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Bugs can’t stop SA rowers going through in Korea

Despite some medical issues, the South African team had a successful day opening day at the World Championships in Korea on Monday, writes Mark Etheridge.

Five South African boats were in action on the first day of action at Chungju.

“It’s going pretty well here, but some of the team have been hit by tummy bugs but we still managed to get through the rounds,” said national rowing coach Roger Barrow.

“So far, on the table, we have four out of five boats into the semi-finals which is all good.”

One of the boats that didn’t make the semi-finals the direct route was the lightweight men’s fours combination ÔÇô the boat that got gold in last year’s Olympic Games in London.

“James Thompson was hit by that bug, but hopefully he’s back on line tomorrow morning. Thursday is the big day for us,” said Barrow.

Going directly through to semi-finals were the women’s pairs of Naydene Smith and Lee-Ann Persse and Ursula Grobler in the lightweight single.

Then the lightweight double combo of Kirsten McCann and Kate Johnstone ended third in their heat but won the repechage to go through to the semi-final, and Shaun Keeling and Lawrence Brittain were second in their heat and won their repechage.

The lightweight fours ended fifth in their heat so are due to race the repechage on Wednesday to try and qualify for Friday’s semi-final.

Paralympian Sandra Khumalo came third in her ASW1x heat, went through to the repechage and qualified for the A Final on Thursday. “The para 4+ combo are also here and they race their A final on Wednesday as there are only six entries in their event,” said Barrow.


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