Rower wins silver at world champs

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Oamaru rower Johannah Kearney has added a silver medal to her collection, following a strong performance as part of the New Zealand coxless fours at the under-23 Rowing World Championships in Varese, Italy.

Kearney, along with Emma Dyke, Kelsi Walters and Olivia Loe, rowed the team to silver.

They struggled in the heats, coming fifth, before a much better effort in the repecharge, which they won by three seconds, led them to the final.

In the final, they were fourth at the halfway mark, but a strong finish in the last 500m carried them through to the silver medal position.

Owen Gould, who coached her when she was a St Kevin’s College pupil, said it was a top effort by Kearney and her crew.

“They went really well, but Johannah is a very talented rower and has been capable of performances like that since the day she started and that result was justice for plenty of hard work.”

Kearney, who finished school in year 12, claimed her third medal on the world stage following a bronze medal in the fours at the Junior World Championships in Bulgaria and another bronze at the under-23 event last year in Lithuania.

“She’s rowing really well and showing that rowers from the smaller towns can be noticed. We are absolutely delighted with that performance form her,” Mr Gould said.

Her first coach, Stewart Mitchell, said she had been destined for the big stage ever since she started rowing while at St Joseph’s School.

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES – Johannah Kearney.