Smith attended St Alban’s College and had to switch sports from water polo to rowing after picking up an injury during a water polo match at age 16. Smith won his first gold medal at the under-23 World Championships in Belarus in 2010, which was South Africa’s first ever rowing gold medal at a World Championship. Along with his gold at the 2012 Olympics, Smith also won gold at the Senior World Championships in 2014.

Thompson attended St Andrew’s College in the Eastern Cape and made his international debut in 2003 where he won bronze in the coxed four at the World Rowing Junior Championships. Thompson went on to win two silvers at the under-23 World Championships in the lightweight pair division.

 

Latest PB’s and goals:
After winning gold at the London Olympics, Thompson switched with Smith to the lightweight double division and won gold at the 2014 World

 Championships. In a time of 6:05.36, they set the best result in history at the global event by a South African crew. In an interview with Sascoc Thompson said, “It’s fantastic to have been given the opportunity to race at the Games again. We have dedicated four years to preparing for Rio and are excited to get out

 there and see what we can put together.”

 

Race days:
Thompson and Smith can be seen rowing in the Olympics in the heat rounds of the men’s lightweight double sculls on Sunday 7 August with the semi-finals taking place on Wednesday 10 August and the finals taking place on Friday 12 August.

 

Photo: James Thompson Facebook page

 

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