London’s 2012 medallists for the men’s singles rowing (sculling) included New Zealand’s Mahé Drysdale who took gold, his long-time Czech rival Ondřej Synek who grabbed the silver and the UK’s Alan Campbell won the bronze. All three of these men will race against each other in the Rio Olympic Games 2016. Whilst Mahe is confident he will be heading for ashowdown for the top two positions, Synek is being a little more cautious with his predictions. Alan Campbell is hoping for a medal in Rio but as these three aging rowing medalists are all in their thirties, there is no guarantee the race will be adoddle in the Park.

Drysdale very confident.

All three of them have battled with illness or injury over the past few years, and given their ages, they are likely to be more susceptible to this than the up and coming youngsters. Whilst the NZ Herald in New Zealand report that Drysdale is level pegging with Synek as the favorite, it will be a hard call for Drysdale, now closer to 40 than 30 years old to take the medal again. The current gold medal defender is “adamant” that despite younger rowers coming through that the final showdown will be between himself and the Czech.

Synek cautious.

Cautious Synek admitted to Rowing Global that whilst a gold would be nice, it is “not easy to train and race for a 12 year period.” Probably fresh in his mind is the fact that he suffered an injury in February and worked through an illness.

Quietly optimistic Alan Campbell, also diced with injury and ill health in 2014, and super-confident Drysdale might not have suffered too much in the way of injury, but as a stomach bug accompanied by vomiting bedeviled his Beijing Games, he should probably be concerned about the bacteria counts in the Rio waterways. Even though he won the gold in 2012, he threw up on the day of the race through nervous tension.

Hungry young talent.

So, we have three older athletes, two of whom will be concerned with injury and one with stress problems. Perhaps they should not be so worried about where they will be placed in the medal lineup and rather focus on the danger presented by the younger and fresh talent who are hungry for the gold.