Senior World Rowing Championship in Račice, Czech Republic


The RMB National Squad represented South Africa with pride in all their races during the senior World Rowing Championships in Racice, Czech Republic from 18th to 25th September 2022.

The year after an Olympic year is usually one of transition for athletes and coaches especially with a change in leadership amongst coaching staff. Olympic qualification will happen next year in 2023 at the World Championships.

The results were as follows:

The LW1X (Lightweight Women’s Single Scull) of Kirsten Macdonald (McCann) rowed a courageous race in the A final. She battled it out with the top four women all the way down the course and at the line she was just outside of the medals in 4th place in a time of 7:48,59.

The LM2X (Lightweight Men’s Double Scull) of Murray Bales-Smith and Lebone Mokheseng raced the D Final. They finished 4th in 6:44,94 giving them an overall ranking of 22nd. This was their first international regatta together, and as members of the World Rowing Development Program on the Olympic pathway.

The M2- (Men’s Coxless Pair) of James Mitchell and Henry Torr raced well and finished 5th in the B Final in a time of 6:38,07 giving them a ranking of 11th overall. This is a good showing from this new pair combination. They will need to maintain or improve this performance next year to remain in the top 11 Olympic qualification places.

The M4- (Men’s Coxless Four) of Chris Baxter, Damien Bonhage-Koen, Jake Green and Luc Daffarn also had a good row in the B Final and finished 5th in a time of 6:04,80 giving them an overall ranking of 11th. This was a good performance from this combination which was put together after the U23 World Championships. Only the top 7 boats in the Men’s four event will qualify for the Olympic games so there will need to be improvement from this boat in 2023.

The M1X (Men’s Single Scull) of Thabelo Masutha raced in the D Final and finished 3rd in a time of 7:13,31. This gives him a ranking of 21st overall.

The PR1 M1X (Pararowing 1 Men’s Single Scull) of Lifa Hlongwa raced in the C Final and finished 3rd in 10:47,54 giving him an overall ranking of 15th. This was Lifa’s second international regatta and as a member of the World Rowing Development Program on the Paralympic pathway. Only the top 7 PR1 scullers would qualify in 2023 for the Paralympics.

We would like to thank everyone for their support this season, and during the regatta! The South African rowing community is a passionate one!

Congratulations to the athletes and coaches! We are really proud of you and what you achieved this season.

Thank you to all the coaches, administrators and clubs of RowSA that provide the development pipeline for all athletes in the respective national teams.

The RMB National Squad relies on many service providers and backroom staff that contribute daily to the success of the athletes. Thank you to Team doctor – Dr Marcel Jooste and SEMLI; Strength and Conditioning and Biokinetisist – Nicola Macleod; Physiotherapists – Corli and Garreth Bruni; and Performance Psychologist – Lesley Pedlar.

Thank you to Rand Merchant Bank, our title sponsor and supporter of rowing in South Africa at all levels. None of this would be possible without your support.

Thank you to our partners CNandCo and Blake Dyason, Betway and Awaneo, Barker Insurance, TAG Leisure Travel, SASCOC and Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.

We are grateful to World Rowing for their support of all our athletes throughout this season.

Thank you to the University of Pretoria who host and provide a home base to the RMB National Squad in Hatfield, Pretoria.

Thank you to the University of Johannesburg for their support of Pararowing in South Africa.

Thank you to the WRM2023 Organizing committee and all their partners for all their management and uplifting of our main training venue, Roodeplaat Dam. It is already clear that the legacy impact of the event will be a major one for the South Africa rowing community.

Thank you to Rowing South Africa members – Gaynor Du Toit, Virginia Mabaso and President Sean Kerr and International Commission Chair Warren Boltler for all their support of the team.

“A tough, but valuable two weeks for the young team. They played some hard yards here and have certainly developed their race experience at senior level.

Our medal hope, Kirsten, showing well in her final, but falling just shy in 4th. Once again displaying the type of gutsy racing we have come to expect from her this season.

With a total of 2 months more training away from our home water Roodeplaat dam this year (due to the hyacinth infestation), we are hopeful that the 2023 season will be less disruptive and arduous, as the dam has seen some significant improvement recently.” Andrew Grant – Senior National Coach RMB National Squad

“We prepared exceptionally well this season all things considered. As the head coach of the RMB National Squad I expected better results but I am proud of the determination shown. 

The RMB National Squad athletes and coaches know where we stand and stand proudly in what we have achieved. We will reconcile and try again at next years World Championships. We continue to push on and strive to do better. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank RMB for making this season possible, it would not have been possible without you. To the team behind the team thank you for your commitment… we are punching well above our weight. The whole season was a team effort and a special note of thanks to Grant Dodds who works tirelessly behind the scene. Thank you Thato Mokoena and a very special thank you to Senior National coach Andrew Grant. Your support has been unwavering.” Tiago Loureiro – Head National Coach RMB National Squad

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