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Thornycroft retains top spot

ZIMBABWEAN Olympic rower Micheen Thornycroft has retained her place as Africa’s top female rower after finishing first in the single sculls at the 10th Africa Rowing Championship in Algeria recently.

BY MICHAEL MADYIRA

The 27-year-old rowed her way to the top at the Boukerdane Dam in Sidi Amar, Tipasa to extend her continental dominance.

A total of 109 athletes from 19 African countries participated at the regatta that took place from October 16 to 18.

“The good thing is I managed to maintain my position,” said Thornycroft.

“It is good for my confidence to know that I am still on top. It also helps me do away with complacency because I am the rower to beat, so I am naturally pushed to do well and keep my position.”

This season has seen her race at the Paulo D’alorja in Italy six months ago, World Cup II in Aiguebelette, France as well as the World Championships in Netherlands.

She also had a month-long training camp in Germany where she practised in Munich at the 1972 Olympics course.

Her next international race is in April 2015 when she competes at the World Cup  in Slovenia.

She will also compete at the World Championships in France next August.

Thornycroft will also contest at the Africa Championship in Tunisia and the regatta would be used as qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

“I just need to stay in the top four to make it to the Olympics. Although I did not set any record, I came first in Algeria and that is inspiring for next year. “We got a four-year plan working towards the Olympics,” she said.

Travelling with her to Algeria was male rower Peter Purcell-Gilpin who came out fourth in the singles sculls.

Hosts Algeria were the winners with six gold, followed by Tunisia who claimed five while Egypt were third with two gold as the North Africans dominated the championships.

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