Axed rower earns reprieve after appeal

Australian rower Philippa Savage has been named as a "non-travelling reserve" after appealing against her axing from the team for the Olympics.


Savage was due to compete in the quad sculls at Eton Dorney near London later this year but was "de-selected" on the eve of last month's World Cup regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland and replaced by reserve Amy Clay.

The 31-year-old, who finished 10th in the women's single scull at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, appealed the decision to an RA tribunal but a compromise was reached before it was heard.

The role of "non-travelling reserve" is common in rowing and Savage will be expected to maintain a high level of preparation so she can be called up at short notice.

"I'm pleased with the outcome," Savage said.

"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."

Savage was dumped because of "incompatibility issues" which was "affecting the preparation and performance of the crew", RA national high performance director Andrew Matheson said last month.

The dispute revived memories of the acrimony surrounding the "Lay Down Sally" controversy at the Athens Olympics eight years ago, when Sally Robbins stopped rowing 400 metres from the end of the eights final and Australia finished last.

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