Ross' Games partner yet to be finalised

WARRNAMBOOL rowing export Kathryn Ross will finalise her London Paralympics partner in the next few days, but it is not going to be as clear-cut as initially thought.

Up until about three weeks ago, Ross was expected to contest this year’s Games with her fellow 2008 Beijing silver medallist John Maclean, but another rower has entered the mix.

Maclean will be vying with Victorian Gavin Bellis for a spot in the Australian boat for the trunk and arms double scull. The team will be finalised at the 2012 Rowing Australia National Selection Trials which start in Sydney today.

Ross, who is guaranteed a spot in the boat, said it was an unusual position to be in.

“I’ll race with John on Friday and Gavin on Sunday,” she said. “It’s interesting and it’s something I haven’t had to do before.

“It’s about assisting both of them.

“I need to have myself in the best body shape and best mind shape that I can be in for both of them.

“It’s definitely a challenge but it’s a good challenge.”

National selectors will choose her partner at their discretion but the decision is mainly based on times from the national selection trials, which will be held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre.

Bellis came into contention to join Ross in the boat because he was recently reclassified.

“He’s been rowing for a couple of years,” Ross said.

“He was a sergeant in the army, so he’s very disciplined.”

The 30-year-old said she was in top shape.

“I’m trying not to peak for selections but I’m feeling pretty good,” she said.

“I’m the strongest I’ve ever been and the fittest I’ve ever been, which is exciting and positive for me.”

Ross will be aiming for a time of about four minutes and six seconds with both Maclean and Bellis.

After the trials, the successful male rower will switch his attention to the World Rowing Cup in Munich, Germany, which will be an important lead-up competition to the Paralympics.

Ross was looking forward to finalising her partner.

“It will be good when this is all finished so I know who I’ll be working with, then it’s full steam ahead towards London,” she said.