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Otago University Clean Sweep In China

July 29, 2014

Otago University Clean Sweep in China

The Otago University Women’s Senior Rowing Eight, has won the final regatta in Linfen, Shinex Province China. In extremely hot conditions, the Otago Eight, won the preliminary race and took the centre lane for the final 50 minutes later. Otago had an extremely strong start moving out to a canvas over the first 100 metres. From this point onwards they controlled the race and continued to move away from the rest of the field. A much improved Yale crew put in a valiant effort to challenge the Paris crew right to the finish line. Otago took the win by 1 length, 4 seconds, in a time of 2.49.96, with Paris coming in at 2.53.4 and Yale at 2.54.7. The Tourin crew from Italy which has been struck by illness close to racing, had the Otago reserve Annabel Ronald competing in three seat of their crew. Tourin came out strong and put in a good fight but faded towards the end of the race.

Today’s win stretches Otago Women’s winning streak in China to 9 wins over the past two years. The crew has not been beaten at home or overseas since 2012 when they narrowly lost to Washington University in Seattle, Washington.
Otago’s team captain Lisa Owen in her final race for the University said “It is great to end my time at OURC with such a great team with successful regattas here in China. It is special to share this success with the team and I am very proud of how we worked together up until this point”. Owen goes on to represent New Zealand at the World University Rowing Championships in Gravelines, France in the Women’s Lightweight Single in September. Kirsty Thompson also in her final race for Otago after six seasons rowing at Otago five of them rowing in the Women’s top Senior Eight said “My time at OURC has been an incredible journey for me, having had many international opportunities which only OURC could have provided. Taking me to places such as South Africa, Russia and America, I will never forget them or my time representing this amazing club. I am so proud to finish my time at OURC with an amazing group of people in an amazing country with an unbeaten record”.

Today’s regatta was broadcast live on China Television (CCTV) with an estimated audience on a Sunday of over 100 million people. The organisers told the team that by winning this regatta live on Chinese Television that it would give huge publicity to both the University of Otago and New Zealand.

The Otago University Novice Women’s Eight will now compete in China against Xi’an Jiaotong University in August. The crew was invited to compete after winning the Novice Eights at the National University Rowing Championships. Otago will also send a development Women’s Eight to Melbourne, and the Senior Men’s Eight will compete in Russia against the Russian University Champions, St Petersburg State University.

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