Friday, August 12

Rugby player-turned-rower shines at indoor worlds


Joshua during a training session at home.

KUCHING: A Sarawakian rower has created history and done the state and Malaysia proud by securing a top 10 finish during the virtual World Rowing Indoor Championships recently.

Joshua Flood, a former rugby player from Kuching clocked 01:16.0 in the Men’s Open 500m in a field of 20 competitors in the event organised by the World Rowing Association.

Phil Clapp of the UK won the race in 01:11.6 to retain the title while Anton Bondarenko of Ukraine and Joel Naukkarinen of Finland were second and third with times of 01:12.8 and 01:14.1 respectively.

Joshua, who is of Scot-Iban parentage, was delighted with his achievement considering that he only took up rowing in 2017 as fitness workout.

“I actually really proud to have finished in seventh place. I am gradually getting better and better,” the 37-year-old said.

“I train six times a week and I recently got a rowing coach. My goal is to try and beat a Great Britain international rower during one of the British Rowing Championships,” Joshua told The Borneo Post through a WhatsApp interview from London.

He was the only Malaysian in the championship and there were two Asian rowers in the category.

The online competition took place from Feb 23 to 27 involving more than 900 rowers from 63 nations.

“I think my time… maybe a Malaysian record and even an Asian record.

“I set a target of competing in the Asian Qualifiers in January 2021 and won the Men’s 500m open sprint and finished second in the Men’s Over 30s end of 2017.

“I actually won the Scottish Men’s 500m Open race in November last year,” added Joshua.

He played for the Kuching Rugby Football Club in 2005-2006 season after completing his university degree at Liverpool.

After moving to London, he played for a rugby club in Rosslyn Park and switched to indoor rowing after a car accident in March 2012.

He was hit by a 4×4 vehicle while cycling home from work off Waterloo roundabout and suffered broken wrists and a fractured scaphoid.