Canberra rower Caleb Antill eyeing Olympics debut at Tokyo 2020

If you think you do it tough braving Canberra's winters, spare a thought for champion rower Caleb Antill.

Antill conquers the freezing conditions by getting on the water at sparrows and his commitment was rewarded when he won silver in the men's quadruple scull at the 2018 world championships.

Australian rower Caleb Antill has his eyes set on becoming an Olympian at Tokyo 2020.

Australian rower Caleb Antill has his eyes set on becoming an Olympian at Tokyo 2020.

Antill, 23, presented awards at Head of the Lake regatta in Canberra on Saturday and ANU student was nominated for the 2018 Canberra athlete of the year.

"I started rowing at school in 2006 then rowed in the first VIII  and was captain of boats but I lost some interest when I came to uni and wasn't sure if I wanted to keep rowing," Antill said.

"But I joined the ANU boat club and enjoyed it and made my way into the ACT academy of sport and got coached by Andy Randall who is now the men's eight head coach.

"The first Australian team I made was in 2016 in the under-23s and in 2017 I was a senior reserve then I made my first senior team in 2018 in the quad.

"Tokyo is for sure the light we’re all heading towards and it's looking pretty exciting with all the mens big boats getting a medal at the world champs. There's a lot of depth in our squad and we can go a long way in the next few years."

The 23-year-old has his eyes set on an Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

"Olympics has been the goal since I started playing any sport. I remember watching George Gregan and Matt Giteau playing for Wallabies and thinking how awesome would it be to wear green and gold," Antill said.

"That dream came true in 2016 and we won so that was my red-hot introduction to international racing and it only fuelled the fire from there.

"It wasn't that long ago the Olympics seemed a long way off but now getting closer and closer and it would be absolutely amazing to become an Olympian and winning a medal would be a dream come true."

If Antill does medal in Japan it will come on the back of years of hard work and cold mornings on Lake Burley Griffin.

"I train three times a day six days a week. We do a World Cup stint and world champs so we're away for maybe three months a year," Antill said.

"Last year we were in Rockhampton for a while too so had four months away. Canberra can get a bit hairy in winter and it's a fair bit warmer in Rocky. We were out in the country getting a bit of red dust into the lungs which ended up working for us.

"But when we are in Canberra it can get below zero so it's just layers upon layers and we do a really good warm up so when you do get out there you're already pumping because once you're cold it's hard to get yourself back up."

Antill is confident Australia can produce the goods in the lead up to Tokyo before peaking at the Games.

"We've had a fair bit of success in quads recently with a few of the Rio guys are coming back into the mix," Antill said.

"Australian sculling will be very strong this season and hopefully we can carry that through to Tokyo, it's exciting to see where we’re at."