THE region’s Olympic gold sensation Kat Copeland arrived back in the North-East last night to a heroine’s welcome – but revealed she is considering quitting competitive rowing.

The 21-year-old returned to her parents’ home in Stokesley , North Yorkshire, to emotional scenes as she hugged her mother, Penny, who she has not seen for two weeks since she and partner Sophie Hosking clinched GB’s first gold in the women’s lightweight double scull event.

Speaking exclusively to The Northern Echo at her parents’ home by the river in Levenside, Kat said she only had a month to decide whether to defend her title and commit to four years of training for the next Olympics, or give up competitive rowing.

If she quits she hopes to go to Newcastle University to study biology. “If I keep rowing it is a four-year commitment, so it is a big thing, and a big decision to make,” she said.

“I have about a month to decide what I am going to do, but I might give it up.”