Danny eyes his next chal­lenge

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE - By MATHEW GROCOTT

There is lit­tle rest for the South Waikato’s world cham­pi­onship bronze medal-win­ning adap­tive rower.

Danny McBride fin­ished third in the fi­nal of the ASM1x class at Lake Kara­piro on Thurs­day.

When the South Waikato News spoke to McBride on Fri­day he was al­ready look­ing to the next event.

On Fri­day morn­ing McBride met with his coaches to map out a path to next year’s world cham­pi­onships and the Par­a­lympics in London in 2012.

Within the next three weeks McBride will be back train­ing.

But how does he feel af­ter win­ning a medal at his first in­ter­na­tional re­gatta?

‘‘ Pretty stoked re­ally. And re­lieved. To get bronze, you haven’t missed out, you’re still on the podium. I think it was one of the best days of my life.

McBride said he ‘‘ went out hard’’ at the start of Thurs­day’s fi­nal.

At the half­way stage of his 1000m race McBride was in fourth place. He got as high as sec­ond but was pipped near the line to fin­ish in third.

With first place taken by Bri­tain’s Tom Ag­gar, the world record-holder in the event, McBride fin­ished bow for bow with An­drii Kryvchun of Ukraine and Rus­sian Alexey Chu­va­shev.

With such a tight fin­ish, the com­peti­tors waited in their boats for the of­fi­cial re­sults to be an­nounced.

McBride said the sup­port from the crowd at Kara­piro was ‘‘just amaz­ing. . . I think that’s what got me through’’.

‘‘There were a cou­ple of hun­dred peo­ple from Pu­taruru there.’’

McBride had also seen signs dis­played around Ti­rau sup­port­ing him, which he ap­pre­ci­ated.

‘‘I want to thank ev­ery­body for all of their mes­sages and their sup­port, it’s just been amaz­ing.’’

McBride’s coach David Lazarus pre­dicted McBride’s pub­lic suc­cess would help pro­mote the sport as an op­tion for ath­letes with dis­abil­i­ties.

‘‘While these guys strug­gle to do the times and dis­tances [of the able-bod­ied ath­letes] the sport of

row­ing had been very, very good at in­te­grat­ing ath­letes with dis­abil­i­ties into their sport.’’

He said McBride was the per­fect am­bas­sador. ‘‘He’s a sen­sa­tional ath­lete and he ba­si­cally shone from the first moment I met him. He’s got a tena­cious streak and he lis­tens and he adapts.’’

McBride only started row­ing in March last year and cred­ited his coach and the sup­port of row­ing New Zealand for his quick suc­cess.

Win­ning a medal was McBride’s goal for the re­gatta. As he was pre­sented his medal on the podium Thurs­day he said sev­eral thoughts were go­ing through his head. ‘‘I was just so proud and so rapt that all the hard work had paid off. It was sort of sur­real, it will take a few weeks to sink in.’’

Ad­di­tional re­port­ing Waikato Times

Photo: WAIKATO TIMES

GOAL REACHED: Danny McBride re­ceives his bronze medal, an achieve­ment he said will take weeks to sink in.

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