Nationals In Sight

CHAMPION rower Natalia Dou has won her second consecutive NSW under-17 single scull competition. Natalia, 15, has been training for 21/2 years and will compete in the National Rowing Championships in Perth next month. The MLC Sydney student said it was a surprising win. “It’s pretty amazing, I didn’t think of the possibility of having won two years in a row,’’ she said.

She said the title was the result of a lot of early mornings and intensive training. ‘‘When it’s raining at 5.30 in the morning, you don’t feel like doing anything. You just want to go back to sleep. There were countless blisters, back pains and all the mental struggle of it as well. “It’s extremely challenging to wake up every morning and drag yourself to rowing.’’

With the help of her coach Parker Milan, Natalia has received a scholarship offer from a US sporting college. Milan said he had high hopes for the young rower. ‘‘She’s got very good determination, she works hard,’’ Mr Milan said. ‘‘At the moment she is taking one step at a time. The ultimate goal is to represent Australia at the Olympic games.”

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