Aberdeen rower Katherine Grainger has been guaranteed a place in the British Olympic squad for Rio but her hopes of winning another medal in Brazil hinge on finding a winning formula in the next 57 days.
The 40-year-old was left out of the British team yesterday but GB rowing director David Tanner insists Grainger and double sculls partner Vicky Thornley will be in Brazil if they agree to join forces again.
Grainger, who claimed gold in London four years ago after three silver medals in previous attempts, had qualified for the double sculls with Thornley, but the duo dissolved their partnership last month due to poor results.
They were 200m from winning the world championships at Aigubelette in France in September last year but lost their rhythm and could finish only a disappointing sixth in the final.
Despite achieving an Olympic qualifying time the duo followed their world championship result with a disappointing fourth-place finish in the European championship final in Germany last month which led to the team-mates agreeing to go their separate ways.
Both failed to achieve the qualifying time for the women’s eight boat and must restore their partnership if they want to join the squad in Rio.
British Rowing performance director Sir David Tanner claimed selection in the double scull is a formality and said: “We did some testing at the beginning of this week to see if the double of Katherine Grainger and Vicky Thornley could, at their request, make a slot for themselves in the women’s eight.
“That was not to be. It was a very tough test, they narrowly missed out.
“We are without question going to nominate them for Team GB and that is in the women’s double sculls. It’s my confident intention very soon to be announcing those two back in their double and racing for Team GB at the Rio Games.
“There are one or two steps before we get there, but very soon.”
British Rowing officials may try to help Grainger and Thornley in their preparations for Rio by entering their team in the World Cup regatta in Poznan in two weeks.
Among the five selected Scots, Heather Stanning, Lossiemouth’s Olympic champion, will continue her unbeaten pairs partnership with fellow Olympic, world and European champion Helen Glover.
The duo won Britain’s first gold medals of the 2012 games and they travel to Rio as favourites to retain their crown.
Inverness’ Alan Sinclair has been named in a squad of 12 heavyweight men, from who the eight and pairs crews will be selected. Despite missing out on selection yesterday Inverness rower Imogen Walsh is in the running to be named as one of the two reserves.