Liz Kell, World Champion in the women?s double scull in 2006, is recovering after a recent back operation. The gold medallist in Eton was forced out of Australian selection this year due to back pain. Kell?s injury was a progressive one.
?The volume of training I have undertaken caused my back to deteriorate over time,? says Kell. Nevertheless, her recent operation was an enormous success.
?The surgeon said it went really well,? says Kell. ?It took three to four hours?.
At present Kell can lie down and walk around, but is unable to sit down. In two weeks, the World Champion will return to the AIS in Canberra, where she will undergo recovery physiotherapy and be monitored by medical staff.
Although Kell admits she loves Sydney, returning to Canberra will be an important move for her 2008 campaign.
?Sydney University Boat Club has a terrific set-up and Phil Bourguignon is great coach,? says Kell. ?But Canberra is a brilliant centre for pre-Olympic pushes and I?m going to make the most of my time there on scholarship.?
Hoping to be back in the boat by mid July, Kell will build up her strength over the coming weeks and plans to do some cross-country skiing.
With ambitious eyes on the Beijing Olympics, Kell is determined to make the women?s sculling squad and would love to be back in the double scull.
?If I had a choice the double would be my pick,? says Kell. ?The double is a more quiet and smoother boat. It has a lot more feeling.?
No doubt much of the Australian rowing community would love to see Kell reunite with Brooke Pratley and go on to win an Olympic gold. For avid rowing fans, it is hard to think of a more exciting race than Kell and Pratley?s double scull final at Eton ? a race that resulted in them being named the ?Australian crew of the year? for 2006.