Best mates to compete against each other at the Invictus Games

When Prince Harry opens the Invictus Games in Sydney in three weeks, it will turn two Kiwi mates into competitors.

Twenty-seven years ago, Damien Nepata and Steve Limbrick met on their first day in the army.

However, both would eventually suffer separate training accidents. Mr Limbrick was shot in the arm and Mr Nepata burnt alive in a rolled armoured vehicle; accidents which cut their careers short.

Mr Nepata competed in last year's Invictus Games for wounded defence personnel, and it was an emotional milestone for him.

"It was actually probably the best time of my life in the two weeks that I spent there yeah," he said. "[Because] I think it was probably being involved, yeah being involved, the entire atmosphere".

The Games' atmosphere of healing and support has inspired his best mate to enter the Sydney Games.

"I've seen the change in him and hopefully some of that will rub off on me as well," said Mr Limbrick. "He's a lot more confident… and he believes he can do it. And if he can do it, bloody hell, I better do it as well".

But while they're used to doing everything together, they're both entered into the indoor rowing. That means they'll compete against each other  and training has been neck and neck.

"I'll get him," said Mr Limbrick, to which Mr Nepata replied "Yeah oh well he says that a lot, but we will see on the day, we'll see on the day".

Speaking of rivalry, Mr Nepata will also be looking to jokingly bail up Prince Harry after the royals stole his seat on their first ever public outing as a couple at the Toronto Invictus Games last year - just as Mr Nepata was about to settle in to watch his kiwi teammates.  

Newshub.

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