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Waikato student becomes world rowing champion

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Sam Voss is a rower to watch. The Waikato student won the Under 23 World Championship single sculls final in Poland last week, making her a legend in the rowing community and a serious contender for New Zealand’s 2020 Olympic Squad.

Competing against the world’s top rowers, it was a close race, but Sam took the lead in the last 500 metres. She says her aim was always a medal, but taking the gold was an amazing feeling.

"I’m so proud to be able to say that I’m the world champion in the Women’s Under 23 single sculls," the Rowing New Zealand athlete says.

It’s hard to believe that the prospect of even competing seemed unlikely for Sam just one year ago. After a strong 2016/17 season, a boat fell on Sam’s foot just four days before the Under 23 trials, breaking her ankle in three places. Doctors said she wouldn’t be able to race for 18 months, but she was back on the water in three.

"Obviously I was heartbroken at the time, but I knew I had more to give to the sport and an injury wasn’t going to impact my long-term goals," Sam says. "The setback added so much perspective to my life in sport and fuelled my desire to win even more!"

Sam has been rowing for six seasons now and, although the training is intense, there are lots of things that make her want to keep coming back.

"It’s a sport where you get out what you put in - if you’re willing to work hard you’ll reap the rewards," she says. "The rowing community is a really big factor as well; the dynamic of being part of a crew is very special."

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