SASI stars shine as Australia qualifies 10 boats for Tokyo Olympics
It was mission accomplished as Australia made sure it had plenty of boats to take to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. SASI athletes Olympia Aldersey, Molly Goodman and Alex Hill were right in the thick of the action
AN INSPIRED first senior world championship gold medal to Olympia Aldersey in the Women's Four highlighted the strong contribution from SASI athletes at the recent world rowing championships in Austria.
Aldersey teamed with Australian teammates Lucy Stephan, Katrina Werry and Sara Hawe to produce a stunning race to win the gold medal, capping off an unbeaten run through the competition. Importantly the crew qualified the boat for next year's Tokyo Olympics.
Aldersey, a member of Adelaide Rowing Club and who won her first under-23 world championship in 2012, said she was thrilled to win with her team and to qualify the boat for next year.
"We really worked as a crew to get here and it's a credit to all of us for delivering our roles to get us over the line,'' Aldersey said.
Molly Goodman also had reason to celebrate as a member of the Women's Eight which won silver, also getting their boat booked for Tokyo.
The team produced a stunning race to keep pace with New Zealand and challenge strongly for the lead before finishing second to the New Zealanders with the US in third place.
Goodman said it was a great effort from the team.
"We want that gold medal in Tokyo,'' Goodman said. "It’s awesome to qualify the boat. I can't remember the last time we qualified a women's eight directly and not through the final qualification regatta.
"To come away with a gold and two silvers (for our women's sweep group) is just awesome.''
Alex Hill's team missed a medal in the Men's Four but still qualified for Tokyo.
Overall Australia qualified 10 boats including two for the Paralympics - the PR1 Men's Single Scull and PR3 Mixed Cox Four. SASI athletes Jed Altschwager and Will Smith won silver in the PR 3 Men's Pair but that boat class is not part of the schedule for Tokyo.
Australia won two gold, three silver and three bronze medals at the world titles.
Follow SASI online