Silver for Di Clemente & Keeling
By Manfred Seidler
Posted on 01 June 2009
After winning by 3.5 seconds in the prelims of the first World Cup in Banyoles Estany, Spain on Friday 29 May, the South African pairing of Ramon Di Clemente and Shaun Keeling progressed straight to the final on Sunday 31 May.
Di Clemente and Keeling who are part of the High Performance Centre SSMU Sponsored athletes had little trouble in disposing of France and Poland leading the 2000m race from start to finish.
After 500m Keeling and Di Clemente had opened a gap of just under 1.5 sec over France, with Poland a further 4 seconds adrift. At the 1km mark – covered in 3:15;87 – France was 3 seconds back and Poland had dropped to just under 8sec.
1500m was passed in 4:59;24 to France’s 5:03;01. The final 500m were covered in 1min 45sec to ease over the line in 6:44;27 with France settling for runners up spot in 6:47.85.
The final on Sunday was held under a clear skies, but a head wind made the rowers work hard. Starting in lane 4, Di Clemente and Keeling went through the first 500m in second spot behind Greece with Great Britain third (1:34;42 – 1:34;50 – 1:34;65), but claimed the lead by the 1km mark in 3:14;57. Great Britain where almost a second behind in second. The roles reversed at 750m and Great Britain then surged ahead and held that lead to the end to triumph in 6:31;70 to Di Clemente and Keelings' 6:33;85.
“We lost it in the middle somewhere due to technique. We’ve got some work ahead of us, but I am happy with the first race,” said Team Manager Roger Barrow who heads up the High Performance Management of Rowing in South Africa.