A WREXHAM has overcome burnout and a bike accident to become the 12th Welsh athlete to be selected for Team GB in Tokyo.

Vicky Thornley, who grew up in Wrexham, won Olympic silver at Rio 2016 alongside Katherine Grainger in the double sculls.

Now the 33-year-old is going it alone as a single sculler - the first woman to qualify Britain in the event since Alison Mowbray at Sydney 2000.

"Being selected for a third Games is just as special as the first and the second," said Thornley, who was part of the women's eight at London 2012.

"It's always such a big day to be announced in the team.

"To be part of Team GB is such a special moment - we operate as a rowing team for four years and then to become part of one, bigger team is really powerful.

"The success that Team GB have had over the years makes it even more of a statement to be part of a team."

Thornley made an excellent start to life in the single, winning European gold and world silver in 2017.

In 2018 she was struck down with overtraining syndrome, with symptoms including body weight changes, increase in heart rate, hormonal changes and mood swings.

The former equestrian rider recovered and did enough to secure a spot for Team GB with a fourth-placed finish at the World Championships in 2019.

Her Olympic cycle took another twist when she was knocked off her bike close to her home and broke her elbow.

Thornley, only the second woman to captain the famous Leander Rowing Club, again summoned strength to take silver at April's European Championships to fuel hope of a medal in Tokyo.

The Welsh ace is one of only eight members of the 45-strong British rowing team heading for Japan who have been to a Games before.

"It's the most inexperienced team we've ever had," added Thornley, whose exploits in Tokyo will be broadcast live on Eurosport and discovery+.

"Sometimes there are just a lot of people towards the ends of their career and a lot of people hang up their oars at the same time.

"The extra year has been really important for this team. We're a young group, and that extra year of training and experience has been beneficial.

"I'm one of the more experienced athletes in the team and it's nice to have a slightly different role to other Olympiads.

"I made sure I learned as much as I could from athletes and now I also try to learn off the other athletes, because you can always get better perspectives from different people."