Schoonbee and Van Wyk grab medals for SA
CONTINUING South Africa’s good run on the global stage Kyle Schoonbee and Nicole van Wyk won silver and bronze respectively at the World Rowing Under-23 Championships in Bulgaria over the weekend.
Van Wyk added the women’s lightweight single sculls bronze to the silver she won at last year’s championships.
Schoonbee won his maiden medal at the championships after finishing fourth in the men’s double sculls boat with Bradley Betts in 2016.
He went through the first 500 metres in second place before dropping to third over the next kilometre before crossing the finish in second place.
“The race was incredible … I followed the same race profile as I did in the quarter-finals and semifinals,” Schoonbee told World Rowing.
“Generally a change in speed is what works for me, but the Canadian used my own medicine against me and stuck with me.
“Gold was in sight, but it was a very tough middle thousand, you can only stay at that red line.”
After finishing second at last year’s championships, Van Wyk was hellbent on upgrading to gold but was once again pipped by Dutch rower Marieke Keijser.
Van Wyk worked her way up the field from fifth to third to narrowly beat Sophia Krause of Germany. “After yesterday’s semi I was scared but then I got into race pace and kept tapping it away. “It was a really good race,” Van Wyk said. The lightweight men’s double sculls crew of Vaughn Botes and Nicholas Oberholzer had to be content on fifth place in the A-final, one spot lower than in 2016.
South Africa’s men’s pair boat consisting of Sandro Torrente and Luc Daffarn also made it into an A-final where they finished in fifth place.
The men’s four crew of Charles Brittain, Timothy Miller, Garth Holden, Mzandile Sotsaka finished sixth in their B-final while Christopher Mittendorf had to be content with a third place in the men’s single sculls C-final.