Danny’s sights set on world podium

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By MATHEW GROCOTT

Only 18 months af­ter first try­ing out a row­ing boat Danny McBride will line up next week at the World Row­ing Cham­pi­onships on Lake Kara­piro.

Adap­tive rower McBride is rac­ing in the ASM1x class which is a sin­gle scull boat for para-ath­letes.

It was in March last year that the Ti­rau res­i­dent first tried a row­ing boat, bor­row­ing the boat be­long­ing to Christchurch-based adap­tive rower Robin Tinga.

From there McBride was hooked. From pad­dling once or twice a week last win­ter McBride has been train­ing six times a week in prepa­ra­tion for the world cham­pi­onships.

And with all that hard work comes im­pres­sive goals.

‘‘My pri­mary goal is to get into the A Fi­nal. And then the podium,’’ he said.

‘‘The world num­ber one (Tom Ag­ger) is a ma­chine. It would take a real off day for him for me to beat him.

‘‘I think sil­ver or bronze is a re­al­is­tic pos­si­bil­ity.’’

A for­mer na­tional cap­tain in wheel­chair bas­ket­ball, McBride said he was at­tracted to row­ing be­cause it would test him.

‘‘It’s an in­di­vid­ual sport, it all de­pends on my­self. I like the free­dom, the en­joy­ment of be­ing out on the wa­ter. I re­ally like com­pet­ing.’’

In July McBride first pit­ted him­self against in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion rac­ing at a re­gatta in Aus­tralia.

His Aus­tralian op­po­nent had come third at the last world cham­pi­onships. McBride beat him in all three races, though he ad­mits the wins were ‘‘not by much’’.

In Fe­bru­ary McBride joined the Cam- bridge Row­ing Club and teamed up with coach Dave Lazarus.

Lazarus said he was im­me­di­ately im­pressed with McBride’s in­de­pen­dence, grit and de­ter­mi­na­tion. ‘‘I was amazed at what he was do­ing.’’ Lazarus had not coached an adap­tive rower so the last few months have been a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for both men.

In Aus­tralia McBride im­pressed Lazarus with his tech­ni­cal nous in plan­ning his race strat­egy.

Look­ing be­yond Kara­piro McBride said his goal was to race at the 2012 Par­a­lympics in London.

He paid credit to his fam­ily, friends and em­ployer, thank­ing them for their sup­port in prepa­ra­tion for next week.

‘‘I’m do­ing this for my­self but I want to make ev­ery­one proud.’’

READY: McBride heads out for a train­ing ses­sion.

DE­TER­MINED: Danny McBride has set a goal of mak­ing the A Fi­nal then go­ing for a medal at the World Row­ing Cham­pi­onships.

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