Gold

Olympics

Well you may know that Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan won an Olympic gold medal today in emphatic fashion. It might have made the papers.

They backed up two victories at the World Champs.

My memory of Joseph Sullivan’s rowing career follows if you are interested:

– 2003 – third in the U19 Pair at Maadi Cup for Queen Charlotte College
– 2004 – GOLD in the U17 single, U18 single, U18 double and U18 Quad
– 2005 – can’t remember
– 2006 – silver in the U21 single behind Nathan Cohen and in front of me and I think some other GOLDS at that regatta
– 2007 – GOLD at the U23 World Champs in the single
– 2008 – GOLD at the U23 World Champs in the single
– 2009 – GOLD at the U23 World Champs in the double
– 2010 – GOLD at the World Champs in the double
– 2011 – GOLD at the World Champs in the double
– 2012 – OLYMPIC GOLD in the double.

This is the rowing highlights of a guy from Picton who is closer to lightweight category than most heavyweights, and well under six foot. But the one way to describe Joe is that he is as tough as they come. When I trialled for the double with him, I couldn’t get my head around his rhythm – it was so different to how we rowed. He gives every race absolute death and he is a fierce competitor, but a great guy off the water and very popular with other rowers.

Nathan is extremely deserving of the gold medal. A brilliant single sculler and also a tough nut like Joe, Nathan has had to play second fiddle to Mahe since 2005 (although he did beat Mahe at one Nationals). If Nathan was in the single at the Olympics he would probably medal. There were times a few years ago when no one thought he would be able to form a successful doubles combination, as he had been categorised as a single sculler.

Then he found Matt Trott and formed a successful doubles combination, which just didn’t quite have the horsepower to win world championships. Then he had Rob Waddell at the Beijing Olympics where everything was going well and they were favourites, but finished in fourth.

Joe first sculled in international competition with Nathan when Matt Trott was sick or injured (can’t remember which) and was flown over to race with Nathan. The rest is history.

In their final today they knew they had the big finish up their sleeve, but that was far bigger than anyone would have expected… except them.

Brian (coach) sometimes said that if anyone beats you, they ought to be world champions. So my bronze in the U21 single behind two Olympic champions probably isn’t too shabby (Em says I’m living in the past).

Big day tomorrow and not much voice left after today’s efforts. Will write more…

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One thought on “Gold

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