Aussie rowers bag four World Cup silver medals

Australia’s women have led the charge at the World Rowing Cup in Switzerland, although gold medals proved elusive with the team collecting four second places.

Competing in the first of two World Cup regattas ahead of the Paris Olympics, Australian boats featured in nine of 13 finals in Lucerne.

Australia’s women finished second in three races, while triple Paralympic medallist Erik Horrie claimed a silver in the PR1 men’s single scull.

Tara Rigney pushed Dutch world champion Karolien Florijn all the way to the line in the women’s single scull, relegating Kiwi legend Emma Twigg to third.

A bronze medallist at the last two world championships, Rigney showed she will be a genuine contender at the Paris Games.

She’s looking to follow in the footsteps of retired great Kim Brennan, who won gold in the event at the Rio Olympics.

“It is definitely a good starting platform but I am very aware that countries are in different training blocks and doing different things,” the 25-year-old Sydneysider said.

Rigney’s coach Ellen Randell also oversees the double scull of Amanda Bateman and Harriet Hudson, who claimed silver behind the USA.

Bateman and Hudson charged into the lead in the third 500 metres of their race but couldn’t hold out the Americans, who finished 0.78 seconds ahead.

“There was a serious sprint at the end and unfortunately, we were on the wrong side of it but that is something we can look back at in training and look at improving on,” Hudson said.

The women’s pair of Annabelle McIntyre and Jessica Morrison were beaten by the world champions from the Netherlands, who led from start to finish for a comfortable win.

“We were really solid out there again but not quite as fast as we wanted,” McIntyre said.

“We’ve definitely got our work cut out for us and I’m excited to see where we can get by Paris.”

Five-time world champion Horrie marked a successful return to international racing with his silver behind Italian Giacomo Perini.

The men’s coxed eight, which features three Olympic champions, were disappointed to finish fourth – the same position as the men’s coxless four and the women’s coxed eight.

“There was some great racing today, with all our medal boats pressing the front end of the race demonstrating their potential for Paris,” Rowing Australia Performance Director Paul Thompson said.

“We also know that some of the boats left their speed on the training track and will be working hard to fulfil their potential ahead of the next World Cup in Poznan, Poland.”


Melissa Woods
(Australian Associated Press)


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