Tuesday 5 May 2009
Australian adaptive rower Ben Houlison rowed to a strong third placed finish at the International Adaptive Regatta held in Varese, Italy over the weekend.
Houlison, who rows out of the Lakes Rowing Club in Penrith, has broken onto the Australian team for the first time in 2009 after sitting in the shadow of now retired dual world champion, Dominic Monypenny.
In the world class field in Varese, Houlison proved that he can be competitive on the international stage as he finished behind Paralympic champion, Tom Aggar, in the final of the Men’s Arms Only Single Scull.
Aggar, who hails from Great Britain, recorded a time that was 14 seconds quicker than the previous world record to finish ahead of compatriot Andy Houghton, who also bettered the old world mark.
Houlison was recently selected as Australia’s representative in the Men’s Arms Only Single Scull for the 2009 World Rowing Championships and the result will provide encouragement ahead of the event being held in Poland, August 23-31.
National High Performance Director, Andrew Matheson, says Houlison has shown strong signs of improvement.
“Ben has put in a lot of hard work over the summer months to show that he is capable of matching the world’s best in this category,” Matheson said. “We are confident that Ben can continue to improve his times ahead of the World Championships and be a genuine medal contender come August.”
Meanwhile Paralympic silver medallist Kathryn Ross continues her search for a partner in the double sculls, following the retirement of John Maclean after Beijing. A number of athletes are being fast tracked in preparation for the London Olympic Games, with multi Paralympic gold medallist in cycling, Greg Ball (OAM), a notable frontrunner.
Ball won gold in the team sprint at the Paralympic Games in Sydney and Athens, also Gold in 1998 (breaking the World record) and 2002 at the World Titles 1km Time Trial. In turning his hand to rowing, Ball hopes to join a select band of athletes to represent their country at a Paralympic Games in more than one sport.
For a full list of results from the weekend please visit http://www.canottierigavirate.com
For more information please call David Polglase on 0401 453 041