Fresh twist for Ross as Paralympic Games partner selected

WARRNAMBOOL’S Kathryn Ross has been nominated to compete at the 2012 London Paralympics with new partner Gavin Bellis, describing it as a new chapter in her rowing career.

An extended selection period was required to find her male partner for the trunk and arms mixed double scull, culminating with the annual Gavirate International Regatta in Italy late last month.

Ross competed with fellow Beijing silver medallist John Maclean and Victorian Gavin Bellis, who was recently reclassified as a trunk and arms rower following two years in the legs, trunk and arms category.

Following the regatta, Rowing Australia nominated the pairing of Ross and Bellis in the trunk and arms team for the Paralympics.

“I’m very excited,” Ross said.

“It’s going to be a new chapter, having someone different.

“It was an emotional selection, having John and Gavin so close. It was extremely close between both of them.

“I’m just excited to have the fastest person in the boat.”

Ross said that she produced strong performances with Bellis and Maclean in Italy.

“The focus was mainly on selection, not on results, but the results were really good,” she said.

“There were two different regattas and I won silver on both days with both of the boys.

“Gavin and I had some really quick times.

“We were under the world record, which is pretty exciting.

“John and I were very close to the world record.”

The 30-year-old said she combined naturally with Bellis.

“(Bellis and Maclean) are both different in the boat, which brings out the best in me, being more diverse,” she said.

“It’s quite exciting. It feels new again.”

Ross and Maclean were expected to compete together in London until just over two months ago, when Bellis emerged.

“We thought John and I might be revisiting our experiences from Beijing again in London but unfortunately that wasn’t the case,” Ross said.

“But the times that John and I had together were really memorable.”

Ross faces a busy schedule, which includes several overseas trips, before the Paralympics.

“We’re based here in Canberra for three weeks, then we head back to Italy to train at the European training centre before we head to the World Cup in Munich,” she said.

The World Cup is from June 15 to 17.

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