In the run-up to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Rowing Australia have made a number of key personnel changes in an attempt to improve the team.
Jaime Fernandez, who won silver in the men’s eight at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, has been appointed as team leader, whilst Chris O’Brien was selected as head coach. O’Brien has already coached two teams from Australia to Olympic gold, whilst he also guided the men’s four to silver in London. He was appointed national performance director to Rowing Australia in 2012.
Meanwhile, Fernandez will be tasked with the overall leadership of the team at the Games.
“I am absolutely delighted to be appointed the team leader for the rowing section of the 2016 Australian Olympic team,” Fernandez said.
“To once again be involved in an Olympic campaign albeit in a different capacity is truly a privilege and honour that is very humbling.
“I look forward to supporting and working with our athletes, coaches and staff though the excitement, challenges and the journey that is in front of us.
The Australian Olympic team were widely criticised in London for a poor overall medal haul, which included seven golds, 16 silvers and 12 bronzes. They finished tenth in the medals table.
Despite claiming five medals from the rowing during the 2012 games, Australia failed to win gold.
“I am excited by the months ahead with the opportunity to coach our top rowers hopefully to victory once again” said O’Brien.