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SOUTH AFRICAN SPORTS CONFEDERATION AND OLYMPIC COMMITTEE

Ace rowers get ready to fly SA flag at World Champs

By Mark Etheridge

The Commonwealth Games fade into the distance but for South African rowing the World Championships loom large on the horizon.

That code’s elite athletes come together from all over the world between 24-31 August in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Switzerland was the last big warm-up event for SA rowers who took part in the World Cup 3 event in Lucerne and coach Roger Barrow was happy with the team’s results. The best result was a fourth place in the women’s pairs by London Olympians Lee-Ann Persse and Naydene Smith and there was also big excitement about the fact that SA had two boats in an A final (in this case the Men’s Pairs).

The SASCOC website asked Barrow to wrap up the results from Lucerne.

Women’s Pair
Lee Persse and Naydene Smith (fourth)
‘Only 11 boats entered this event, but good racing for Lee and Naydene as closing the gap on the medals.’

Men’s Pair
Shaun Keeling and Vincent Breet (fifth) and Lawrence Brittain and David Hunt (sixth).
‘There were 25 entries in this event so we had an action-packed weekend of heats, quarter-finals, semi-finals and then the final. The best race was in the semi-final where they really showed their speed and making the A Final, but could not do the same in the final. This is the first time ever that South Africa has had two boats in a final so I’m very happy about this – great racing by the boys. We will finalise the crews now for worlds and take a cox-less pair and a coxed pair to the world champs in Amsterdam.’

Lightweight women’s scull
‘Kate Johnstone came seventh, winning the B Final.’

Lightweight women’s double
‘Kirsten McCann and Ursula Grobler came 10th overall and fourth in the B final. They just missed out in the semi-final to Sweden by 0.65secs for the A final.’

Lightweight men’s double
‘James Thompson and John Smith came 13th, winning the C final. With the injury ridden year they have had, that’s not too bad but a big step-up needed ahead of World’s.’

Lightweight Men’s single
‘We had to withdraw Olympian Lawrence Ndlovu from racing as he was ill.’

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