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Rowing: NZ crews chase final Olympic berths

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Five New Zealand crews will be among the nearly 400 athletes set to contest Olympic qualification at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland from 22-24 May.

New Zealand crews will chase Olympic qualification in the men’s and women’s quad, men’s lightweight double, men’s four and women’s single.

Emma Twigg, 2014 World Champion in the single scull, will headline the 15 strong team competing at the Final Qualification Regatta. Twigg will be one of a strong field of 13 scullers and needs a top three finish to gain her spot at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The field includes double Olympic Champion Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus, 2012 Olympic silver medallist Fie Udby Erichsen of Denmark as well as numerous other seasoned scullers. Following a year away from the sport in 2015 this will be Twigg’s first international race since she was crowned World Champion in 2014.

Adam Ling and Toby Cunliffe-Steele will be aiming for a top two place in the men’s lightweight double in order to secure Olympic qualification. Ling and Cunliffe-Steele will be amongst a 13 strong field including the 2012 Olympic Champions from Denmark who took a year off in 2013 but returned to international rowing in 2014. The Belgian lightweight double who finished third at the Varese World Rowing Cup four weeks ago will also be vying for qualification.

The New Zealand women’s quad of Brook Donoghue, Georgia Perry, Lucy Spoors and Sarah Grey are one of seven entries in their event and need a top two finish to gain a spot in Rio. The women’s quad field includes the Ukrainian crew that gained bronze at both the European Championships and the Varese World Rowing Cup.

In the men’s quad John Storey, George Bridgewater, Nathan Flannery and Jade Uru will line up in a field of 12 and will need a top two finish to gain qualification to the Rio Olympic Games. The New Zealand quad will face Russia and Canada who finished first and second respectively at the Varese World Rowing Cup with Russia also having picked up a bronze medal at the European Championships.

Drikus Conradie, Axel Dickinson, Patrick McInnes and Anthony Allen are one of seven entries aiming for two available qualifying spots in the men’s four. France most recently gained a bronze medal at the European Championships while South Africa finished sixth at the Varese World Rowing Cup.

New Zealand has already qualified 31 athletes across 33 seats in nine boat classes for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. With five boats set to compete at the regatta in Lucerne the New Zealand Olympic Rowing team has the potential to become even larger with up to 14 boats. At the London Olympic Games New Zealand fielded a rowing team of 26 athletes across eleven boat classes.

The New Zealand Olympic Rowing Team will depart New Zealand on 20 May for World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne, Switzerland, taking place 27 - 29 May and World Rowing Cup III in Poznan, Poland between 17 - 19 June. Training will continue in Europe prior to departing for Rio for the Olympic Games in late July.

New Zealand Rowing Team to attend Olympic Qualification Regatta

Lucerne, Switzerland

Women’s Single Scull

Emma Twigg

Gary Hay - Coach

Women’s Quad

Brooke Donoghue

Georgia Perry

Lucy Spoors

Sarah Gray

James Coote - Coach

Lightweight Men’s Double Scull

Toby Cunliffe-Steel

Adam Ling

Calvin Ferguson - Coach

Men’s Quad

Jade Uru

Nathan Flannery

George Bridgewater

John Storey

Mike Rodger - Coach

Men’s Coxless Four

Drikus Conradie

Axel Dickinson

Patrick McInnes

Anthony Allen

Gary Roberts - Coach

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