Olympic debutant ready to race
West Australian David Watts will take the water in a few weeks to represent Australia in the Men’s Double Sculls alongside Chris Morgan. The 24-year-old began rowing in high school having taken part in a talent identification session and hasn’t looked back since.
“I previously swam and was quite competitive and then, when I was at Churchlands Senior high school, the Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) came to the school doing a generic test for athlete capability and essentially I got sent a letter after that saying that I would be suited to rowing and that I should go in for further testing.
My rowing developed from there and I got picked into a squad of 16 kids all of very different backgrounds who all had ambitions to row. From there, I fell in love with the sport and joined a club and also continued to work with WAIS to achieve my goal of being an Olympic rower.”
With the Olympic Games just nine days away, Watts cannot wait to get on the waters of Lagoa de Freitas and get racing with his doubles partner, two-time Olympian, and London 2012 bronze medallist, Chris Morgan.
“The Olympics is the pinnacle event on a global stage and it is the ultimate achievement in rowing to be able to represent your country at the Games. I hope that Chris and I are able to lay down the best possible performances in each of races throughout the Olympic regatta
“We’ve not spoken extensively about the Games, we both feel we are there to do a job and do it well. I think Chris has seen that I am a focussed individual, at previous regattas, but I also know that if at any point I feel overwhelmed he’s got my back one-hundred-percent.”
The crew, coached by Andrew Randell, have been working hard at the AIS European Training Centre to further improve on their past performances: “We’ve made a lot of positive changes in Poznan and have increased our confidence in turn, it’s been great to have such a consistent period of time away in a quality training environment with the best possible support.”
With the Games just around the corner, Watts is looking forward to not only getting out on the water but also supporting his fellow Australian Olympic Team members.
“No doubt, I’m looking forward to racing the most. Ultimately, that’s what I am there to do, and my focus will be on performing, with Chris, the best we possibly can at the regatta and then I’ll take a step back and take in the Olympic experience.
“In the last three years I’ve been living and training in Canberra, based at the AIS, and I’m excited to see so many of my fellow AIS scholarship holders in Rio. It will be great to be able to support them in the second week.”