Ashleigh Moolman in the womens Cycling Road Race time trial at Hampton Court Palace in London, England on the 1st of August 2012 ©Barry Aldworth/BackpagePix

Johannesburg – They had two boats in London and South Africa’s rowers have more than doubled their representation at next month’s Rio Olympics.

Under the strict eye of national coach Roger Barrow, the Rainbow Nation will now have no fewer than five boats taking to the water.

Road to Rio spoke to a number of rowers about the upcoming Olympics.

James Thompson said it was an opportunity of a lifetime.

“It’s fantastic to have been given the opportunity to race at the Games again,” said Thompson.

“We have dedicated four years to preparing for Rio and are excited to get out there and see what we can put together.”

Lee-ann Persse who will be competing at her second Olympics said she was eager to use her experience to good effect.

“I’m feeling very excited about Rio and getting the chance to take what I learnt in London and using my experience there to help me in my racing in Rio,” said Persse.

“It’s so exciting that we have a much bigger rowing squad going this time around, with five crews going the vibe in the team has been great in the build up and I’m looking forward to putting all our hard work and training together to see what we can all achieve.” – African News Agency (ANA)