A hectic morning’s racing saw both South African teams through to the semi-finals of the World Rowing Championships on Lake Karapiro in New Zealand on Tuesday, writes Mark Etheridge.
Both the men’s pairs and men’s fours were involved in repechage action and have progressed through to the semi-finals. These races will both be contested on Thursday (noon, New Zealand time) and the South African rowing fraternity’s eyes will be firmly fixed on faraway New Zealand.
The crews that went through are Olympic veteran Ramon di Clemente and Peter Lambert in the the pairs and then Lawrence Ndlovu, John Smith, James Thompson and Tony Paladin in the lightweight fours.
“It was a helluva morning’s racing,” said Team South Africa manager Roger Barrow on Tuesday. “The pairs put their bow ball in front early and made it stick. The men’s pairs seemed pleased with their performance but the sleeping giant still rests.”
Barrow said the fours had it all do in the morning’s racing. “It was a case of put up or shut up for them. They came out of the blocks strong but cruising speed was what they fell short of in the middle thousand [the race is over 2000 metres]. Coming into the last 500m they were in fifth and the omens weren’t looking good.
“The Spanish crew had two seconds on our guys but never count out Lawrence ‘The Eagle’ Ndlovu. He took us up and the four put in an almighty sprint to sneak into the semi.”