DIANELLA rower Rhys Grant has overcome rough conditions to qualify for the men’s single sculls quarterfinals at the Rio Olympics overnight.
Grant (29), who is competing in his first Olympics, finished second in heat five behind four-time world champion Ondřej Synek from the Czech Republic.
Despite the choppy and tough conditions, Grant was quick out of the blocks in lane three and kept close to Sydnek and Paraguay’s Arthuro Rivarola in lane one.
Sydnek strongly finished the first lap with a narrow lead over Grant and Rivarola.
The Czech dealt with a difficult patch the best out of the trio to extend his lead to about one and a half boat lengths in the second lap.
Grant slowed his pace in and fell into third position after both the second and third laps, as 2016 world championship bronze medalist Rivarola maintained the heat on the Aussie.
However, the West Australian Rowing club member managed to claw his way back to sit neck and neck with Rivarola in the fourth lap.
In the fifth and final lap, Sydnek’s massive lead was unstoppable but the entertaining battle between Rivarola and Grant continued.
Grant found a way to overtake Rivarola with less than 500 metres to go to clinch second position and a place in the quarters.
Heat winner Sydnek finished with a time of 7 minutes and 21 seconds (7:21.90), seven seconds ahead of Grant (7:28.83) and Rivarola (7:29:23).
The former Trinity College student was ranked the 12th fastest rower.
Grant will compete in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, August 9 for a place in the semi-finals.