Horrie, Baker recognised by Rowing Australia
It was double satisfaction for NSWIS rower Erik Horrie and his coach Jason Baker who were named 2013 Male Athlete of the Year and Coach of the Year by Rowing Australia. They received their awards at last month’s Sydney International Rowing Regatta in Penrith. Horrie completed an amazing transition in the sport by blitzing the field in the arms and shoulders men’s single scull at the 2013 FISA World Rowing Championships in Korea. The Penrith based Horrie secured gold by over seven seconds from his nearest competitor, knocking 10 seconds off the previous world record. In winning his maiden world title Horrie defeated arch rival and reigning world and Paralympic champion Tom Aggar, adding to the silver medal he won 12 months ago at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. Baker said 2013 was a fantastic year for the pair and was humbled to receive the award by Rowing Australia. “It was a big surprise and we definitely weren’t expecting it,” Baker said. “It’s a pretty big honour and I’m absolutely privileged to be able to work with Erik. “He’s a unique athlete and to see what he has achieved after the things he has been through, and to be part of all that is amazing. “Like they say good athletes make good coaches.” Horrie began rowing just two years ago in 2011. A former wheelchair basketballer, Horrie switched to the water after being told he wasn’t in line to make the Paralympic Games on the court. The former coach of the Australian men’s wheelchair basketball team wanted to keep him in sport because of his competitive nature and natural talent, with Horrie quickly finding his way in the boat before going on to achieve world champion status. Horrie continued his great form winning the arms and shoulders division at the Sydney International Regatta two weeks ago. The 34-year-old stopped the clock just five second outside his world record, securing the second fastest time in history. Horrie and Baker are now preparing for their next conquest, the 2014 International Para-Rowing Gavirate Regatta in Varese, Italy. “We’ll train for the next month then we’re heading to Italy for the Gavirate Regatta in May,” Baker said.
NSWIS juniors taste success on the world stage
NSWIS track and field athletes Jake Stein, Nicholas Hough and Steven Solomon have all tasted success at the 2012 IAAF Junior World Championships in Barcelona. Hough brought home silver in his 110m hurdles in an Australian record time of 13.27 with current Australian champion Solomon finishing his 400m final in a personal best 45.52 to take out the bronze. Ranked third heading into the final two legs, Stein threw a championship record and personal best 69.61m in the Javelin to see him lead into the 1500m final stage. Unfortunately Stein could not hold his position as American Gunnar Nixon finished strongly to not only take out the 1500m, but also the event. Although Stein didn’t come away with the gold, he was happy with the silver medal and an Australian record as the outcome. “Of course I wanted to win gold, but I am not disappointed” “The decathlon is about ten events in a row and I probably didn’t do that to the best of my ability, but I know that I can improve and I know that I will head home as second best in the world with a new national record. That’s nothing to be upset about” stated Stein. This silver medal followed up his world record and gold medal performance in the men’s octathlon from the 2011 IAAF Youth World Championships. Brandon Starc was the only other NSWIS athlete competing through the first three days of competition, recording a mark of 2.14m to qualify for the high jump final to be held in the afternoon session of the fourth day.