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Rio 2016 Olympics Serbian rowers sink but earn reprieve

There was a nightmare start to Rio 2016 for Serbian rowers Milos Vasic and Nenad Benik, as they capsized in Saturday's men's pair heats.

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Choppy waters made life tough for rowers on the opening day of Rio 2016, with Serbia's Milos Vasic and Nenad Benik capsizing in the heats of the men's pair competition.

Vasic and Benik failed to finish heat three, but will at least get another chance to shine on the big stage after being granted a place in the repechage phase.

A tweet from World Rowing's official account read: "FISA Executive Committee has decided to allow the SRB M2- [Vasic and Benik] to compete in the next round of racing following the DNF in H3, M2-."

Australia's Rhys Grant - a qualifier in heat five of the men's single sculls - was among a host of competitors to highlight the challenges posed by conditions at the Lagoa course.

"It's a fine line between going as fast as you can and falling in," said Grant.

Egypt's Nadia Negm, who progressed in the women's single sculls, added: "It was intense. Halfway through the course this huge wave just went into my boat. It went all the way up to my face. I'm lucky I didn't tip over.

"I've never really raced in water like this. This was a new extreme, but it's good experience.

"In the end I kind of felt like a Viking coming out of it. I wish the rest of the racers good luck … if you are rowing this week you better know how to swim."

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