A ROWER who won a gold medal in the British Championships last month is hoping to break his own national record in a few weeks.

Roger Stainforth, who is a member of Durham Amateur Rowing Club, came first in the Mizuno British Rowing Indoor Championships (BRIC), held at the Lee Valley Velopark in London, when he set a national record in the Masters age 75-79 heavyweight two kilometre event.

And he is hoping to go even faster when he competes at the English Indoor Rowing Championships on February 2.

He said: “The atmosphere in the velodrome is inspiring. there are pictures of the British Olympic cyclists around the corridor as you walk to the competition area, it’s wonderful to think that the likes of Chris Hoy, Wiggins, Cavendish, Pendleton have trod the same route to glory.”

He added: “I’m confident my race training is bearing fruit and I hope to go even quicker at the next event in Manchester.”

Since turning 75 in September, Mr Stainforth, who only started rowing after his 60th birthday, has broken the record twice, first at the Scottish Rowing Indoor Championships in November.

He beat his own record by 4.5 seconds when he raced at BRIC, which is the largest indoor rowing event in the world.

There were more than 2,300 entries across 140 events, with athletes aged between 11 and 88 racing in front of a sell-out crowd.

Mr Stainforth took up the sport after watching his daughter Rebekah get involved and his wife Hazel is also now a keen participant and former world masters gold medallist.

Last year, the couple were involved in the organising of a 100km “Big Pink Ergo Challenge” to raise money for breast cancer charities after Mrs Stainforth was diagnosed with the disease.

She has made an excellent recovery and has returned to competitive rowing.