Tokyo Olympics

'Devastated' SA rowing pairs beaten in Tokyo heat: 'We'll come back stronger'

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South African rowers Jake Green and Luc Daffarn
South African rowers Jake Green and Luc Daffarn
Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images

South African rowing pair Jake Green and Luc Daffarn were devastated after finishing last in the men's pairs repechage once again at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday.

On Saturday, the duo struggled to advance in the pairs heats by finishing last and they struggled again in the blistering heat on Sunday morning in their repechage race. 

Green and Daffarn couldn't to get ahead of the Spain, France and Belarus as the SA boat crossed the finish line in 6:57.01 - 4,19 seconds behind third-place Belarus. Only the three top boats would go on to the semi-finals.

"Pretty upset about the performance, we just didn't have it in the legs today," Green, who is competing in his second Olympic Games, told Sport24 in Tokyo.

"We weren't physically there, feel so fatigued. It's really unfortunate, we had a really good season training.

"It's not a good reflection of us as a crew but we needed to perform ... it's quite devastating."

It was incredible heat in Tokyo on 09:40 with 32 degrees Celsius hitting down on the rowers as they fought for survival.

Daffarn says that the heat was no excuse since the rowing team arrived in Tokyo last month.

"The heat does have an effect on how you feel. It's our fourth week in Japan and we are pretty acclimatised, but the heat has a massive effect on the body," said Daffarn.

Green added: "I don't think it's the heat though, it gets hotter than this."

Daffarn admitted that he was unsure why the rowing team has been battling in Tokyo but says that they will definitely come stronger after this.

"We're not quite sure what caused the ill performance today, we've got to sit down and have a proper reflection on the process we went through and what's to come," said Daffarn.

"This isn't the end of us, we'll come back stronger - South Africans always do and we need to put this behind us and figure things out and on to bigger and better things."

Meanwhile, it was another tough performance in the men's fours repechage as South Africa finished last in a time of 6:30.34.

The SA's fours, consisting of 2012 London gold medallist John Smith, 2016 silver medallist Lawrence Brittain, Kyle Schoonbee and Sandro Torrente, have advanced through to the Final B.

*Lynn Butler is in Tokyo covering the Olympics for Sport24.

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