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Chilean and Australian siblings aim for twin peaks in the Nanjing 2014 rowing regatta

Chilean and Australian siblings aim for twin peaks in the Nanjing 2014 rowing regatta
©IOC - Lu Chunnan

15/08/2014

Two sets of twins will line up in the heats of the junior women’s pairs rowing at the Xuanwu Lake Rowing-Canoeing Venue on 18 August.

Chile’s Melita and Antonia Abraham and Australia’s Tyler and Miller Ferris - all 17 years old - agree that rowing with a sibling born minutes apart has both advantages and disadvantages.

Twins (left to right) Antonia and Melita Abraham, with Tyler and Miller Ferris

“We match each other in height, weight and reach, which is great for boat balance, rhythm and run, but mostly it’s just plain hard work,” explains Tyler Ferris.

“We get on well in the boat but as far as conversation coming down the course is concerned, we pretty well just throw any thoughts of a race plan out the window and just go for it.

"The course is only 1000m long, so there’s not much time for talk anyway,” she adds.

In contrast, the Chileans, who form the female half of a set of rowing quadruplets, admit to having “sister moments” in their boat.

“It can be very difficult rowing together. We say what we think sometimes without worrying about offending the other person,” Melita Abraham reveals.

“We were good sisters growing up and we are best friends. Just sometimes [in the boat] we don’t respect each other.”

The Abraham quadruplets were born in July 1997. Brothers Alfredo and Ignacio are members of the Chilean men’s quadruple sculls crew (a class which is not competing in Nanjing), but suggestions of a family mixed quad scull forming any time in the future are quickly dashed by the girls.

“We tried rowing together in the same boat once but we had to turn around after a very short time because we were fighting too much,” Antonia said.

The rowing events begin at 10:00 local time on 17 August with the junior women's single sculls. The heats of the junior women’s pairs begin the following day at 11:20.

The gold medal races for all boat classes will take place on 20 August, starting at 10:00.

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