By Mark Etheridge
South Africa’s future rowing stars have brought back two medals from the World Junior Championships in Lithuania.
The championships came to an end in Trakai on Sunday, and South Africa placed joint 11th on the medal table with Greece.
South Africa’s rowers contributed a silver and bronze to the medal tally. The team had rowers making four A Finals, two B Finals and one C Final.
The women’s single was the second-biggest boat class in terms of countries entered, behind the boy’s singles. It was 18-year-old Megan Hancock who took silver behind Spain’s Esther Briz Zamorani, with France’s Margaux Bailleul rounding off the podium.
Hancock, a St Mary’s Johannesburg scholar, clocked 7min 59.00sec, compared to the winner’s 7:58.720. Hancock was third after 500m of the 2000m race, before pulling up into second.
The rainbow nation’s second medal went to Johannesburg’s Thabelo Masutha, who took bronze in the men’s single sculls.
The single sculls saw the emergence of a shining star in the shape of United States rower Clark Dean, who was also part of the stars and stripes challenge in the men’s coxed fours.
He won in 7:04.730sec. Like Hancock, Masutha made up ground (make that water!) after 500m to end in a time of 7:11.100.
Topping the medals table were Romania with six medals, two gold, two silver and two bronze.
South African rowers also returned with two medals from the recent U23 World Championships.
Other SA results from the week’s racing:
Junior Men’s Coxed Four – Chris Baxter, Stephen Selepe, Joshua Harty, Liam Smit and Ntsako Mphahlanit placed fourth in the A Final.
Junior Women’s Double – Caitlin Bentley and Jessica Schoonbee placed sixth in the A Final.
Junior Men’s Coxless Four – Henry Torr, Alex Holmes, Dane Van Darren and Michael Thomas placed sixth in the B Final – 12th in the world.
Junior Women’s Pair – Cara Nel and Kyla Pullen placed sixth in the B Final. 12th in the world.
Junior Men’s Pair – Cameron Menton and Damien Bonhage-Koen placed fourth in the C Final
Pictures of Hancock and Masutha courtesy of FISA/Igor Meijer