As she patiently watched the rest of the racing programme unfold, Katherine relished the prospect of going to the top of the podium tomorrow herself on Sunday.
A victory then would bring Katherine a welcome fifth world title, but, first, she is concentrating on the job in hand for herself and double sculls partner Anna Watkins. “It’s exciting going after gold again” she admits, “but when it comes down to the race, we’ll be focussed on moving our boat as fast as it possibly will go, and if we get everything right, the result happens. But once we’re through that finish line, and if we’re the ones that cross it ahead, then I’ll be very happy to take that title”
She adds, “we’re really looking forward to the final” and referring back to the outstanding heat victory on Monday that put her and Anna into that final, she added, “It is a long wait. You come off the heat on a massive adrenalin high, but we needed to come back down after that, get some good training under our belts, and start to build it up again. Now we can’t wait to get out there and do it. When you get the chance to be world champion, you’ve always got to try to take it. It’s a massive privilege and I’ve been very, very proud every time I’ve done it in the past”.
Looking at the race in more detail, Katherine says, “we’ve been working on race plans and there’s not a lot we can add in now. We’ve been thinking about different strategies and we’ve got no idea how the race is going to unfold. A lot of the thinking goes in before the race happens so there’s no surprise out there”.
And partner Anna explains further. “In training we’ll go through a lot of different scenarios. If we’re just paddling, I’ll be calling imaginary crews here and there, but it’s actually pretty instinctive. We have certain standards that we set ourselves. Crews can get off the start fast and that type of thing, but there are limits as to how far we’d let them go. I’ll be telling Katherine where the crews are, leaving her to her job of stroking the boat. She’d be expecting something from me if we’re under pressure from any crew”.
Katherine and Anna have been undefeated since they came together, winning this season’s World Cup, but they clearly feel they have something up their sleeves for their season’s climax. Katherine says, “I still think people don’t know what we’re capable of. We’ve experienced different races throughout the season and all the results have gone in our favour, but we think we’re strong enough to counter the attacks when they come on Sunday, and they will come”.
“This is certainly the most success I’ve had on the way into a world final, and that creates confidence of course. But there is still a crew there that we haven’t raced yet, Poland, who also happen to be world champions. I’m very aware we haven’t raced this field in its entirety yet, but I still feel we will step up from where we were a week ago. We want a race that we can really get to grips with and take on, and be first the whole way down, because that will bring out the best in us”.