Row­ers bring NZ sil­ver medal

Hamilton News - - SPORT - Blair Voorend

Three Hamil­ton stu­dents have been the high­light for New Zealand at the re­cent Ju­nior Row­ing World Cham­pi­onships in the Czech Repub­lic, bring­ing home sil­ver in the Men’s Cox­less Four.

The crew was made up of Hamil­ton Boys’ High School stu­dents Flynn Wat­son, El­liott Jenk­ins and Camp­bell Crouch, along with Will Gil­bert from Christchurch Boys’ High School.

The four were the top per­form­ers from a New Zealand team that also brought home two other bronze medals.

The team did not ex­pect to bring home a medal, hav­ing had no real ex­pe­ri­ence against some of the other coun­tries at the tour­na­ment.

“We didn’t ex­pect it at all,” Flynn said. “We knew there would be tough com­pe­ti­tion, but be­ing so far away and not get­ting reg­u­lar com­pe­ti­tion against these coun­tries we didn’t know what to ex­pect.”

But fol­low­ing a good start, the four­some knew they had a chance.

“Af­ter our heat we knew we had a good chance and that it was all about rac­ing our own race and not wor­ry­ing about the other teams,” Flynn said.

Dur­ing the fi­nal the boys faced strong com­pe­ti­tion from the Euro­pean teams, with them hav­ing to chase even­tual win­ners Bri­tain for most of the way, as well as hold­ing off bronze medal­ists Italy at the end.

“At the start we ex­pected to be be­hind. I think the other crews had half a length on us. We knew Italy were very fast off the start.

“In the sec­ond and third 500 we slowly gained on other crews and made our way through those boats.

“In the last 500 we re­ally just went for it,” Camp­bell said af­ter the race.

De­spite not win­ning they thought it was a great op­por­tu­nity to get a feel for what in­ter­na­tional row­ing events would be like in the fu­ture.

“It was a great ex­pe­ri­ence for us as a crew. It re­ally al­lowed us to push us to the best of our abil­i­ties and see where we sit in the world,” Flynn said.

The tour­na­ment was held in Racice, Czech Repub­lic dur­ing mid-au­gust where 20 young row­ers com­peted for New Zealand.

Photo / Sup­plied

An­gus Gil­bert, Camp­bell Crouch, El­liott Jenk­ins and Flynn Wat­son with their sil­ver medals.

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