Kirsten McCann completed her collection of rowing World Cup medals over the weekend when she won a gold medal in Lucerne, Switzerland.
The Tuks/HPC-rower was in awesome form, rowing away from her rivals with brute strength, and increasing her lead with each stroke to win the lightweight women’s singles sculls, winning in 7min 45.75sec. Marieke Keijser (Netherlands) finished nearly three seconds later, clocking a time of 7:48.61, with Patricia Merz (Switzerland) third in 7:50.00.
Partnering Ursula Grobler in the lightweight women’s double sculls, McCann won silver and bronze medals in the World Cup Series last year.
Rio Olympian McCann is on record saying that a sound technique, as well as being physically strong and fit is of utmost importance to be competitive in international rowing.
‘Rowing is also a huge mental challenge, especially when competing at the highest level. To put your body on the line is a huge ask. It’s a challenge I relish.’
South Africa’s men’s fours (David Hunt, Lawrence Brittain, John Smith, Jake Green) came agonisingly close to winning the bronze medal.
The British crew won in 5:52.92, with Italy second in 5:54.42 and the Netherlands third in 5:54.72. The South African crew was a mere 0.05s behind the Dutch crew.
‘I think we learnt a lot and that is the first goal of coming to the world cup. Coming so close to a top three finish is frustrating, but it gives us confidence, and at the same time desire to have a quality block of training before the World Championships in Sarasota,” said Hunt (Tuks/HPC).
Smith said their build-up to the World Cup was far from ideal, as they battled with sickness, which meant they could not prepare as they had wanted.
‘Our performance in the heat was not the best, but we manage to up our game in the semi-final. In the final, we did not execute as we wanted, but towards the second half of the race we started to find our rhythm, which enabled us to get stronger towards the end.’
Brittain, who won a silver medal at last year’s Olympic Games in Rio, described their performance as bittersweet. ‘’The final was tough. Just missing out on winning a medal really sucks, but was not all bad. We proved that we are in the mix. With two months of good solid hard training, who knows what might happen at the World Championships.’
Pictures courtesy of Igor Meijer