Hoping to continue form


Oamaru rower Mark Taylor hopes to continue what has been a stellar year at the world junior championships in the Netherlands in August.
The 17-year-old Waitaki Boys’ High School pupil has been in a rich vein of form.
The highlight was his win in the under-17 single scull at the Maadi Cup regatta on Lake Ruataniwha in April, while he was recently named schoolboy rower of the year at the recent Otago Rowing Awards.
Being named in the New Zealand squad to contest the world junior championships capped those achievements off nicely, and he is in a positive frame of mind as his preparations to compete in the men’s under-19 coxless quad continue.
His programme includes six weeks of training in Oamaru, before he heads north to Cambridge for a further seven weeks and then boards a plane for Rotterdam, where he will be based for 19 days.
Taylor’s training regime is a combination of both work on the water and on indoor rowing machines to refine his technique, and will ramp up in intensity as the world championships get closer.
“Here in Oamaru, I have to keep my strength and fitness up, if not build it. When I get to Cambridge, I will be doing what I’m doing now, probably even more so.”He is looking forward to competing at the highest level, and is confident of putting in a good showing in the black singlet.
“It’s been quite interesting, because I’m getting to experience what I’ve been told stories about, but now it’s me doing it,” Taylor said of his involvement with the national rowing programme.
“It’s all about the experience; getting to learn more about the sport I’m doing. If I can carry on with my rowing up to New Zealand level, I will be very happy.”Taylor is hoping for a top-six finish, which will put the coxless quad in a solid position to chase a medal.
While he is focused on his Rotterdam campaign for now, Taylor hopes to one day compete at the highest possible level.
“One day, hopefully, but there’s a lot of steps to take. The juniors is well up there from where I thought I was going to be going back in year 9.
“If I can get to the Olympics, I would love that, but obviously I’ve got to go through all of the right steps to get there.”The world junior rowing championships run from August 21 to 28.MysneakersSneakers