SPORTS

Olympic Great Drysdale Ponders Rowing for Fiji

It’s certainly something that I don’t want to do but is something that I’d have to look at if it all turns to custard,” the 40-year-old said of the alternative plan.
09 Mar 2019 20:12
Olympic Great Drysdale Ponders Rowing for Fiji
Mahe Drysdale

Mahe Drysdale says he could row for Fiji this year in an attempt to later defend his gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

But Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Commit­tee (FASANOC) chief executive officer Lorainne Mar said Drys­dale needed to have a Fijian pass­port to be eligible.

The 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games gold medalist in the men’s single sculls missed out on that seat to Robbie Manson this week in the New Zealand team to attend the 2019 World Cup events in Europe later this year and the world champs in Austria.

However, Drysdale still wants the New Zealand single scull spot for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and may push to get World Cup races this year with another country.

“There’s nothing stopping me going and joining a club in Fiji and getting the Fijian Rowing Federation to OK my entry for the world cups… that’s just the way the world cups work,” Drys­dale told Radio New Zealand.

.”They are open to any athlete that’s a member for a club in that country.”

Mar said the rules are specific and clear.

“First things first, he need to have a Fiji passport to be eligi­ble and things will flow on from there,”Mar said.

Fiji could be defending two gold medals in if Drysdale is eligible. Our Fiji Airways Fijian 7s rugby team are the defending Olympic champion.

The World Cup regattas allow more than one athlete from a country to compete in the same event – Manson and Drysdale both represented NZ last year – but the Olympics and world champs only allow one entry per nation.

It appears unlikely Rowing NZ will enter Drysdale in the single scull for the World Cups – he was part of a quad which finished fourth at last year’s world cham­pionships.

.”It’s certainly something that I don’t want to do but is something that I’d have to look at if it all turns to custard,” the 40-year-old said of the alternative plan.”

-Edited by Sheldon Chanel

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