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SA boats make good progress at World Championships

There was good progress for the South African boats in the World Rowing Championships in Chungju, Korea on Thursday, writes Mark Etheridge.

Ursula Grobler went through in the single skulls as she ended third in the third and final semi-final. Her time was 7:41.03 as she ended up behind Great Britain and Brazil. She was just 0.74sec ahead of the fourth-placed US competitor.

Starting in lane three she was sixth at the 500m mark, moved up fourth which she held for the 1000m and then moved up into the final in the last 500m.

London Olympians Lee-Ann Persse and Naydene Smith booked their spot in the final as they also ended third in their women’s pairs event. They clocked 7:04.89 for third behind Romania and Netherlands in the second of two semis after holding their position for the duration of the event. They were comfortably ahead of the Serbian combination.

But it wasn’t Shaun Keeling and Lawrence Brittain’s day as they ended sixth and last in their men’s pairs race. They clocked 6:32.58, 10 second behind the winning Polish boat and they will now contest the B final.

And the lightweight pairs of Kirsten McCann and Kate Johnstone, missed the A final by one spot as they raced the first semi-final. Their time was 7:09.64 after a strong start had seen them second at the 500m mark.

Friday also sees our lightweight men’s four in A semi-final action after they had won their repechage.

In the para-rowing category, our LTAMix4+ combination powered their way to the bronze medal.

The team of Shannon Murray, Lucy Perold, Dieter Rosslee, Gavin Kilpatrick and Willie Morgan, clocked 3:22.90 to miss out on silver by the narrowest of margins, just 0.20sec.

Also in the para class, London Paralympian Sandra Khumalo ended in sixth spot in the ASW1x class, with a time of 6:06.25. Great Britain won in 3:16.12.


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