Rowing Australia today announced the Senior Australian Rowing Team that will compete in 2015.
Crews have been selected to represent Australia at the 2015 World Rowing Cup 2 (Varese, Italy), World Rowing Cup 3 (Lucerne, Switzerland) and the 2015 World Rowing Championships (Aiguebelette, France). However, subject to results at the first two events (WRC 2 and 3), selectors will continuously review crews and their performances before final confirmation of the 2015 World Rowing Championships team.
The squad includes 2014 World Championships medallists and London Olympians Kimberley Crow, Joshua Dunkley-Smith, Sally Kehoe and James McRae, while Olympic medallists Karsten Forsterling and Matthew Ryan return to the senior team for the first time since the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, Olympic gold medallist David Crawshay returns to the sculling ranks in the Men’s Quadruple scull joined by David Watts, Cameron Girdlestone and Forsterling.
A number of 2014 World Rowing Championship medallists are back in the team this year, including double World Rowing Champions Erik Horrie (ASM1x), Kathryn Ross and Gavin Bellis (both TAMix2x) plus bronze medallists Kehoe and Olympia Aldersey (both W2x) as well as Alexander Belonogoff and McRae (both M2x).
The team also sees a number of rowers stepping up from the U23 category including 2014 U23 World Rowing Championship silver medallists Nick Wheatley and Jack Hargreaves, plus 2014 U23 World Championship bronze medallist Genevieve Horton.
Wheatley and Hargreaves will compete in the Men’s Coxless Pair this season, while Horton will be joined by Molly Goodman in the Women’s Pair.
The Lightweight Women’s Quadruple Scull, the Women’s Coxed Eight and the LTA Mixed Coxed Four are listed as trialling squads in this release and are subject to further scrutiny.
Keen historians will also note the inclusion of a number of athletes whose parents have represented Australia. Rosemary ‘Rosie’ Popa’s parents, Susan Chapman-Popa and Ion Popa have both represented Australia at an Olympics with Susan winning a bronze in the Women’s Coxed Four in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Madeleine Edmunds’ (W4x) father, Ian, was also in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, winning bronze in the Men’s Coxed Eight.
The Men’s Four has seen two new crew members join 2014 representatives Alexander Lloyd and Spencer Turrin. South Australian Alexander Hill and London 2012 silver medallist William Lockwood will make up the Men’s Coxless Four this year with Lloyd and Turrin.
Fergus Pragnell and Joshua Dunkley-Smith, who won bronze in the Men’s Four last year in Amsterdam at the 2014 World Rowing Championships, have been selected into the Men’s Coxed Eight, joined by Joshua Booth, Matthew Ryan, Samuel Hookway, Nicholas Purnell, Scott Laidler, James Chapman and coxswain David Webster; the crew will be coached by Tim McLaren.
High Performance Director, Chris O’Brien: “This year’s World Rowing Championships are the primary qualification mechanism for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
“We are excited by a number of crews that have been selected which include a healthy mix of Olympic and World Championships medallists together with athletes who have come through the Under 23 and US athlete pathways.”
The 2015 Australian Rowing Team can be viewed here.