Tokyo Olympics 2021: Kiwi rowing great Mahe Drysdale's bid for Games selection over

Mahe Drysdale's quest for a third-straight Olympic gold medal is essentially over.

The 42-year-old has not been selected to the 2021 Rowing NZ elite men's team, signalling the end to one of New Zealand's most decorated rowers at the sport's pinnacle event.

The five-time world champion has lost his spot in the single sculls boat to 25-year-old Jordan Parry, who was a stand-out at the recent men's trials.

The full squad was announced on Tuesday, and while the official team for the Tokyo Games won't be named until June, Rowing NZ's decision not to send any boats to the World Cup regattas in Europe this year means the rowers selected are unlikely to be ousted from their spots.

Victory in Tokyo would have made Drysdale just the third single sculls rower in history to claim three consecutive Olympic gold medals.

But in recent years, Drysdale has struggled to recapture the form that was on display in Rio in 2016, failing to medal at last month's national championships.

He also missed out on selection for the double sculls, with those seats going to Chris Harris and Jack Lopas.

The organisation has also confirmed that a men's eight boat crew - featuring double Olympic champion Hamish Bond - will travel to Switzerland to contest the 2021 World Rowing Final Olympic qualification regatta in May.

But it's chosen against sending a men's quad boat - for which Drysdale may have been a candidate - with the logistics due to COVID-19 proving too much to negotiate.

In lieu of travelling to the World Rowing Cup, all teams will remain in New Zealand for training in preparation for July's Olympic Games.