ZIMBABWE’S leading female rower Micheen Thornycroft continued her preparations towards qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio dé Janeiro, Brazil, with a commendable display at the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam.
Thornycroft, who represented the country at the London Olympics two years ago, was one of two local rowers at the prestigious regatta together with men’s sculler Andrew Peebles.
The 27-year-old sculler, bracing for a crucial season in 2015, ended her campaign with a solid second-place finish in the women’s single sculls D-Final ending the world regatta in 19th position overall out of 27 competitors on Saturday.
Earlier last week, Thornycroft had started her campaign with a sixth-place finish in one of the women’s single sculls time trial heats coming out tops in the repechage.
She then raced to fourth position in the quarter-final race before managing the same position in the C/D semi-final race which saw her drop to the D-Final. 25-year-old Peebles, the only other local rower at the world regatta in the Netherlands settled ended his campaign with a fourth place finish in the F-Final to finish 28th overall.
Thornycroft, whose last appearance at a major event came at the World Rowing Cup in Aiguebelette, France back in June, said she learned a lot from participating at the world regatta.
“My races went well, but unfortunately I had a tough draw and so came out fourth in my C/D semi-final and second in the D-Final on Saturday. It was a good learning experience. I always learn so much coming to race against the world’s best rowers,” she said.
“Although things have not gone as well as i had hoped or expected, that means I have more to learn and put into my preparations for next season.”
Thornycroft was one of 10 elite Zimbabwean athletes who were last week awarded Olympic Solidarity scholarships aimed at assisting them towards qualification for the 2016 Rio Games. The other nine athletes announced by the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee include seven-time Olympic medallist Kirsty Coventry, Chad Idensohn, James Lawson, Robyn Lee (all swimming), Peter Purcell-Gilpin (rowing), Wirimayi Juwawo, Ngonidzashe Makusha, Gabriel Mvumvure and Cuthbert Nyasango (all athletics).
“I am not sure of the details of the scholarships yet, but any financial help always goes a long way in helping with our preparations.
“Competing at an elite level and keeping up with the world is expensive if you are going to do it properly and so any backing helps and I’d like to thank Zimbabwe Olympic Committee for the support,” she said.