Ginn laments Australia's eights flop at Rio trial

Wed May 25, 2016 10:33pm EDT
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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Three-time Olympic gold medalist Drew Ginn has blamed Australian rowing for a "tradition of secrecy" in its selections after the men's and women's eights failed to qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Games.

Needing a top-two finish at the final Olympic qualification regatta in Switzerland, the men's eight finished fourth, with the women third.

The failure of the men's eight was particularly galling for Australia's rowing community, given the country's record of qualifying for the event in every Olympics dating back to the 1952 Helsinki Games.

Ginn, Australia's most successful Olympic rower, said the eights crews had paid the price for being treated as an afterthought by selectors.

"I've got no doubt the they would have given the very best account of themselves, the guys and the girls, but we keep making mistakes in the sport which are repeated," the 41-year-old said in quotes published by The Australian newspaper on Thursday.

"We have a tradition of secrecy were we haven't disclosed to people exactly what they've got to do and how they've got to do it.

"The eights have been let down by a selection process which really wasn't well thought out."

Ginn won gold in the coxless four at the 1996 Atlanta Games and back-to-back golds in the coxless pair at Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008). He also won a silver in a return to the coxless four in London.

Australia's focus on the smaller boats had yielded results but left the eights in the cold, said Ginn.   Continued...

Three-time Olympic gold medal winner Drew Ginn prepares to race as part of Australia's Olympic coxless fours during a training session at the Sydney International Regatta Centre May 10, 2012.   REUTERS/Tim Wimborne