China are targeting at least one Olympic gold medal in rowing at Tokyo 2020 before a target of two at Paris 2024 ©Getty Images

Sir Steve Redgrave, the high-performance director of China's national rowing team, has revealed the country are hoping to win an Olympic gold next year in Tokyo before achieving further success in the sport at Paris 2024.

The Briton was appointed as high-performance director by China last year, with the task of improving the standard of rowing in the country.

Sir Steve, winner of five consecutive Olympic gold medals in rowing between Los Angeles 1984 and Sydney 2000, was given responsibility for the Chinese national team's training programme.

He was also tasked with implementing a youth development programme and a coach training system.

China have only earned one Olympic rowing gold medal, which came in the women's quadruple sculls event at Beijing 2008.

The country has won nine Olympic rowing medals in all, including two bronze medals at Rio 2016.

"The Olympic Games in Tokyo are, of course, an important step in our strategy and China wants to win a gold Olympic medal there,” Sir Steve told Reuters.

"The first goal now is to win gold at the Olympics outside China.

"But the main goal is two titles in Paris in 2024."

Britain's Sir Steve Redgrave became China's high performance director last year ©Getty Images
Britain's Sir Steve Redgrave became China's high performance director last year ©Getty Images

China enjoyed an impressive start to this year's Rowing World Cup season in Plovdiv, with the event taking place at the Bulgarian venue earlier this month.

The country claimed gold in the in the women’s and men’s double sculls, the lightweight women’s double sculls and the women’s quadruple sculls.

Sir Steve retired from competitive rowing after winning the coxless four event at Sydney 2000.

He also won nine World Championship titles during an illustrious career which has seen him become widely considered as one of the greatest rowers in history.

Sir Steve was one of the final Torchbearers for the London 2012, carrying the Torch into the Olympic Stadium during the event's Opening Ceremony.

He was appointed a Knight Bachelor for services to rowing in the Queen's 2001 New Year's Honours list.