Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
11 Oct 2017
7:16 am

Golden Kirsty McCann goes with the flow

Wesley Botton

The darling of South African rowing wants to go even faster ... and claim more medals.

Kirsten McCann. Photo: FISA.

Less than two weeks after her historic victory at the World Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Kirsty McCann is already analysing her performance and looking to go faster as she chases more medals on the international circuit.

McCann closed out her season by racing to gold in the lightweight women’s single sculls final at the annual championships late last month, becoming the first South African woman to win a rowing world title.

“I suppose athletes have a bit of a strange outlook on life because we never feel we’re good enough, and I can still see when I watch videos of the race there is lots to work on,” McCann explained.

“So that motivates me and I feel driven through that, and wanting to stay the world’s best.”

McCann earned bronze in the single sculls boat at the 2010 World Under-23 Championships and took gold at the 2013 World Student Games.

With no lightweight single sculls class in the Olympic programme, however, she has focused on the double boat for most of her senior career, earning bronze with Ursula Grobler at the 2015 World Championships and taking fifth place in the Olympic final in Rio last year.

The 29-year-old TuksSport star enjoyed a triumphant return to the single division this season, and while the decision on the formation of the national crews would ultimately rest on SA head coach Roger Barrow, her longterm plans were geared towards a return to the double category in the build-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“I’m not 100% sure what Roger’s plan is at the moment, but the ultimate plan is to go back to the double because it’s an Olympic boat class,” McCann said.

“But we’re still three years away, and we’re still two years away from Olympic qualifiers, so that’s quite a long time for us, and we’ll just go with the flow.”