Hawke's Bay rower Tom Mackintosh and his New Zealand under-23 men's four crew had little time to celebrate their world championship silver medal this morning.
In a phone call home shortly after their race in Sarasota-Bradenton in the United States Mackintosh said the crew's attention had already turned to Olympic Games qualification.
The Kiwis will leave the United States tomorrow to attend a training camp in northern Italy to prepare for the August 25-September 1 senior world championships in Austria.
"If we finish in the top eight there we will qualify for Tokyo," he said referring to next year's Olympics in Japan.
From last place at the start Mackintosh, Tom Russel, Ben Taylor and Sam Jones worked their way through the field to finish second by 0.68s to Great Britain in what Mackintosh described as "stifling hot" weather conditions.
"Great Britain took off like a rocket on the flat water. Our start was slower than we would have liked but we weren't concerned," Mackintosh recalled.
"The guys who took off fast would pay later in the race ... apart from Great Britain."
"While we were gaining very strongly we had emptied the tank during the last 50 metres," Mackintosh said.
The 22-year-old Lindisfarne College old boy was thrilled his crew did equal best of the New Zealand crews at the under-23 world champs. Jack Lopas and Ollie Maclean also won silver in their men's double scull final.
"Today's silver is the highlight of my international career to date. When you consider the other members of this crew are just 19 we've got plenty of promise," Mackintosh said.
Last year Mackintosh was in the New Zealand coxless four which won bronze at the under-23 world championships in Poland. Just as he did after those champs Mackintosh today heaped kudos on the Hawke's Bay development systems.
"Hawke's Bay has good coaching programmes. The technical work put in on the Clive River has set me up well," Mackintosh said.
Since leaving Lindisfarne College Mackintosh has represented the Southern Regional Performance Centre and the Canterbury club.