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Tokyo stars spearhead Australia’s international rowing season assault

Australia will suit up seven Olympic champions as part of a 66-strong Australian Rowing Team (ART) ready to take on the sport’s elite during the international rowing season, which culminates in the 2023 World Rowing Championships in Belgrade in September.

The ART was selected after a gruelling series of trials in blistering heat at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith as the Paris Olympics countdown dipped below 500 days, with just over 500 until the Paralympic Games in 2024.

The stakes were high given this year’s World Rowing Championships doubles as the Olympic and Paralympic Qualifying Regatta. Seven Olympic Champions, one Paralympic Silver Medallist and six Olympic Bronze Medallists were among the rowers leaving it all on the water in an intense tussle for green and gold honours.

“There has been some tremendous racing over the last week to form the 2023 World Cup team. The competition has been fierce for seats in this Paris 2024 qualification season and the selectors have had to make some tough calls,” Rowing Australia High Performance Director Paul Thompson MBE said.

“It’s exciting to have more of our Tokyo Olympians returning, including Olympic Champion Jess Morrison OAM, as well as some new and talented rowers forcing their way into crews. Next step for our rowers is the Australian Rowing Championships in Perth before the international season commences in June.”

Morrison and fellow Tokyo champion Annabelle McIntyre OAM will combine in the Women’s Pair, the same boat in which they won the B Final in Tokyo. The duo missed out on qualification for the A Final, competing only hours after winning the Four following scheduling changes from bad weather.

McIntyre believes they can take major strides as they aim to become a genuine medal threat again in Paris.

“It is really exciting to be back in this combination. We have gone fast in the past and feel that we have more to give in this boat class. We want to build on what we produced last cycle and see where that will take us through this year and into Paris,” McIntyre said.

Olympic champion Lucy Stephan OAM will return to the Women’s Four, headlining a new-look quartet that features fellow World Champions Sarah Hawe and Katrina Werry and Olympian Giorgia Patten.

And the 2022 World Championship Bronze Medallist and Olympian Tara Rigney will be back in the Women’s Single Scull, hoping to establish herself in a famous boat class that saw Kim Brennan AM row to Gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

The reigning Olympic Champion Men’s Four will begin their path to Paris, with Alex Hill OAM returning from a season in other boat classes to join fellow Gold Medallists Alex Purnell OAM, Spencer Turrin OAM and Jack Hargreaves OAM.

That group were part of the iconic Hour of Power in Tokyo, where the ART secured two Gold and two Bronze Medals in an unforgettable 60 minutes of rowing that captivated the nation.

In the Men’s Singles, Triple Silver Medallist, Erik Horrie OAM has been selected into the PR1 category and Tokyo Paralympian Simon Albury into the PR2 category.

For the first time, Rowing Australia will feature two athletes in the new para boat class of the PR3 Mixed Double, with Jed Altschwager and Paralympian Nikki Ayers earning the seats.

This new class provides a sculling option for those that classify as PR3 athletes, while the PR3 Mixed Four is the continued sweep class. Six athletes have been selected into the squad for this boat, including newcomers Toby Goffsassen, Susannah Lutze, Harrison Nichols and Lisa Greissl.

Teesaan Koo has been selected as the cox and Paralympians Jessica Gallagher and Thomas Birtwhistle will compete for the final seat.

Of the 14 Olympic boat classes and the five Paralympic boat classes that Australia could qualify and compete in at the Vaires-sur-Marne Nautical Stadium in Paris next year, each and every Australian crew presents a compelling story to tell.

The ART will take to the water at the Australian Rowing Championships in Perth before beginning the overseas swing through Italy, Switzerland and finally Serbia.

ART Schedule 2023

Australian Rowing Championships | March 27 – April 2 | Perth, WA

International Para Rowing Regatta | June 9-11 | Gavirate, Italy

World Cup II | June 16-18 | Varese, Italy

World Cup III | July 7-9 | Lucerne, Switzerland

World Rowing Championships | September 3-10 | Belgrade, Serbia

Australian Rowing Team for 2023

WOMEN 

Women’s Single Scull (W1X) Tara Rigney Women’s Double Scull (W2X) Amanda Bateman, Laura Gourley Women’s Quad Sculls (W4X) Caitlin CroninHarriet HudsonRowena Meredith,Ria Thompson Women’s Sculling Reserve Kate Rowan Women’s Coxless Pair (W2-) Annabelle McIntyre OAM,Jessica Morrison OAM Women’s Coxless Four (W4-) Sarah HaweGiorgia Patten,Lucy Stephan OAM,Katrina Werry Women’s Coxed Eight Squad, includes the Women’s Pair and Womens Four (W8+) Olympia Aldersey, Lily Alton-Triggs, Paige BarrBronwyn Cox, Georgie Gleeson,Molly GoodmanGeorgina Rowe,Jacqueline SwickHayley Verbunt (Coxswain)* Women’s Lightweight Double Scull (WLW2X)  Lucy ColemanAnneka Reardon Lightweight Women’s ReserveGeorgia Miansarow 

PARA  

PR1 Men’s Single Sculls (PR1 M1X) Erik Horrie OAM PR1 Men’s Single Sculls (PR2 M1X) Simon Albury PR3 Mixed Double Scull (PR3 Mix2X) Jed AltschwagerNikki Ayers PR3 Mixed Coxed Four (PR3 Mix4+ Squad) Thomas BirtwhistleJessica GallagherToby Goffsassen*, Lisa Greissl*Teesaan Koo (Coxswain)Susannah Lutze*Harrison Nichols* 

MEN 

Men’s Double Scull (M2X) Caleb AntillDavid Bartholot Men’s Quad Scull (M4X Squad) Jack ClearyCormac Kennedy-Leverett*Sam MarshHarley MooreCampbell Watts Henry Youl Men’s Coxless Four (M4-) Jack Hargreaves OAMAlex Hill OAMAlex Purnell OAMSpencer Turrin OAM Men’s Coxed Eight / Men’s Pair Squad (M8+ / M2-) Kendall Brodie  (Coxswain)Benjamin CanhamAngus DawsonSam HardyJosh HicksPatrick HoltSimon Keenan, William O’Shannessy, Jackson KenchRohan LaveryTim MastersJoseph O’Brien, Jack RobertsonAngus Widdicombe Men’s Lightweight Double Scull (MLW2X) Oscar McGuinnessSean Murphy  Lightweight Men’s Reserve Blaine Heseltine* 

*These athletes have been newly selected to the team and don’t have an athlete profile yet.