Cox steps up preps for Paris

26 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
Cox steps up preps for Paris

The Sunday Mail

Ellina Mhlanga

Senior Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE rower Stephen Cox is stepping up his preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and is expected to head into the final phase of his build-up over the next couple of weeks.

Cox will be part of Team Zimbabwe to grace this year’s Olympic Games in Paris from July 26 to August 11.

He earned his ticket in the Men’s Single Scull event (M1x) after finishing fourth during the Africa Olympic Qualification Regatta/Africa Rowing Championships in Tunisia last October.

The top five from that event all qualified for the Olympics.

Since then, Cox has been busy preparing for the global showcase, starting off the year with a three-month training in Australia before moving back to his training base at Molesy Rowing Club in the United Kingdom.

As part of his preparations for Paris, he has competed in a number of competitions since January, including the New South Wales State Championships and the Australian Rowing Championships.

He has a few more competitions he is hoping to compete in, including the World Rowing Cup III in Poznan, Poland, slated for June 14-16.

In an update on Cox’s preparations, Rowing Association of Zimbabwe president Andrew Lorimer said the Poland event is likely to be his last before the games.

“Steve returned to his training base at Molesy Rowing Club in the UK at the end of March 2024 to commence a hard training block to try and better his fitness ahead of the Northern Hemisphere international racing season and the final tune-up rowing races in preparation for Paris 2024.

“We now need to look at what is the ideal amount of racing for him to do in 2024, so that he peaks at just the right time for Paris,” he said.

The Zimbabwean rower had hoped to compete at the World Cup II Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland, but failed due to logistical challenges.

The event began on Friday and ends today.

He is now hoping to be part of a week-long training camp in Belgium that begins today with his club.

“Steve will then move a short distance from there to Amsterdam, Netherlands, to compete at the Holland Beker International Regatta between June 1 and 2, 2024.

“The Dutch Rowing team will be competing at this regatta along with a number of other international crews. The Dutch are one of the teams currently dominating world rowing.

“The rowing conditions in Belgium and Netherlands should be similar to those that will be experienced on the Paris 2024 Olympic rowing course.

“Steve’s last competitive regatta prior to the Olympics is likely to be the World Cup Three event in Poznan, Poland, between 14 and 16 June, 2024,” said Lorimer.

Lorimer acknowledged the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee for their support.

The rowing competition at the Paris Games is scheduled to run from July 27 to August 3.

The national association had hoped for the Plunket brothers, Rory and Patrick, to also qualify but they missed qualification for the Men’s Light Weight Double Scull event (LM2x) after coming fourth at the African Olympic Qualification Regatta last year.

Only the winning boat in this event qualified.

They could not attend the final qualification regatta held in Lucerne, Switzerland, last week due to college commitments.

“The Plunkets had one more chance to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics in the LM2x event if they were to come either first or second in this event at the final Paris Olympic Qualification Rowing Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland, between 19 and 21 May, 2024,” said Lorimer.

“However, the Plunket brothers returned to their university studies instead.”

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