Grobler's bronze medal the best return for SA rowers | SASCOC - SASCOC

Grobler’s bronze medal the best return for SA rowers

By Mark Etheridge

A third spot and a bronze medal was Team Africa’s best result at the weekend’s World Cup III rowing regatta in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The team were able to field five boats at the event and it was Ursula Grobler who pulled out all the stops to take third in the women’s lightweight singles. The women’s lightweight single isn’t an Olympic class event, however.

Summing up the World Cup and national coach Roger Barrow was upbeat. “We also had two fourth spots, a sixth and then the men’s pair won the B-final.

“Lee-Ann Persse and Naydene Smith were sixth in their women’s pair final and only one second separated fourth and sixth so we are getting there. Still some work to catch the front three though.

“The men’s pair of Shaun Keeling and Lawrence Brittain had a shaky start and were dropped off the pace but had a cracker of a last 500-metres to put themselves right back in the game, one second off third spot and beating Olympic silver medallists France into fifth spot.”

Ahead of Keeling and Brittain were New Zealand, Italy and Spain.

The men’s lightweight four, with three of the 2012 Olympic gold medallist crew in the boat, had a shaky start but got better. “They started the regatta slowly and had to go through the repehage to get into the semi-final but they build on their momentum to end fourth in the A final behind New Zealand, Denmark and Netherlands.

The final combination in action were the men’s second pair of David Hunt and Vince Breet. “They raced the B-final after just missing the A-final through the semi-final. They lead the final from the start with Germany and Italy attack them all the way. This is a great result from this young pair who now move onto the Under-23 World Championships next week in Linz, Austria.”

Next up for the South Africans are World Championships in Chungju, Korea which start on 25 August but funding limitations mean that it’s not yet clear what size the Team SA contingent will be.