South Africa

Three SA boats qualify for Rio

2015-09-03 15:40
John Smith and James Thompson (Getty Images)

Johannesburg - South Africa are guaranteed three spots at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after three boats advanced to their respective A-finals at the World Rowing Championships in France on Thursday.

Four of the South African boats were involved in semi-finals, with the top three boats in each race advancing to Saturday’s A-finals, earning automatic qualification for Rio.

Defending champions James Thompson and John Smith were conservative in their lightweight men's double sculls row as they remained in third place until the end.

They came close to conceding that crucial third-place finish with the Polish crew gaining on them towards the finish but the duo held on to advance to the final.

In the lightweight women’s double sculls boat, Kirsten McCann and Ursula Grobler were in a commanding position throughout their semi before Canada’s Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee sneaked through in first place.

The South African duo nevertheless got the Olympic qualification out of the way and can now focus on claiming silverware after last year’s fourth-place finish.

London Olympians Naydene Smith and Lee-Ann Persse also secured a women’s pair spot for Rio with a strong paddle in their semi-final.

The American crew of Felice Mueller and Eleanor Logan were in a race of their own leaving the rest of the field to battle it out for second and third place.

Smith and Persse held onto the second place before Canada took a narrow lead before the 1 500m mark.

The South Africans, however, came back strong over the final stretch reclaim second place and also secure an A-final berth.

Shaun Keeling and David Hunt came painstakingly close to reaching the A-final in the men's pair but finished their semi-final in fifth place. Last year Keeling won the bronze medal with Vincent Breet.

Although they would not be challenging for a medal this time around, they can still earn South Africa’s fourth Olympic qualifying spot by avoiding a last-place finish in their B-final.

Meanwhile, the LTA mixed coxed four crew of Dieter Rosslee, Shannon Murray, Lucy Perold, Dylan Trollope and Willie Morgan as coxswain claimed a Rio Paralympic qualifying spot.

They finished their semi-final on Wednesday in third place to book a place in Thursday’s final.

Sandra Khumalo will also on Thursday afternoon be looking for a Paralympic qualifying spot when she takes to the water in her AS women's single sculls B-final.

The men’s coxed pair of Leo Davis and Jake Green, with Morgan as coxswain, will be challenging for a medal in Friday’s A-final.

Read more on:    rowing

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Caster Semenya has been nominated for the 2018 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award. Which of the nominees deserves the award most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.