Twigg weighing up options for season ahead

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 13:30 02/02/2013
Emma Twigg
LAWRENCE SMITH/Fairfax NZ
HARD ROW: Emma Twigg was devastated by her fourth place at last year’s London Olympics.

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A stellar women's pair of Rebecca Scown and Emma Twigg looms as an enticing combination for Rowing New Zealand this year.

The duo teamed up at last weekend's Cambridge Town Cup regatta and Twigg admitted the partnership was one option she was pondering for the international season.

Scown is seeking a new crewmate for the New Zealand women's pair after Juliette Haigh retired following their bronze medal at last year's London Olympics.

She and Twigg, who was fourth in the women's single sculls final at London, are good friends and have been training together in Auckland, away from the Rowing NZ elite summer squad at Lake Karapiro.

Twigg said she took the lack of an Olympic medal hard and was debating her next move, but definitely wanted to continue chasing international glory.

"I'm still in a decision-making phase," Twigg told the Waikato Times.

"It'll obviously depend on what happens at trials a little bit and how Rowing New Zealand sees the next four years. I'm open to any kind of suggestions that Rowing NZ has, but it's got to be a boat that's actually going to go fast.

"That's probably the biggest hurdle - whether that's a pair, a double or a single, I'm open to it. But you've got to be going fast ultimately."

Twigg has been training with Scown while working part-time with ANZ and said Scown was putting the pressure on her to row in the pair. The combination may be looked at during selection trials for the New Zealand squad to contest the opening World Cup regatta of the year in Sydney from March 18-24.

"Trials are a funny thing - you turn up and you're pretty much dictated as to what you're going to be put out in. It's really a wait and see thing but it's an opportunity for us, and at North Island champs to go fast in whatever boat any of us get put out in.

"We haven't been down to Karapiro for summer so there's no reason to say Rebecca couldn't get put in a boat with someone else and go a lot faster."

Twigg said she struggled to come to terms with a surprise fourth place at the Olympics, with surprise package Fie Udby Erichsen emerging late in 2012 to grab a silver medal at Eton Dorney.

"I was pretty disappointed with how things turned out and it's a pretty hard thing to stomach," Twigg said.

"Fourth place is pretty much the worst place you can finish in, and especially in the circumstances it was under. The [windy] conditions favoured her hugely - but that's sport.

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"Looking back I would have changed how I raced in the earlier rounds so that I wouldn't be in the outside lane for the final."

Twigg acknowledged it took her "a long time to decide to get back fully into things" but had revelled in the spell in Auckland along with Scown.

"We've been lucky to have been given some flexibility to come up here and train - we've both been training for 10 years at Karapiro without much rest.

"I think the change in scenery has helped me decide that, yep, I still want to be rowing."

While she is now eyeing the international season, which will culminate with the world championships in South Korea from August 25 to September 1, competing at Sydney isn't a must. "I think it's a good opportunity to send some of the younger athletes.

"And for those of us who have had time off and aren't necessarily in peak condition it's also a nice time to not have the pressure on to be competing internationally." ian.anderson@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

- Waikato Times

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