Seven members of the Sydney University Boat Club and Women’s Rowing Club have been nominated for selection in the Australian team for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Matt Ryan, Nicholas Purnell, Francis Hegerty and Sam Loch have been nominated for the men’s eight along with coxswain Toby Lister, while Brooke Pratley has been nominated in the women’s double scull with Kim Crow of Victoria, and Bronwen Watson in the lightweight women’s double scull with Hannah Every-Hall of Queensland. All are former Sydney University Sports Scholarship holders.
Australian rowing selectors are to recommend three further crews to the Rowing Australia board as the potential make-up of the 2012 Australian rowing team continues to take shape.
The men’s lightweight double scull, women’s lightweight double scull and men’s four will all be recommended, taking the total number of recommended crews to eight after six days of the 2012 Rowing Australia National Selection Trials at the Sydney International Regatta Centre.
The recommendation of Watson and Every-Hall has put them one step closer to competing at their first Olympic Games.
Watson, who worked as an executive assistant at Sydney University Sport and Fitness, won back-to-back world championships in 2007 and 2008 before retiring after the 2009 world championships. Olympic selection would fulfil another dream. Every-Hall has been part of the women’s lightweight double scull for the past two world championship teams.
The recommended men’s eight of Bryn Coudraye (SA), Matt Ryan (NSW), Nicholas Purnell (NSW), Tom Swann (Vic), Josh Booth (Vic), Cameron McKenzie-McHarg (Vic), Francis Hegerty (NSW), Sam Loch (NSW) and coxswain Toby Lister (NSW) features three changes from the 2011 World Championships, where Australia finished fourth.
Purnell , Loch and McKenzie-McHarg all return to the eight for the first time since 2010, when the trio assisted Australia to a bronze medal at the world championships in New Zealand.
“We’ve been working really hard now for four years with a large core group of athletes and we are really excited with the athletes that we have recommended to the board for selection,” Rowing Australia head men’s coach Noel Donaldson said.
“All members of the crew are developing nicely and continue to grow in strength and this will only improve across the year. The strength of the crew is underlined by the quality of athletes that narrowly missed recommendation.”
When finalised, the Australian rowing team will compete at World Cup 2 in Lucerne, Switzerland (May 25-27) and World Cup 3 in Munich, Germany (June 15-17) before athletes are nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee.