Australian team seeking medals GG2023 Rowing
By Joshua Wakefield and Mousumi Mazumdar for Virtus
Athletes from around the world will be displaying their remarkable abilities in various sports in this year’s Virtus Global Games in Vichy, France. Rowing is a fast-growing sport within the Virtus programme, and the Virtus Global Games has provided a stage for rowers with intellectual impairments to shine, inspiring us all with their exceptional skills. This year, both on-water and indoor rowing events are included at GG2023 and thirty five out of forty rowers will be seen competing in both indoor and on-water rowing.
The indoor rowing event at GG2023 will showcase a range of individual and relay competitions for athletes across all three Virtus competition classes: II1, II2, and II3 and will feature four distinct races: 500m, 1000m and 2000m row along with the thrilling team relay covering a total distance of 2000m. On-water rowing will feature an exhilarating line-up of four events, the skiff (individual), double sculls (two-rowers team event), quadruple sculls (four-rower team event) and coxed fours (four rowers and one coxswain event).
Who to look out for?
II1 Australian rower, Macintyre Russell, also known as Mac, is one of the most decorated Virtus rowers so far. With a remarkable performance in the previous Global Games, where he secured seven gold medals, two silver medals, and one bronze medal in indoor and on-water rowing, Mac has established himself as a standout athlete. During the competition, spectators noticed Mac carrying a poster bearing the phrase ‘The Mac Attack,’ which could be seen as a symbolic representation of his remarkable dominance over his rivals in the games he competed in.
‘I am training almost every day in the lead-up to the VIRTUS Games. I do 5 on water sessions each week, 4 gym sessions plus a couple of bikes & ergs. I’m working so hard that I’m finding it difficult to eat enough of each meal to keep my weight up!’, Mac told Virtus.
Another Australian hoping for gold in this year’s Global Games is female indoor and outdoor rower Bronte Marshall in II1 category. With gold in the 2000m in GG2019, she seeks to further her achievements by securing medals in both the 500m and 1000m rowing events.
The Australian team is eagerly anticipating the results of their intensive training, hoping that their efforts will pay off and surpass the formidable South Korean team, who delivered an impressive performance in the team relays at the previous Global Games, covering a challenging distance of 2000m.
Francesco Di Donato, an Italian athlete, impressed at the 2019 Global Games, winning gold medals in the men’s 1000m and 2000 indoor rowing events. He aims to continue his success at this year’s competition and secure a hat-trick of gold medals. Ecuadorian rower, Brayan Quinquiguano also showed promise at the 2022 OA Games, winning two bronze and one silver, and is expected to compete strongly at GG2023.
The Australian team demonstrated their dominance in both on-water and indoor rowing at the 2022 OA Games and GG2019, securing a total of 32 gold, 28 silver, and 17 bronze medals across the two events. Their exceptional performance showcased their commitment and skill, establishing them as a fierce force in the sport. However, France is determined to make their mark at GG2023 with their team of seventeen rowers, leveraging their familiarity with the water to challenge Australia’s supremacy.