Medal a spur to set sights higher

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Danny McBride was al­ready look­ing to the London Olympics and im­prov­ing on his ‘‘dirty old bronze’’ just sec­onds af­ter he left the wa­ter.

Ti­rau’s McBride, 41, be­came New Zealand’s first medal­list at the Row­ing World Cham­pi­onships at Lake Kara­piro in a tight fin­ish for places in the men’s arms and shoul­ders adap­tive sin­gle sculls fi­nal.

Sec­ond through to fifth were sep­a­rated by less than two sec­onds but the fast-fin­ish­ing McBride – spurred on by the bois­ter­ous cheers of fam­ily, friends and pa­tri­otic strangers – charged home for bronze.

But the medal just whet­ted his ap­petite for more. He was al­ready dis­cussing go­ing to the Par­a­lympics in London be­fore he was awarded his medal.

A tree fell on McBride 11 years ago when he was work­ing as a fore­man of a treefelling op­er­a­tion and he is now a T12 para­plegic with no move­ment, or feel­ing, be­low the waist.

But since he started row­ing 18 months ago and more se­ri­ously in the past nine months, he has im­proved quickly and joined Row­ing New Zealand’s Elite Pro­gramme.

‘‘ It’s just bril­liant,’’ he said. ‘‘To have got what I set out to do is just amaz­ing. My first goal was to make the A-fi­nal then once I did that, it was to get a medal and I did.’’

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