GB cox wins Olympic gold

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BY ANDREW PENTOL

BRI­TISH ROW­ING cox Zoe De Toledano was this week rid­ing on the crest of the wave af­ter steer­ing her team to gold in the women’s eights event at the Olympic Youth fes­ti­val in Syd­ney.

The 19-year-old, who led the team to bronze at last year’s Ju­nior World Cham­pi­onships, put her mo­ti­va­tional skills to good use to urge her crew over the fin­ish line more than two sec­onds ahead of near­est ri­vals New South Wales.

“Con­fi­dence was high go­ing into race as some of the team won gold in pre­vi­ous events,” De Toledano told JC Sport. “I knew we had to per­form well as other coun­tries were watch­ing us and try­ing to fol­low our lead.

With tem­per­a­tures in ex­cess of 40 de­grees each morn­ing, the Finch­ley res­i­dent was “thank­ful we trav­elled to Aus­tralia two weeks in ad­vance to ac­cli­ma­tise.”

She also re­vealed how a strong Aus­tralian sup­port helped cre­ate a fan­tas­tic at­mos­phere for the event, held on the Pen­rith In­ter­na­tional Re­gatta, the course used for the 2000 Olympics. “The Aus­tralians turned out in force and were ex­tremely vo­cal in their sup­port of var­i­ous crews,” she re­ported.

“Thank­fully there were sev­eral Bri­tish Olympic As­so­ci­a­tion of­fi­cials watch­ing in the stands and their ter­rific sup­port cer­tainly helped.”

Cur­rently in the first year of a psy­chol­ogy de­gree at Ox­ford Brookes Univer­sity, De Toledano, who coaches the ju­nior un­der-18 squad at nearby St. Ed­wards Private Sec­ondary School, en­joyed com­pet­ing with some of her “best friends”.

“Many of the team had raced to­gether in­clud­ing some of my best friends which was an added bonus. We were en­cour­ag­ing one an­other in the chang­ing room be­fore the race and in the build up as some of the group had never been so far away from home.”

With the crew ex­pand­ing vast amounts of en­ergy in each race, “a good cox has to get ev­ery­thing out of their crew, es­pe­cially in the fi­nal 500 me­tres when they are all ex­hausted.”

A keen mu­si­cian and dancer, De Toledano is now look­ing to es­tab­lish her­self in Bri­tain’s un­der-23 squad and achieve na­tional suc­cess with her univer­sity row­ing team.

“I am still learn­ing the many dif­fer­ent ways to mo­ti­vate of my crews, but the good thing is I am young and have plenty of time to de­velop and be suc­cess­ful.”

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