Rowing: Champs dream still in sight for Strack

Dunedin sculler Lucy Strack will be on the lake fighting for a place in the final instead of watching from the grandstand.

Strack (20), a member of the North End club, is living a dream she did not think possible at the start of the year when she bought a ticket to the world championships.

She is one of the New Zealand squad which has been fast-tracked into the event after reaching the podium at the world under-23 championships in Belarus in July.

Strack and Julia Edward are in the light- weight double sculls semifinals and must finish in the top three to advance to the A final.

"It will be a tough race because we are up against the best in the world," Strack told the Otago Daily Times yesterday.

"But it is our goal."

Strack and Edward struggled in the rough water conditions on Sunday.

"It was nice to get a reprieve and get another race. It has built our confidence."

They finished third in their heat but put that behind them by winning their repechage in 7min 00.86sec, ahead of Belarus (7min 02.57sec) and Italy (7min 02.72sec).

The will face China, Greece, Great Britain, United States and Italy in the semifinals.

Otago University sculler Fiona Bourke also has a chance to reach the final in the women's quadruple sculls repechage.

The first two crews go into the A final.

The other contenders are Romania, Australia and China.

It has been a rapid journey for Bourke, who started rowing when she came to Otago University three years ago.

The New Zealand crew finished third in its heat but will have a difficult time against the other crews.

"We intend to push the other crews as hard as we can," Bourke said.

"The crowd gave us a boost at the end of the heat."

Both scullers have been thrilled competing in a red-hot atmosphere against the best scullers in the world.

"It's a great atmosphere and pretty amazing," Strack said.

"I can't believe what a big event it is."


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