01 June 2016 - Skilled rower and Aurecon Transport engineer, Rhys Grant, successfully secured a spot for Australia in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games after taking out second place in a spectacular men's single scull final at the last chance Olympic qualification regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland, known as the "Regatta of Death."
Grant, whose nickname is Mr President, needed to snap up a spot in the top three for Australia to progress to Rio, and did just that in a remarkable race that saw him fiercely fight off strong competitors from Denmark, Hungary, Finland and Germany.
In a jaw clenching effort, Grant was sitting in fourth place at 500m before exploding into first position at 1000m. With 500m to go, Hannes Obreno of Belgium pushed ahead to secure first place, while Grant was able to maintain his spot in second with an impressive finishing time of 6.49.07.
“I can’t believe I qualified, the guys were coming really hard for me but I could hear my parents cheering me on in the crowd. Words cannot express how I feel right now about qualifying the boat”, said Grant.
Australia has qualified eight boats with 20 rowers 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
After failing to achieve his desired results in March last year, Rhys made the difficult decision to postpone his role as civil engineer and focus on his Olympic dream. Rhys trained under Olympic coach Rhett Ayliffe out of the WA Institute of Sport.
In February 2016, Rhys’s results in the NSW Selection Regatta earnt him the position of Reserve for the Australian Olympic Rowing team with the opportunity to attempt to qualify the men’s single scull for the Olympics. He spent the next three months in Canberra training alongside the team.
Two weeks before the final race, Rhys attended a training camp at the AIS European Training Centre in Varese, Northern Italy, before travelling with the team to Lucerne in Switzerland where he would qualify the single scull for the forthcoming Rio Olympic Games.
About Rhys Grant
Rhys Grant started rowing at school in 2000 and competed in the men’s quadruple scull at the 2004 Junior World Championships in Spain, finishing sixth. After being a reserve in 2013, Grant made his rowing World Championship debut in 2014 in Amsterdam as part of the men's quadruple sculls. Outside of rowing, Grant is a transport engineer in the Perth Office. His father Guy was a member of the Australian Ice Hockey team in the late 1970s and 1980.