the four - and 2000, knows there is still a long way to go.

He said: "It's always satisfying to win races, but it needed fighting spirit.

"It was the first time in ten years that I’ve really had to dig deep and perform.

"I've won an Olympic bronze medal and been gutted, then had races like that and been happy.

"Hopefully I can move on by the next trials in April, where it will be a big result to make the final."

Searle hopes to return to the Britain squad this season - with World Cup events beginning in Europe in May and the World Championships in New Zealand in October - then move into a crew with medal potential for London next year.

He said: "I'm winning races against the high-potential athletes, which is where I am at the moment.

"It's not going to happen overnight; it's going to take months of hard work because the standard is high and these guys are good."