Schoonbee and Van Wyk grab medals for SA

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - OCKERT DE VILLIERS

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.

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