Talented teen heads to Europe

17:00, Jul 20 2010

Young Southland rowing talent Hayden Cohen is eyeing the biggest month of his career as he jets off today for Europe.

Cohen is one of the 26 New Zealanders leaving Auckland today bound for the world under-19 rowing championships in the Czech Republic.

The former James Hargest College student will lin eup in the New Zealand quad at the world championship, with the New Zealand crew hoping to improve on their third-place finish at last year's event.

"Anything better than the bronze medal would be good," Cohen told The Southland Times yesterday.

Cohen, who is now based in Cambridge where he trains and studies, said the preparation with his crew had been pleasing in the lead-up to stepping on to the world stage.

James Hargest College student Ollie Behrent will make his international debut as he also heads to the Czech Republic for the world junior championships


Behrent will line up in the men's double with Sean Watts, from Bethlehem College in Tauranga.

Behrent's jaunt to the world championships makes for a very special month for his family.

His older sister Genevieve is dipping her toes into international waters herself this month as she braces herself for the world under-23 championships in Belarus.

Genevieve will compete in the New Zealand women's eight in Belarus.

Following Cohen's tilt at world success in the Czech Republic, he will take yet another step in what is developing into a promising rowing career.

After Europe, Cohen will head to Singapore where he will compete at the Youth Olympics.

Cohen is one of three New Zealanders who will compete in the rowing in Singapore.

He will feature in the men's single, while New Zealand will also have a women's double.

Cohen says making the quick switch from the quad to the single will be a difficult challenge but one he is looking forward to.

The Southland Times