McCann is on fire
David Isaacson | 2017-04-10 06:30:31.0
Kirsten McCann during a gym session at a Tzaneen gym.
Image by: KEVIN SUTHERLAND / SUNDAY TIMES JULY 13, 2016
Double Olympian Kirsty McCann scored two triumphs in Piediluco‚ Italy‚ at the weekend‚ both in the single sculls.
She powered to a comfortable win in the lightweight category on Saturday‚ with under-23 compatriot Nicole van Wyk coming in second nearly seven seconds behind and Italian Clara Guerra a further six seconds further back.
Sunday McCann stepped up to take on the heavyweights and won by more than three seconds ahead of Latvia’s Elza Gulbe and Czech Kristyna Fleissnerova.
Van Wyk‚ an under-23 world championship silver medallist last year‚ stayed in the lightweight class on Sunday‚ winning there by four seconds ahead of Guerra.
McCann and Ursula Grobler‚ bronze medallists at the 2015 world championships‚ ended a disappointing fifth in the lightweight women’s double sculls at the Olympics last year.
McCann‚ however‚ has started the year on fire‚ maintaining a higher level of fitness in the off-season compared to many of her teammates‚ including Olympic silver medallist Lawrence Brittain.
Brittain‚ pairing up with Jake Green after the retirement of partner Shaun Keeling‚ went up against three Italian pairs — all of them 2016 Olympic bronze medallists — and they lost to two of them.
The first two Italian boats on Saturday were manned by the fours crew that sped past Green and his teammates late in the Brazil final to condemn the South Africans to fourth.
However‚ third-placed Brittain and Green had the satisfaction of beating Giovanni Abagnale and Marco Di Costanzo‚ the same combination that ended third behind Brittain and Keeling at the 2016 Games.
On Sunday Brittain and Green had only one Italian pair to contend with‚ but that was Saturday’s victorious duo of Matteo Lodo and Giuseppe Vicino‚ who won again.
On Saturday they were more than six seconds behind the winners‚ and on Sunday they narrowed the gap slightly to a tad more than five seconds.
“Not happy that we lost the pair to Italy‚” said head coach Roger Barrow‚ who was however pleased overall.
“Good racing. Happy with the team and especially new members.”
His main focus this year is the world championships in the US in September.
– TMG Digital/TMG Sport