Thu, 09 May 2019
WOOLTON Hill rower Katie Metalli won gold at the fourth attempt as Oxford Brookes triumphed in the British University & Colleges Sports National Regatta at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham at the weekend.
After having won three silver medals in 2016 and 2017, the 23-year-old rower faced disappointment last year as she was not even selected for the eight.
And although she exceeded expectations with a fine fifth place in the coxless fours, she came away without any hardware.
This was the first opportunity for Metalli to test her improvement and on Monday last week she heard that she was appointed in the stroke seat of the boat.
In rowing, if the cox is the manager, then the stroke is the captain on the water and this was the first time she had been given this role.
She said: “I was really nervous about stroking the boat as there is a huge amount of responsibility.
“It is down to me to make sure the rest of the crew hit the right stroke rate at the right time as they all follow what I set.
“I have to take into account everyone’s strengths and weaknesses throughout the event and make sure no one burns themselves out too soon.”
Brookes cruised through the semi-final and, despite easing off massively in the last 500, finished some four seconds ahead of Exeter with Newcastle taking third.
In the final, it was Metalli’s crew who won the gold for the first time in the university's history by more than a length in 7:05.65.
Newcastle finished second in 7:09.86 with Edinburgh taking the bronze in 7:10.87.
The 23-year-old then went onto secure a bronze medal during the championship double sculls, losing out to the A and B side of Reading University.
It was Metalli’s first sculls race in more than four years and, with help from Beth Wilford-Dutton, the Brookes’ duo delivered a strong performance.
“I was so pleased with that race,” said Metalli. “Beth and I seemed to just fit together immediately.
“She is a great sculler and made it easy for me to row with her, although that was really hard work.
“I am not disappointed in any way to only get a bronze behind two boats from the country’s leading sculling university and the bronze actually means I now have a full set of BUCS medals.”