Sculler McCann makes more his­tory for South Africa

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - OCKERT DE VIL­LIERS

CON­TIN­U­OUSLY break­ing new ground, dou­ble Olympic rower Kirsten McCann be­came the first South African women to win a gold medal at the at the World Cup re­gatta in Lucerne.

McCann and Dutch rower Marieke Kei­jser were em­broiled in a cat-and-mouse bat­tle in the light­weight sculls fi­nal with the South African rac­ing claim­ing vic­tory.

The two went through the first 500m neck-and-neck be­fore Kei­jser took a slight edge at the half­way mark.

McCann changed gears over the fi­nal kilo­me­tre open­ing a one-sec­ond gap with 500 me­tres to go.

She raced home in time of 7:45.750 to claim a three-sec­ond vic­tory over Kei­jser.

Mak­ing her Olympic de­but in Bei­jing 2008 as a 20-yearold, McCann has es­tab­lished her­self as one of the world’s top fe­male light­weight row­ers.

In 2010 she be­came the first South African woman to win an Un­der-23 World Cham­pi­onship medal, fin­ish­ing third in the sin­gle sculls.

Three years later she would be­come World Stu­dent Cham­pion be­fore win­ning the 2015 world dou­ble sculls bronze medal with Ur­sula Grob­ler.

This bodes well for her chances at the World Cham­pi­onships in Florida in Septem­ber.

Yes­ter­day the men’s four crew con­sist­ing of Lon­don 2012 Olympic gold medal­list John Smith, Rio 2016 sil­ver medal­list Lawrence Brit­tain; David Hunt, and Jake Green came painstak­ingly close to a podium place.

The quar­tet missed the bronze medal by five hun­dredths of a sec­ond fin­ish­ing fourth in 5:54.770.

They went through the first 1 500m in fifth place surg­ing over the fi­nal 500m to come within a whisker of a medal.

The Bri­tish crew turned in a solid per­for­mance win­ning in a time of 5:52.920 fol­lowed by Italy and the Nether­lands.

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