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Aust rowers ready for last crack at Rio

  • Aust rowers ready for last crack at Rio

    The Olympic hopes of four Australian rowing crews will go in the line this month in Switzerland.

Australia's Olympic rowing hopefuls have left no stone unturned as their Rio qualification goes on the line this month in Switzerland.

The Australian men's and women's eights plus two other crews will fly out next week ahead of the "Regatta of Death" in Lucerne on May 22-24, which is a last-ditch attempt to qualify for the Rio Olympics in August.

Australia has seven boats already booked in through the 2015 world championships.

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Rio rowing team leader Jaime Fernandez, who was a member of the men's eight which won silver in Sydney in 2000, said the rowers had been working furiously to make the most of their opportunity.

"I don't think they will die wondering in terms of preparing themselves," Fernandez said.

"They know that every stroke wasted is a stroke you don't get back at this point in time and it's so critical for these men and women where they're heading."

Fernandez said the crews had been training two to three times a day, six days a week as a minimum.

"They've set a new benchmark for themselves personally and for crews in this position," he said.

"Clearly there's a level of desperation that comes with trying to qualify."

Both men's and women's eight crews must finish in the top two in Lucerne, as does Hannah Every-Hall and Georgia Nesbitt in the women's lightweight double while Rhys Grant must place top three in the men's single scull.

Australia has had a men's eight crew at every Olympics since 1948 and have won six medals.

With some line-up changes following their ninth placing at the world championships, Fernandez said results in training pointed toward an improvement but they faced fierce competition, especially from the American crew.

Fernandez said he believed all four crews were capable of qualifying for Rio, where Australia will look to improve on their London medal haul of three silver medals and two bronze.

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