The eights have become such a popular event at this year’s Olympics that you’ll struggle to find a ticket to the packed out grandstand anywhere…trust us, we’ve tried! Full of excitement, and with some young New Zealand crews staking their claim, here are our picks for the big boats.
Germany, Netherlands, USA (GB)
The men’s eight turned seriously interesting this year. For most of the Olympic cycle the German’s held dominance…punishing the rest of the field in race after race. Slowly the British crew started to creep up closer to them, stacking more of their top rowers into the boat to make a difference. Then, this year, the Dutch struck. The Netherlands have popped to the front of the field this year, but our gut tells us that the clinical Germans will be back as the ones to beat come Rio. The USA, always strong in the eights, will move up to attack that third spot…and our pick is for the Brits to be in that close but no cigar fourth spot!
NZ, USA, Canada, (Great Britain)
We’re going to throw this out there…New Zealand will win an eight. Even better, a New Zealand women’s crew will win the eight! It would have been odd to be writing those words four years ago in London, but the kiwi womens 8+ has stormed into contention this time around. If they can stay close to the States and Canada we are backing them to come through in those crucial last couple of hundred metres and take all the glory. The Brits will be in the mix as well, but like the men, we are picking that they’ll have to settle for fourth.
That’s it folks! All of our picks for the Rio Olympics done. Post Olympics we’ll have a look at how well we picked or how far off we were.