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High Performance Centre

Brittian & Thompson head SA Challenge at World U23 Rowing Championships

By Manfred Seidler

Posted on 14 July 2008



Matthew Brittian and James Thompson are the main contenders for a Medal at the World U23 Rowing Championships which take place in Brandenburg, Germany from 17th to 21 July 2008.

Six athletes have been selected by ROWSA to represent South Africa, and it is testament to the work done by the University of Pretoria High Performance Centre (hpc), that everyone of the six rowers is associated either with the TUKS rowing club or the hpc Academy or both. A further feather in the cap of the hpc and TUKS is that Roger Barrow, Director of the Rowing Academy at the HPC, coaches all 6.

The pairing of James and Matthew have both been with the Academy now for a year and a half. The two are really in a class of their own in their age group, it is only the Senior pairing of Shaun Keeling and Ramon Di Clemente who beat the two on a regular basis in South Africa. The combination of James and Matthew pocketed the silver medal at the World U23 Championships in 2007 and are hoping to go one better this year. At 21 and 20 respectively, they still have another year at least in the age group. James showed his talent at early age when he won the bronze Medal at the World Junior Championships 3 years ago.

Kennedy Manyike joined up with Junior Sikiwivulu at the beginning of the year and will be relying heavily on the experience of Junior who finished 8th at the world Junior Championships in Beijing last year.

For Carolyn Smith (Women’s Lightweight Single), the U23 World Championships will be a new experience, whilst Murray Chandler (Men’s Single Scull) is no novice to international competition, having raced at the World Student Championships before.

Roger Barrow is optimistic about the team, especially the Men’s Lightweight pairing of Brittian and Thompson. “The two picked up the silver medal last year at this very event. So obviously the goal will to be go one better and win Gold.”

The team will be departing South Africa on the 12th July and will get into action on the 17th July. The competition runs through until 21 July.

The Team leaving on the 12th July are:
Matthew Brittian & James Thompson Men’s Lightweight par (TUKS/ACADEMY)
Carolyn Smith Women’s Lightweight Single (TUKS)
Murray Chandler Men’s Single Scull (TUKS/ACADEMY)
Kennedy Manyike  Junior Sikiwivulu Men’s Lightweight Double Scull (Tuks/ACADEMY)



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