The 2017 World Rowing Junior Championships took place in Trakai, Lithuania, from 2-6 August. The South African team did exceptionally well, with crews qualifying for one C-final, two B-finals and four A-finals. South Africa walked away with two medals, a silver for Megan Hancock and a bronze for Thabelo Masutha in the women’s and men’s scull events respectively.
The men’s coxed four – Chris Baxter, Stephen Selepe, Joshua Harty, Liam Smit and Ntsako Mphahlani – placed fourth in their A-final, while the women’s double – Caitlin Bentley and Jessica Schoonbee – placed sixth in theirs.
In the B-finals, the junior men’s coxless four, comprising Henry Torr, Alex Holmes, Dane van Darren and Michael Thomas, and the women’s pair, Cara Nel and Kyla Pullen, both placed sixth. These teams also placed 12th in the world in their respective categories.
The men’s pair (Cameron Menton and Damien Bonhage-Koen) came fourth in the C-final.
For the uninitiated, the A-final of an event is for the fastest finishers in the heats. The B-final is for the next group, and the C-final is for the slowest finishers.
“We are incredibly proud of the junior national squad and salute all the coaches for all the hard work and passion,” says head coach Roger Barrow. “The junior squad members represent the future of South African rowing on the international stage. I have no doubt that there were several future Olympic champions in the team that we sent to Lithuania.
“Of course, none of this would be possible without the amazing partnerships that we have in place, notably with Team Powerhouse Trust and Rand Merchant Bank. These organisations share our passion for rowing and our belief that by thinking and pulling together, we can achieve great things.”
There’s an exciting announcement coming soon with regard to RMB and rowing. Keep an eye on @NationalSquadZA, @RMB_CIB, @cnandco and #ThinkingPullingTogether for details.