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SA crews head for Bled

Six boats will be in action for South Africa at the World Rowing Championships that start in Bled, Slovenia on Sunday, writes Mark Etheridge.

Five of them will be competing for inclusion in Team South Africa for next year’s Olympic Games in London.

Under the guidance of national coach Roger Barrow, the squad underwent a two-week training camp at Tzaneen Dam, Mpumalanga and left for Bled on Sunday evening. The team enjoyed excellent weather conditions which enabled them to fine tune their preparations.

Four boats feature all male crews while two boats will fight it out in the women’s category.

Olympic veteran Ramon di Clemente teams up with Lawrence Brittain in the men’s pairs, while in the lightweight men’s fours it’s Tony Paladin, John Smith, Matthew Brittain and James Thompson. The men’s fours feature Shaun Keeling, David Hunt, Joe Muller and Peter Lambert.

The women’s crews see Lee Persse teaming up with Naydene Smith in the pairs while Hayley Arthur is the sole competitor in the singles.

One boat, the lightweight men’s pair, is contesting an non-Olympic event and these competitors (Lawrence Ndlovu and Steven Mattushek) will feature support rowers to the main boat. Ndlovu is also busy recovering from injury.

The championships will continue for a week, ending on 4 September.


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