Golden returns win Jed, Will a place at world rowing champs

31 May 2019

JED Altschwager is proving to be an athlete you know will always perform on the big stage.

Now, there might be another name to add to that mix with new SASI scholar Will Smith combining with Altschwager to produce a stunning result at the FISA International Para-Rowing regatta in Gavirate, Italy.

There, at the first para-international event of the season, the duo won two gold medals in the PR3 Men's Pair. Those results helped the Australian team to top the table with an overall medal tally of four gold, four silver and a bronze medal.

The duo's result also saw them win a place on the Australian team in the PR3 Men's Pair competition at the 2019 World Rowing Championship in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria, between August 25 and Septmber 1.

Altschwager said a more-relaxed but focused approach in Italy had paid off for the pair.

"I was sick at the nationals and we didn't really have the results behind us," Altschwager said.

"So in Italy we just wanted a good race and not knowing how quick we could go.

"But it was really good to do as well as we did and finish with double gold. We are feeling good and think there's more left in the tank.''

For now it is more hard training and a couple of camps thrown in to keep the team firing and well prepared before the world titles.

But while the pair will be battling the top countries at the world titles, there is always the incentive to do well with the target of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics not far away.

Competition within Australia's green and gold contenders will be intense.

The only team Australia is likely to take to Tokyo is the fours so the battle for a ticket on the team is going to be tough, says Altschwager.

While the world titles in Austria will be important the real battle for places in Tokyo will be early in 2020 with athletes aiming to squeeze out their best times individually in trials.

Altschwager already has great form on the board since he took up the sport nearly two years ago. Last year he won a silver medal at the FISA World Rowing Championship in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, in the inaugural PR3 men's pair.

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