JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s men’s four crew is showing positive signs ahead of the global championships winning bronze at the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne yesterday.
The boat consisting of Olympic gold medallist John Smith, David Hunt, Kyle Schoombee and Sandro Torrente won South Africa’s first medal in this class at the annual three-legged series.
Defending world champions Australia put the hammer down from the start and soon had open water between them and the other crews.
The race turned into a battle for the second and third places with the South Africans getting embroiled in a close tussle with the Dutch crew.
The Aussies romped home with a time of 5:51.400 with the Dutch rowers moving past the South Africans over the final 500 metres to claim silver.
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“It was a really good race, it felt like we executed our mid-plan with a good push,” Smith said. “This was a good step up from Serbia and we’ve made a good come-back. We’ll all go home and start improving before the World Rowing Championships.”
The lightweight women’s double sculls crew of Kirsten McCann and Nicole van Wyk came painstakingly close to a podium place in the A-final.
Reigning world singles sculls champion McCann and Van Wyk went through the first 500m in third place before dropping to fifth over the middle kilometre before fighting back to take fourth.