Medal hopes for SA rowing duo

2008-08-13 00:00

Swimmer Lyndon Ferns and rowers Ramon di Clemente and Shaun Keeling progressed through to the finals on the fifth day of the Beijing Olympics, offering some hope that Team SA can open their account on the medal table.

Athens gold medallist Lyndon Ferns gave South Africa another finalist earlier in the morning, setting a national and African record of 48:00 seconds to take third in a semi-final that saw France’s Alain Bernard scrape 0,04 seconds from Eamon Sullivan’s record. The record was returned to the New Zealander in the second semi-final, where Sullivan touched out at 47,05 seconds.

“I’m really happy. Last night I felt a little sore and stiff in the swim, but today I felt so much better and I get another shot,” said Ferns, who has come back from the disappointment of Sunday’s 4x100m relay. “It’s kind of bitter-sweet to get 48:00. Under 48:00 tomorrow would be good” said the 24-year-old.

“Today was about posting times to get into the final; tomorrow is about racing,” continued Ferns who believes the final will be slower.

“I’m happy to be in an outside lane because in the middle people may be watching each other. I would think sub-47,5 will win it and sub-47,7 might put you in bronze.”

Di Clemente and Keeling gave absolutely everything to secure their place in Saturday’s final. The duo started their 2 000m run in fifth, trailing behind New Zealand, France and the Czech crew, with Canada leading from gun to tape.

By 1 500m the South Africans had moved to fourth and upped their pace in the last quarter to claim their final place ahead of the Czech crew in six minutes 37,18 seconds. A mere 0,7 seconds separate third and fourth, with the Canadians taking line honours in 6:34,02.

“It wouldn’t be the Olympics if it wasn’t close,” said Di Clemente, who won gold in Athens with his then partner, Donovan Cech. “It was good to see Canada go off so fast as it allowed us to row our own race,” he added, referring to the Athens semi-final incident where the Canadian crew caught a crab to interfere in South Africa’s line, almost causing them to lose their final place. An appeal that went to arbitration put South Africa into the final where they won bronze.

“I think that incident weighed heavily on Ramon’s mind over the past few days as this time he has to steer the boat,” said team coach Roger Burrow.

The effort of the final 400 metres left Keeling and Di Clemente flat on their backs in the boat across the line. An exhausted Keeling was taken from the boat and packed with ice to reduce his core temperature and speed recovery.

“I was in a different world over the last 400,” said Keeling, experiencing the massive step-up in competition level.

South Africa have been drawn in the outside lane next to New Zealand for Saturday’s final with Canada, Australia, U.S. and Germany.

Norrie Williamson’s air flights sponsored by Allday EnerGIFoods – Constant Carbs are Key. www.energifoods.co.za

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com 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
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.