Paul Mulvey June 08, 2012
Pippa Savage's Olympic hopes remain alive after the rower was re-selected as a non-travelling reserve with every chance of securing a place in the double scull in London.
The self-confessed individualist will stay in Melbourne to train while the rest of Australia's rowing team remain in Europe, but can be called up at late notice.
Savage, 31, was dumped from the quad scull and sent home from Switzerland last week because of "incompatibility issues" with her crewmates.
But she's now a realistic chance of being called into the double scull to partner Brooke Pratley, or possibly Amy Clay, pending results from next weekend's World Cup regatta in Germany.
The decision to recall her followed lengthy talks with Rowing Australia (RA) on Thursday night and Friday, with her original appeal not required to go ahead.
"I'm pleased with the outcome," Savage said in a statement on Friday.
"My goal to get to a second Olympic Games is still a possibility.
"I'll continue to train hard in Melbourne and do everything I can to make sure that if and when I'm needed I can represent Australia to the best of my ability."
Her axing from the quad scull left only six heavyweight female scullers available for the seven seats in the single, double and quad boats, so she could well be needed.
With Pratley's original partner Kim Crow now a possibility to compete in the single scull in London after qualifying the boat in Lucerne, selectors can either put Savage in the double or forfeit a boat, which they would be loath to do.
Savage's fate will be determined by results at next week's regatta in Munich, where Crow and Pratley will compete in the double scull.
If they don't produce an exceptional result, Crow will almost certainly opt for the single scull in London, opening up a seat in the double for Savage.
If the quad scull does not perform well in Munich with former team reserve Clay in Savage's place, Pratley could be an option for the four-person boat.
Pratley is a much stronger sculler than Clay, who could then partner Savage in the double scull.
Crow is the only rower who can compete in the single scull in London, so that is not an option for Savage.
RA chief executive Andrew Dee says the governing body and Savage both agreed on her re-selection.
"The matter of Pippa's selection is now settled," Dee said.
"She has accepted a position as a non-travelling reserve and remains in contention for a place in a crew.
"We think it is a good outcome for everyone involved."
RA nominates the team to the Australian Olympic Committee on June 22.