A host of Sydney Uni Rowers have helped qualify their boats for a coveted place at the 2016 Rio Olympics following outstanding results at the 2015 World Rowing Championships currently underway at Lake Aiguebelette, France.

Sydney University Boat Club (SUBC) dynamic duo, Jack Hargreaves and Nicholas Wheatley, have roared into the Men’s Pair A-Final to be raced today (Saturday, September 5) 21:30 AEST. Their gutsy second place behind Britain in the semi-final has them in the hunt for a World Championship title and guaranteed their boat a place at Rio next year. Coached by Mark Prater, also from SURC, they dug deep to consign the Netherlands crew to third place.

Not to be outdone, Cameron Girdlestone from SUBC, as a  member of the  Men’s Quadruple Scull, also came second in his semi-final behind Lithuania to book a place in the A-Final. It was a doubly sweet second place as this also qualifies their boat for Rio. This A-Final is also scheduled for today at 22:45 AEST. 

Other standouts for SUBC are the Men’s Double Scull which comprises our own Alexander ‘Sasha’ Belonogoff partnered with James McRae of South Australia. With near perfect pacing and needing a top three finish to make the A-Final they chased and overhauled the Kiwi crew to claim second place. In doing so they booked a berth for their boat in Rio.  Their final will be raced Sunday September 5, 2015, the last day of competition.

“There is certainly an element of relief associated with qualifying the boat, as this is my first Olympic qualification regatta I was pretty excited after the race. Jimmy and I have a tendency to build through the regattas we compete at and each races is better than the one before, so we are looking forward to the final and to take another step up on today’s performance,” said Belonogoff.

Our champion female rep, Sally Kehoe, Sydney University Women’s Rowing Club, made the semi-finals of the Women’s Double Scull with her crewmate Olympia Aldersey.  In a tough race they gave their all to finish a gallant fifth overall to head into the B-Final. Their Olympic bid is still alive, needing a top five finish in this race on Sunday to qualify the Women’s Double Scull a spot in Rio.

If you haven’t watched rowing at this elite level you are missing out. It makes for riveting viewing as the cameras track the crews straining and surging for ascendency. You can cheer on our Sydney Uni champions via live streaming on the World Rowing website http://www.worldrowing.com/ . Alternatively,  Fox Sports are broadcasting the World Rowing Championships including tonight from 10:08pm and Sunday September 6 , 12pm-1pm and 9:10pm-11:30pm.  

Go the Aussies!