Tara Rigney wins a silver medal at the 2024 Rowing World Cup 11 2024 in Lucerne, Switzerland.

New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) athlete Tara Rigney has ascended the podium at the World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Rigney crossed the line in a nail-biting finish to claim the silver medal in the women’s single sculls.

“It’s always so much fun getting to have a race that close. I absolutely love racing,” Rigney said at the conclusion of the race.

The race was a ‘pinch me moment’ for the two-time World Rowing Championship Bronze Medallist, who was inspired to compete against athletes such as the Dutch World Champion Karolien Florijn and the reigning Olympic champion in the women’s single sculls, New Zealander Emma Twigg.

Florijn finished in first place (07:25.76) with Rigney in second (07:27.33) followed by Twigg (07:28.25) who picked up the bronze.

“My goal today was to go out and race freely and fearlessly. I did that – it is a good starting platform [for the Games],” Rigney said.

However, the Olympian is not satisfied to rest on her laurels.

“While I do take some confidence from today, it by no means sets me up for the World Cup and hopefully the Games – it is back to the drawing board to look at ways I can improve.”

Rigney, who trains at the Women’s National Training Centre in Penrith, credits the program as one of the reasons for her success.

“Some of those harder competitive sessions I do are at the Training Centre – the competitive sessions – I line up against crews like the Australian double and pair and verse them, really replicates outside racing. You get that intensity close to every day at the centre.”

While Rigney has a collection of medals from the World Championships and World Cups, she is yet to win an Olympic medal.

Making her Olympic debut in the Women’s Double Scull at the Tokyo Olympics, held in 2021, she and fellow debutant Amanda Bateman won the B-Final and recorded an overall result of seventh.

Asked the difference between gold and silver, Rigney responded.

“You will have to ask me when I get the gold medal. I don’t know yet. I am searching for the secret to getting one.  

Frances Cordaro, NSWIS

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