Kiwi crews' Olympic hopes receive a welcome boost
The two New Zealand crews desperately seeking a spot at the London Olympics received promising news when the fields were revealed yesterday for this month's "last chance" regatta in Switzerland.
The Kiwi men's lightweight four look assured of grabbing one of two places available for the Olympics in their 11-strong field.
Expected rivals Italy have surprisingly decided not to enter a crew, leaving the Dave Thompson-coached combination as favourites to win their way to London.
Meanwhile, the eight need only see off two other crews – France and the United States.
However, they will not enter the regatta, starting on May 20, as favourite after finishing behind France when the two crews met at the opening World Cup regatta in Belgrade last weekend.
The lightweight four of Duncan Grant, Graham Oberlin-Brown, James Lassche, and Curtis Rapley should see off their 10 challengers after winning their B final in Belgrade.
The New Zealand crew were almost six seconds ahead of second-placed Russia in the B final.
The Kiwi eight of Richard Harrison, Fergus Fauvel, Tobias Wehr-Candler, Hamish Burson, Ian Seymour, Ben Hammond, Adam Tripp, David Eade, and coxswain Ivan Pavich will need to improve to get past France.