2 September 2013
South Africa’s lightweight men’s fours rowing team finished sixth in the A-Final at the World Rowing Championships in Chungju, South Korea on Sunday.
The combination that won Olympic gold in London in 2012 has changed slightly, with Matthew Brittain sidelined for a year with a back injury. Michael Voerman has taken his seat and joined up with Sizwe Ndlovu, John Smith and James Thompson.
Victory in the medal-decider went to Denmark in 5:55.68, with New Zealand in second in 5:57.28 and Great Britain third in 5:59.98. South Africa crossed the line in 6:11.99.
After a slow start in the heats, the South African crew had to contest the repecharge round to progress. They, however, found their form to win in 5:58.43 and clinch a semi-final spot.
Olympians Naydene Smith and Lee-Ann Persse finished sixth in the women’s pairs A-Final in a time of 7:39.26. Victory went to Britain in 7:22.82.
The men’s pairs combination of Shaun Keeling and Lawrence Brittain placed second in the B-Final in a time of 6:41.08. Britain took the win with the South African pair overhauling Serbia late in the race to finish in the runner-up position.
Kirsten McCann and Kate Johnstone were also second in the B-Final of the lightweight women’s doubles skulls in 7:22.16. Australia claimed the win, while Sweden came home in third.
South Africa’s only medal was won earlier in the week at the Para-rowing World Championships when the lTA mixed coxed fours crew of the cox Gavin Kilpatrick, Shannon Murray, Lucy Perold, Dieter Rosslee and Willie Morgan won a bronze medal.
Britain won the race in 3:16.12, Italy placed second in 3:21.70 and South Africa stopped the clock in 3:22.90.
“It’s the first time for two of us to race internationally and the first time as a crew to race internationally,” Kilpatrick told the Road to Rio website.
“The final was a lot closer than we anticipated and we had to work a lot harder, but we are very, very happy with our results.”