Tokyo Olympics: Rower Jordan Parry staying calm despite pressure of replacing champion Mahe Drysdale

Two weeks after being named in the Olymics single sculls, rower Jordan Parry's still coming to grips that it will be him - not Mahe Drysdale - in the hot seat at Tokyo.        

And if that's not pressure enough, Parry got the nod over the Kiwi rowing great, despite never raced in an international competition.

Given the greats who have rowed the lakes of Cambridge before him and the enormity of what lies ahead, Parry could be forgiven for feeling intimidated by Tokyo.

Instead, he's trading the pressure for the process. 

"Getting the catch right, placing the oar in the water, breathing is very important... if we can make it as simple as we can, as emotionless as we can, then that's great," Parry tells Newshub.

The 25-year-old is a self-dubbed underdog, whose exposure to the world's best has been limited to put it mildly.

Zero international races in the silver fern, but rather stellar national performances have earned him a spot at the Olympic regatta. 

And when your domestic competition is Drysdale - it's worth its weight in two Olympic golds.  

"It's just kinda heartbreaking, really, to see him head out. He's been here a while, so to see him actually go, it's kind of a shame.

"It's my fault I know, but it's all right," he laughs.

Now the eyes of world rowing are on the new Kiwi star in the making. 

"I'm sure they are and everyone is entitled to their expectation on it, and I've just got to look in my boat, and follow the processes and do my best job."

And while his family, friends and supporters will have to watch his world debut from home, the crowd-less COVID-19 Olympics may actually be a good thing. 

"In the last 500 metres, you would expect the uproar of an audience, but it'll be a dead quiet race, so it's almost a positive. You're just going to have what you have out here on the lake."

"I'm pretty calm about the whole thing, but excited as well."