“We’re pretty gutted" - national rowing coach Roger Barrow
Fourth must seem like a swear word for national rowing coach Roger Barrow‚ who says he and the men’s four crew are “pretty gutted” after missing the Lucerne World Cup podium by five-hundredths of a second on Sunday.
They produced the fastest final 500m over the 2km course‚ but it wasn’t good enough‚ said Barrow.
“We’re pretty gutted‚" he said.
"We’re happy we’ve got good speed‚ but it was gut-wrenching to finish fourth so narrowly.
“To be honest we are not very happy.”
Barrow had to endure two fourth places at the Rio Olympics last year — three members of this boat‚ John Smith‚ David Hunt and Jake Green were victims of fourth there — as well as another two fourth spots at the 2016 under-23 world championships.
Lawrence Brittain ended fourth in the men’s pair in Lucerne last year‚ but he and Shaun Keeling used that to motivate themselves for Rio‚ where they took the silver medal.
“We can use it [for motivation for the world championships in September]‚ but I want to get away from saying we can do better. We need to deliver the results.
“We need to look at why we came fourth‚” said Barrow‚ admitting they had struggled with illnesses in Switzerland.
“But that’s no excuse.”
Henley and Lucerne were the crew’s first regattas‚ and Barrow was chuffed with the combination.
“These guys are enjoying racing together. You can always tell when they want to row together — the guys want to fight for each other.”
He attributed Kirsten McCann’s gold medal in the lightweight women’s single sculls to tactics‚ particularly taking it easy in the semifinals and letting Marieke Keijser of Holland win.
“The Dutch girl was the favourite‚ she was unbeaten‚” said Barrow.
McCann beat her by almost three seconds in the final.
Keijser will take on another SA rower‚ Nicole van Wyk‚ at the under-23 world championships later this month.