Cormac Kennedy-Leverett and Fergus Hamilton win gold in Lithuania
Australia’s Junior Men’s Double Scull were crowned World Rowing Junior Champions after a convincing victory in Trakai, Lithuania. The duo of Cormac Kennedy-Leverett and Fergus Hamilton beat off competition from European World Champions, and race favourites, Germany, to snap up gold at their debut World Rowing Junior Championships.
Post-race, Hamilton said: “I loved that race, we really went for it. We managed to get out front and just hold it. We’ve actually only had four consistent weeks together rowing. This was a fantastic first experience and great course to race on.”
Drawn in Lane 4, the Australians were the youngest crew of the six vying for the world title and got out of the blocks quickly after the race had earlier had a faulty start. There was little between the top boats, with Australia, Greece, Belarus and Germany all pushing for an early lead, however it was Australia who crossed the 500 metre mark in the lead.
The crew, coached by Tom Abramowski, had half a canvas lead over Greece and Belarus as they approached the halfway mark and continued to build speed as they pulled ahead of their competitors. At the next marker, the duo put their foot down and began to stroke 37 and took a clear water advantage over Belarus who had overtaken Greece by this point.
Hamilton, from Melbourne Grammar School, and Kennedy-Leverett, from The Southport School, powered over the line in a time of 6 minutes 34 seconds and claimed their World Title in fine fashion.
Rowing Australia Deputy Performance Director, Jaime Fernandez said: “Congratulations to Cormac, Fergus and their coach Tom on a fantastic victory today.
“This was the first time that many of our Junior team had ever competed overseas at an event with such an unprecedented amount of entries. We believe, that while only one crew claimed gold this time around, there are many athletes in this team, and the pathway, who have podium potential and this is just the first stage of their journey.
“Thanks should go to RA’s Pathways Head Coach, Lyall McCarthy, Sports Science Lead Dr Tony Rice and team manager, Georgie Lee, for their leadership and guidance of the team during their overseas tour.
“We also acknowledge and appreciate the significant commitment and support provided to the rowers by their families, coaches, schools, clubs and of course the State Associations, Institutes and Academies of Sports. We will continue to work with all our Pathway partners, across the country, to further develop and grow these athletes, and others, in the coming years.”
Earlier in the day the Junior Men’s Quadruple Scull of Daniel Samus, Jackson Kench, Harry Crouch and Lachlan Stevenson finished in third place in their B-Final. This meant the Australians concluded the event ranked ninth overall.
The Australian Junior Women’s Eight of Jessica Thompson, Georgia Thomson, Mimi Tuddenham, Emmie Frederico, Brigid McKeagney-Douglas, Ruby Gioulekas, Sophie Balson, Jane Perrignon and coxswain Phoebe Georgakas finished third in their B-Final, and also concluded the regatta ranked ninth in the world.
On Saturday, the Junior Women’s Double Scull of Skyla Froebel and Taylor McCarthy-Smith won their C-Final to conclude the regatta ranked 13th in the world.