MOE SBIHI is confident he can win Olympic gold this summer after he was named in Great Britain’s squad for the European Rowing Championships.

The squad for the competition in Brandenburg next month was named last and saw GB Rowing select the boats they are expected to opt for in the Olympics this summer, barring a drastic loss of form or injury.

Sbihi has won gold at the last three World Championships and believes he can improve on the bronze medal he claimed at London 2012 this summer in Brazil.

The 28-year-old, who is in the open four boat, said: “It is good reward for a hard and long winter. If you are training for six or seven months in the winter, then you are into pre-season, and it is a real hard slog and grind and you can sometimes lose sight of what the end goal is.

“Today is a step on the way to hopefully selection and medal-winning crews in Rio.

“But the European Championship is a major event in our calendar and it is one that we want to go to and win.

“That is our objective. I won in 2014 and we won it last year so the boat has a title to defend and that is what we are aiming to do.”

He added: “I think we have a strong chance of winning gold in Rio. A lot can happen before then but we are one of the best rowing teams in the world and our selection is done on merit and we will use that as a confidence builder.

“The four of us have to click together and that is the challenge now. In the winter months you are grinding it out to get to the top of the pecking order and now that is done, we want to be top of the world and that is the biggest challenge.”

Sbihi was identified as a potential Olympian after the GB Rowing’s Team Start talent identification programme tested a host of children at his Hollyfield School.

And like many GB stars, he credited his university - St Mary's - for helping him become the athlete that he is today.

Sbihi said: “University to me was important. I chose University of St Mary’s because it enabled me to stay at home and stay with the same coach.

“I studied sport science with nutrition and the whole package of my university life was dedicated to getting me in to the GB Olympic team.

“It didn’t happen in Beijing because I was not good enough and in 2012 I bridged the gap in the following two years of my university life. The university were very accommodating for me, I had strength and conditioning support, weights support, funding support and they helped me with my degree.

“The university not only helped me adapt from being a pupil at sixth form to a student at university but it also helped me make the transition to being an athlete.”

British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the national governing body for Higher Education (HE) sport in the UK, organising leagues and competitions for more than 150 institutions across 52 different sports. Supported by Deloitte, BUCS offers programmes to athletes from a grass roots level through to Commonwealth and Olympic Games hopefuls