The NZ men's quadruple sculls crew has been thrown a lifeline to compete at the Olympic Games after the Russian men's team failed a drug test.
Despite missing out on the Olympic qualifiers in May, training has continued for the NZ men's rowing team in the hope of receiving a call-up.
NZ men's quadruple sculls crew member Jade Uru says, “Everyone just sat there in silence for a couple of minutes. The realisation hadn't quite sunk in that we are going to the Olympics, and so we all kind of jumped out of our seat after five or ten minutes.”
The crew received the call-up this morning after FISA confirmed that a team member from the Russian crew, Sergej Fedorovtsev, tested positive for Trimetazidine at the Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne.
Fellow crew member Nathan Flannery says, “It's never good to find out that sort of things happens in your own sport. But, for us we are just excited in getting a second opportunity.”
The Russians finished first at the qualifiers with NZ missing out after placing third behind Canada.
Now an opportunity has opened for Jade Uru, John Storey, George Bridgewater and Nathan Flannery to represent NZ.
“At the moment, we are focusing on what we can do. We are prepared in the sense that we have trained 8 years for this. All we can focus on, is what the next 5 weeks brings and the next day,” says Uru.
Flannery says, “We've been back in the boat for a few weeks now and its feeling really good and its now about building up that speed which we know we've got. We've got enough time.”
The crew will remain training in NZ until July 24 when they will depart to join their other teammates in Rio de Janeiro ahead of day one of the rowing competition at the Olympic Games on August 6.