Ni-Vanuatu rower gets his golden ticket to the Rio Olympics

As athletes across the Pacific strive for that precious place in their country's team for the Olympics, one promising young ni-Van rower has already booked his ticket to Rio.

Originally a national age group soccer player in Vanuatu, Luigi Teilemb took to the water just a couple of years ago.

ABC reports his progress has been swift, but at the Asia-Oceania qualifying regatta in April he just missed out on an Olympic place by right.

But that wasn't the end of the story, because coach Matt Cameron says Luigi's efforts have since been recognised with an Olympic Athlete's Scholarship and he's off to Brazil.

“Our goal there was to go and actually qualify by right but you know he has been competing against guys who have been around for 5 to 10 years rather than two or three.”

 “I think they see some raw potential. He has picked up the sport and technique very well and he has come a long way in a short period of time,” Cameron said.