Munro on course for Olympics
Story by: JOSH REICH - Photo by: Colin Smith
When Robyn Munro takes her seat in the New Zealand under-23 eight in Amsterdam tonight, she hopes it will be the first race of many leading up to next year's London Olympics.
The former Nelson College for Girls student has spent the past few months in Cambridge at New Zealand Rowing's high performance centre, preparing for the under-23 world champs.
She was part of New Zealand's eight at the 2010 Karapiro World Rowing Championships, but NZR made the decision to enter the boat at age-group level, rather than push on at elites.
Should they win in Amsterdam, they will carry through to the elite world champs in Bled, Slovenia, to try to qualify the boat for the Olympics.
"We all want to get to the Olympics next year and winning a gold seems to be our next step to getting closer," she said from Europe.
They line up in the heats tonight (NZ time), with the final scheduled for Sunday.
Munro said the crew was feeling confident, despite a disrupted buildup that saw two members suffer injuries, forcing them to train with reserves.
One of them had to subsequently pull out of the European trip, but they were starting to make strides on the water.
"It's really come together over the past few weeks and although its been physically and mentally draining at times, the effort we have put in is starting to pay off.
"We arrived in Amsterdam about two weeks ago and have been training ever since, just getting into the groove of things over here and used to the conditions.
"We haven't done any official races, just practised ones against other crews in the New Zealand under-23 squad.
"From what we have done, I can say that we can be very confident in ourselves going into the regatta.
"Not only do we work well together on the water but we're all good friends off the water which I think makes the boat go faster."
She said this weekend could determine the next six months of the crew's lives.
"I'm really excited to start racing. It's been such a big process and it will be good to finally race against our own boat class and see where we rank in the world."