NZ U23 Eight wins Gold
A victory by the men’s eight in the final race of the under-23 world championships capped off a successful regatta for the New Zealand crews. The future of New Zealand rowing looks strong with the multiple medal successes in Linz, Austria. All of New Zealand’s seven crews were in A finals and came away with five medals in total – one gold, two silver and two bronze.
The men’s eight is the blue ribband event of any rowing regatta and with the New Zealanders coming away with the gold it was the best way top off an excellent under-23 world championships for New Zealand. The Spanish eight burst out of the starting blocks to lead early on rating over 50 strokes per minute but couldn’t hold the pace. The New Zealand boat got their bow in front of Poland through the half way point and soon showed that they were in control of the race and lead on the rest of the field. With New Zealand going for gold at the head of the field the crews from USA and Poland were battling for second and third. New Zealand won gold in a time of 5:28.63, USA taking silver in 5:31.79 and Poland grabbing bronze in 5:33.16.
This result from the eight shows a real development opportunity for Rowing New Zealand to field all 14 Olympic boat classes in Rio 2016.
There was a slow start for the men’s quadruple scull, but they showed great determination and patience over the 2000m race. They made a strong move heading into the halfway point that brought them into fourth position. The kiwi quad gained on the other crews quickly, surging to the line and winning the silver medal. The crew from Switzerland took the gold in 5:43.60, New Zealand was close behind in 5:44.20, and the German’s claimed the bronze.
The women’s lightweight double scull of Lisa Owen and Sophie Mackenzie started slowly but held their poise throughout their finals race. The kiwis were in sixth placed at the 500m mark but fought hard to pull the other crews in. They pushed to fourth at the halfway mark, and held onto third at 1500m. The last 500m was a game of cat and mouse with the crew from Romania, as both crews chased a spot on the podium. The kiwis edged the Romanians home for the bronze in 7:10.07, with Great Britain picking up gold in 7:08.57 and Germany the silver in 7:09.71. Sophie Mackenzie won bronze in this event in 2012.
Adam Ling placed fourth in the men’s lightweight single scull; he was challenging the Irish sculler Paul O’Donovan for bronze, but couldn’t seal the deal after lifting his stroke rate a few notches as all crews put in a strong sprint to the finish. Ling was less than one second out of the medal contention, finishing in a time of 7:12.44 while the O’Donovan crossed the line in 7:11.67. Andrew Campbell Junior from USA set the pace for the whole race and won the gold in 7:07.84 ahead of the Netherlands’ Franciscus Goutier in 7:10.49.
In yesterday’s A finals there were two medals won – a silver medal performance by the men’s coxed four and the women’s four won bronze and the women’s quad finished fifth in their final.
Rowing New Zealand High Performance Manager, Alan Cotter was impressed with the under-23 results: “It has been a fantastic regatta for our team. It is pleasing to see these crews do so well, there was some seriously tough racing amongst this age group and our crews proved that they can be up there with the rest of the world.”
The 2013 under-23 crews have added to New Zealand’s successful overall medal tally at this regatta with New Zealand now having won a total of 32 under-23 world championship medals – 15 gold, 8 silver and 9 bronze.
Many of these 2013 under-23s will hope to progress through to the elite ranks of the Rowing New Zealand high performance programme, with eyes on the Rio Olympic Games which are just over three years away. Rowing New Zealand believes that the under-23 level is a very important development pathway for its high performance programme, with eight of Under-23s from 2012 progressing to the elite level in 2013. Many of these athletes may follow in the footsteps of New Zealand’s London Olympic medalists, Peter Taylor, Nathan Cohen, Joseph Sullivan and Storm Uru, all of whom were medalists at the Under-23 level.
The next international regatta on the Rowing New Zealand calendar is the World Rowing Junior Championships in Trakai, Lithuania from 7 August to 11 August 2013. For the elite crews, the season concludes with the World Rowing Championships, which will take place in Chungju, Korea from 25 August to 1 September 2013.
New Zealand under-23 Medal Tally
Men’s Coxed Four
Men’s Quadruple Scull
Women’s Lightweight Double Scull
Crews that competed at the U23 World Rowing Championships for New Zealand
Women’s Under 23 Lightweight Double Scull
Sophie Mackenzie (Central RPC, Wairau RC)
Lisa Owen (Southern RPC, Waihopai RC)
Coach: Dave Hill
Women’s Under 23 Quad
Hannah Osborne (Waikato RPC, Te Awamutu RC)
Allie Smith (Waikato RPC, Waikato RC)
Olivia Loe (Southern RPC, Avon RC)
Claudia Hyde (Waikato RPC, Rotorua RC)
Coach: James Coote
Women’s Under 23 Coxless Four
Kristen Froude (Southern RPC, Waihopai RC)
Johannah Kearney (Southern RPC, Omaru RC)
Abbey Green (Auckland RPC, Hawkes Bay RC)
Kelsi Walters (Auckland RPC, Auckland Grammar RC)
Coach: Gary Roberts
Men’s Lightweight Single Scull
Adam Ling (Waikato RPC, Tauranga RC)
Coach: Dave Hill
Men’s Under 23 Quad
Karl Manson (Central RPC, Blenheim RC)
Jeff Francis (Waikato RPC, Rotorua RC)
Giacomo Thomas (Auckland RPC, Hawkes Bay RD)
Chris Morrison (Waikato RPC, Cambridge RC)
Coach: Mike Rodger
Men’s Under 23 Coxed Four
Evan Kennedy (Waikato RPC, Waikato RC)
Logan Keys (Canterbury RC)
Cameron Crampton (Southern RPC, Timaru RC)
Jared Glue (Southern RPC, Avon RC)
Cox: Sam Bosworth (Southern RPC, Avon RC)
Coach: Mike Rodger
Men’s Under 23 Eight
Stephen Jones (Auckland RPC, West End RC)
Brook Robertson (Central RPC, Nelson RC)
Alex Kennedy (Waikato RPC, Te Awamutu RC)
Joe Wright (Central RPC, Wellington RC)
Finn Howard (Auckland RPC, North Shore RC)
Shaun Kirkham (Waikato RPC, Waikato RC)
Isaac Grainger (Auckland RPC, Auckland RC)
Tom Murray (Central RPC, Blenheim RC)
Cox Caleb Shepherd (Waikato RPC, Waikato RC)
Coach: Ian Wright