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Crow to row two events in London
Jim Morton
20:44 AEST Fri Jun 22 2012

Sculler Kim Crow will row into uncharted territory at the London Games after Australia's selectors boldly threw her into two events.

Crow will become the first Australian woman in Olympic history to compete in both the single and double sculls as Rowing Australia on Friday rolled the dice on her freakish talents.

Contesting the small boat double is virtually unheard of at a major regatta but the 26-year-old's stunning World Cup form in both have excited officials about the prospect of winning a medal in each.

To do that, though, Crow must row a minimum of six 2000m races over eight days on Lake Dorney.

Fortunately an Olympic schedule change for London ensures the 189cm Victorian, the daughter of former Essendon ruckman Max Crow, won't have to race twice on the same day.

A key to the challenge will be winning her double sculls heat with partner Brooke Pratley to ensure automatic qualification for the final rather than racing a repechage.

"I see it as a great opportunity," Crow said. "Every race is part of the learning curve and the more I can learn before finals day, the better.

"I am incredibly excited to sit on the start line in the double with Brooke and, seeing how far we have come in a couple of weeks, I get tingles thinking about the glide of the boat after another training block."

Her brilliance has ultimately put paid to Pippa Savage's hopes of being recalled to the Australian team in the double after being dumped a month ago for clashing with her quad sculls crewmates.

Crow won silver in the double with Kerry Hore at the past two world titles but never pushed Great Britain as hard as she and Pratley did in their first international competition together at World Cup 3 in Munich last weekend.

Former Olympic sculler and three-time world champion Amber Halliday backed the selection gamble and believed dual success for Crow would provide a huge boost for the sport.

"It is a big deal to contest two events in rowing whereas in swimming you can do two, three or eight like (Michael) Phelps," Halliday told AAP.

"It's something untested and there's a big question mark whether it can be handled.

"I hope Kim does well and I'm really confident she will."

Scullers Marina Hatzakis and Bronwyn Roye were the last Australians to row two events at an Olympics when they teamed up in the double and quad at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Crow's two-pronged nomination will see Australia compete in 13 of the 14 boat classes in London with a 46-strong rowing team - second in size behind athletics - targeting three gold medals, one more than Beijing.

Scott Brennan and David Crawshay will defend their men's double sculls gold while Drew Ginn, who won the men's pair in 2008 with Duncan Free, is spearheading the men's four boat which upset world champions Great Britain at World Cup 3.

The world champion men's lightweight four and men's quad sculls boats remain intact from last year's world titles in Slovenia to also be genuine contenders.

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