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Trial list unveiled as elite rowers take crucial step towards Olympic and Paralympic selection

The race for seats will be on as Olympic and Paralympic trialing begins in December. Photo: Vera Bucsu/Rowing Australia

Australia’s Olympic and Paralympic aspirants are preparing to take one of their most important steps towards Paris 2024 with the announcement of the athletes invited to be part of the Australian Senior Rowing Team National Trials in December.

The invite list features some of the world’s best rowing talent, including Olympic champions hoping to return to the podium, rising stars out to make their mark and rookies chasing a coveted place on their first Olympic or Paralympic team.

The trials will take place at the Sydney International Rowing Centre from December 17-21 and put athletes through their paces across distance ranges from 1500m-5000m.

Rowing Australia Performance Director Paul Thompson MBE, a decorated elite coach who has delivered Olympic success for Australia, Great Britain and China, said every rower will be motivated to start strongly as they embark on the arduous and challenging trialing process, which continues early in the New Year.

“These mark the start of the on-water trialing for all of the athletes who are setting their sights on the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris. It’s a first step but it’s an important milestone and one where they will all want to perform strongly,” Thompson said.

“It promises to be a busy few months for the athletes leading into a massive year of trialing, competing and for those selected, racing at the highest level in Paris.

“The stakes are high but we have some of the best rowers in the world in our National Training Centres and we know they are going to bring out the best in each other along the way.”

Among those in action will be Olympic champions from the Women’s Four Jessica Morrison OAM and Annabelle McIntyre OAM, now rowing as the Women’s Pair, Lucy Stephan OAM (Women’s Four) and the Men’s Four of Alex Purnell OAM, Spencer Turin OAM, Alex Hill OAM and Jack Hargreaves OAM.

There will also be strong competition for seats in the Women’s and Men’s Eight, which both claimed Bronze at the World Rowing Championships, while World Championships Bronze Medal winner Tara Rigney will be determined to take early strides as she tries to narrow the gap to Dutch Olympic favourite Karolien Florijn.

World Champions Jed Altschwager and Nikki Ayers PLY will also be back in the water in the PR3 Mixed Double as the duo aim for Paralympic selection.

FULL LIST: 2023 December NTT Invitation List