It was a disappointing day for Australian rowing, with both the men’s and women’s Eights failing to qualify for the Rio Olympics. This is the first time in almost 70 years, that we won’t be represented in the men’s Eight event.

Isabella Pilbeam reports.


Both teams needed to secure first or second place to qualify in the Lucerne trials.

But the men finished fourth, behind the US, Poland and Italy.

The women, third behind Romania and the Netherlands.

The disappointment was palpable, with both sides shedding tears.

Stuart Sim, Men’s Eight Coxswain: “I’m crying not because I wanted this, but because the country deserved it. The guys on this boat deserved it, and that’s the toughest thing.”

Not since 1948, has Australia failed to qualify in the men’s eight event.

The 2016 Olympics, will also see the smallest fleet of boats and crews we’ve sent to a games since Barcelona in 1992.

Jaime Fernandez, Rowing Australia: “We have to reflect, and we have to think about our sport and system and structures in general.”

However, it wasn’t all bad news today.

West Australian Reese Grant, will be heading to Rio after qualifying in the men’s single scull.

Isabella Pilbeam, QUT News.