Gallant effort but Kiwis miss in push for medal

Timaru Rowing Club's Russell and Cameron Crampton finished sixth in the men's quadruple sculls at the Junior World Rowing Championships in Bulgaria.

The identical Crampton twins, along with Corey McCaffrey and Mitchell MacKenzie-Mol, of Marlborough, were always going to find the pace tough.

The Dan Kelly-coached Kiwis were never able to challenge for the lead and slipped away from the medal pack of Italy, the Ukraine and Romania.

They instead fought out the minor placings with Hungary and the Netherlands but crossed the line behind the others.

Italy won in a time of 5min 54.34sec with the New Zealand crew recording 6min 08.16sec.

A full field of 27 countries started the event so sixth was a top effort.

Kelly said the tightness of racing had been amazing.

"Great for the spectators, not so good for the coach.

"The boys really stepped up from the quarter to the semi, but in this field you only have to be slightly off your game and you are out the back door."

The Kiwis did taste success with some of the other crews.

The junior men's coxed four of Thomas Murray, Michael Brake, Cameron Webster, Thomas Jenkins and Sam Bosworth had demonstrated their intent earlier in the regatta.

Once again they set out to lead from the start and were never headed in the final, but with Germany less than two seconds adrift at the line, and Serbia not far behind them in bronze medal position.

There were bronze medals for the women's junior straight four and the quadruple scull as well.

Kelsi Walters, Sophie Shingleton, Johannah Kearney and Holly Greenslade took the lead early in a top-class field, but could not contain the standout Chinese boat or the United States. With Italy pressing in fourth, the New Zealand crew hung on to the US for as long as they could and held off the Italians for third place.

Nobody could touch the Romanian junior women's quadruple scull in the final and they dominated from the start.

Nathalie Hill, Ruby Tew, Hannah Osborne and Zoe McBride settled into a strong third place at 500m, just a second down on the US and under a second ahead of the Germans in fourth.

The gaps had grown marginally by halfway but into the last 1000m the New Zealand crew was able to pull away from the Germans and slowly but surely close on the US crew.

They reduced the gap at the line but it wasn't enough.

The Timaru Herald