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Two more gold medals for U-23 rowers on final day of champs

  • 28 Jul 14

Despite threats of a mid-afternoon thunderstorm it was perfect racing conditions for the New Zealand rowers contesting both A and B finals on the final day of racing at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships. New Zealand rowers again delivered some outstanding results with the men’s eight and the women’s lightweight double both winning gold medals taking New Zealand’s gold medal tally to three with a total of six medals. New Zealand finishes the U-23 World Championships at the top of the medal table. Women’s lightweight sculler Jackie Kiddle finished fourth in the A final and the men’s lightweight double and men’s quad both finished third in their B finals.

The kiwi eight are the reigning world champions and qualified straight through to the final from their heat. As the final race of the regatta and a heralded blue riband event at the U-23 World Rowing Championships all eyes were on this great battle. The crew of Stephen Jones, Brook Robertson, Alex Kennedy, Joe Wright, Finn Howard, Shaun Kirkham, Isaac Grainger, Tom Murray and coxswain Caleb Shepherd held their nerve out of the start and got their bow ball in front. As they went through the halfway mark USA began to challenge the kiwi eight but the New Zealanders responded by moving away again leaving USA to fend off the Australian crew. In the final quarter of the race New Zealand finished strongly and lifted their stroke rate to 44 to ensure that they crossed the line first. The kiwi eight succeeded in defending their world championship title in a time of 5:28.82 making them double world champions and indicating a bright future for men’s sweep rowing in New Zealand.

Women’s lightweight double of Zoe McBride and Sophie MacKenzie had progressed to the final having won both their heat and semi-final in convincing fashion. MacKenzie was a bronze medalist in this event in 2013 and McBride part of last years junior women’s quad. First to the 500 metre mark the duo looked incredibly determined, they moved away from the field with confidence with a particularly strong third quarter and finished with a time of 6:59.37, four seconds ahead of second placed Romania. McBride and MacKenzie finish the regatta as U-23 world champions. MacKenzie will pair up with Julia Edward to race the lightweight double scull at the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam at the end of August.

Jackie Kiddle has had plenty of racing at this regatta in the lightweight women’s single given the large number of entries in her event. Kiddle came out of the start conservatively in the final but soon moved up into third place behind the Netherlands and Greece. The Belgian single sculler looked strong through the middle and passed Kiddle in the third quarter of the race. Kiddle finished in fourth just two seconds behind the bronze medal winner from Belgian but having given it her all in the final quarter of the race.

Earlier on in the day two New Zealand crews raced in the B final. The men’s lightweight double of Toby Cunliffe-Steel and Matthew Dunham gave it their best shot and were locked in a tussle with both Greece and Ireland through the middle of the race. The final result was Ukraine in first, Greece second and New Zealand third just ahead of the Irish crew giving the kiwis an overall placing of ninth.

The men’s quad attacked their B final right from the outset passing through the 500 metre mark in first place. Through the middle of the race they sat in second just behind the Canadian crew with Poland challenging. As has been the case right throughout the champs in this event the crews sprinted desperately for the line with the final result putting Canada in first, Poland in second and the kiwis in third. The men’s quad finish ninth overall.

At the end of the regatta New Zealand topped the medal table winning a total of six medals made up of three gold, two silver and a bronze at the 2014 U-23 World Rowing Championships.

New Zealand rowing team competing at the U23 World Rowing Championships:

Women’s Coxless Four

Emma Dyke (Timaru RC, Southern RPC)

Kelsi Walters (Auckland Grammar RC, Auckland RPC)

Olivia Loe (Avon RC, Southern RPC)

Johannah Kearney (Oamaru RC, Southern RPC)

Gary Roberts (Coach)

Women’s Quad

Claudia Hyde (Rotorua RC, Waikato RPC)

Brooke Donoghue (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)

Kristen Froude (Waihopai RC, Southern RPC)

Ashlee Rowe (North Shore RC, Auckland RPC)

James Coote (Coach)

Women’s Coxless Pair

Kerri Gowler (Aramoho-Wanganui RC, Central RPC)

Grace Prendergast (Avon RC, Southern RPC)

Marion Horwell (Coach)

Women’s Lightweight Double Scull

Zoe McBride (Nelson RC, Central RPC)

Sophie MacKenzie (Wairau RC, Central RPC)

James Coote (Coach)

Lightweight Women’s Single Scull

Jackie Kiddle (Star BC, Central RPC)

James Coote (Coach)

Men’s Eight

Stephen Jones (West End RC, Auckland RPC)

Brook Robertson (Nelson RC, Central RPC)

Alex Kennedy (Te Awamutu RC, Waikato RPC)

Joe Wright (Wellington RC, Central RPC)

Finn Howard (North Shore RC, Auckland RPC)

Shaun Kirkham (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)

Isaac Grainger (Auckland RC, Auckland RPC)

Tom Murray (Blenheim RC, Central RPC)

Caleb Shepherd (Coxswain) (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)

Ian Wright (Coach)

Men’s Coxed Four

Michael Brake (North Shore RC, Auckland RPC)

Patrick McInnes (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)

Anthony Allen (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)

Alex Bardoul (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)

Sam Bosworth (Coxswain) (Avon RC, Southern RPC)

Marion Horwell (Coach)

Men’s Quad

Hayden Cohen (Canterbury RC, Southern RPC)

Russell Crampton (Timaru RC, Southern RPC)

Cameron Crampton (Timaru RC, Southern RPC)

Lewis Hollows (West End RC, Auckland RPC)

Dan Kelly (Coach)

Men’s Lightweight Double Scull

Toby Cunliffe-Steel (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)

Matthew Dunham (Cambridge RC, Waikato RPC)

Dan Kelly (Coach)

Men’s Single Scull

Michael Longuet-Higgins (Auckland Grammar RC, Auckland RPC)

Non – Travelling Reserves

Louis van Velthooven (Auckland Grammar RC, Auckland RPC)

Briar Murphy (Cambridge RC, Waikato RPC)

Team Manager

Michele Munro