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SA duo miss the boat
- Updated: May 23, 2012
By Mark Etheridge
Our hopes of having a third rowing boat at the London Olympics later this year were left wallowing in the Rotsee Regatta course in Lucerne, Switzerland on Tuesday.
South Africa already has two boats qualified for the Games, the men’s fours and the women’s pair after last year’s world championships.
This week’s final Olympic qualification event, sombrely named as the “regatta of death”, certainly lived up to its threat as the final 18 boats were decided for London.
South Africa’s hopes lay with Shaun Keeling and Lawrence Brittain and things had looked good as they had a comfortable win in their repechage round on Monday.
To seal their spot in London they had to finish in the top two spots in Tuesday’s A final. Bronze meant broken dreams!
The French combo of Germain Chardin and Dorian Mortelette rocketed out of the blocks, showing why they medalled at the 2008 Olympics (where they formed part of the bronze winning fours combination).
They were never headed as in their wake Spain, Poland and our South African pair slugged it out. Halfway through the race and Poland (also featuring 208 Olympians) were just a bow-ball ahead of Spain.
Finally, Poland pulled through for second behind France and South Africa’s two rowers were left rueing opportunities missed.