Alan Sinclair approaches his first Olympics with a fresh mindset and renewed enthusiasm after edging a hard-fought selection battle in the men’s pairs.
It is only six weeks since the Inverness athlete’s place in the Great Britain rowing team was confirmed.
Sinclair and Stewart Innes secured bronze at a thrilling world cup final in Poznan, edging out Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell and Matthew Tarrant to ultimately secure their place at Rio 2016.
The Inverness-Henley pair are now readying themselves for their first taste of Olympic competition, with the heats getting under way at the Lagoa on Saturday.
“We’ve had a great build-up,” Sinclair said. “Training has been good.
“Myself and Stu have actually had a little bit of, and I wouldn’t say disruption, a couple of days where we were having to back up the training, having had our selection battle. It was probably a little bit wearing.
“But I don’t think it’s affected us at all. Frankly, it’s allowed us to be a bit more prepared for the regatta, a bit more calm building into it. We’re here, we certainly feel like we’re on full throttle.”
Sinclair believes coming through the high-pressure selection battle will help on the biggest stage, which the pair approach with a refreshed mentality.
“We were thinking about the need to win just to show our performance, how we had to get selection by getting the performance, getting the result,” the 30-year-old said.
“Actually it’s input that delivers a result and from the start when we first got the pair together, the reason it went well was because both of us had a very good enthusiasm to make us go faster. That’s what got us the results. If we enjoy it, we’ll get the most out of ourselves. It’s made a big difference.”
European silver medallists Sinclair and Innes are joined on Saturday’s race-card by numerous British team-mates, with Alan Campbell first up in the men’s single sculls.
Defending champion Katherine Grainger starts the women’s double sculls with Vicky Thornley, while Jonny Walton and John Collins kick off their debut Olympics in the men’s double sculls heats.
Britain’s lightweight men’s four and men’s quadruple sculls crews also start their campaigns on Saturday.