He is a man of few words. When New Zealand rower Thomas Jenkins contacted his family from a borrowed cellphone in Bulgaria yesterday morning his celebrations might have come across somewhat indifferent to those not in the know.
But certainly not to his parents, Kathy and Bruce Jenkins, of Hawke's Bay.
"Pretty good day at the office, eh?" the Napier Boys' High School pupil said from Plovdiv after the New Zealand junior men's coxed four claimed gold at the World Junior and Senior Rowing Championship on Saturday night (NZ time).
With Jenkins setting the pace as the first stroke, the Kiwi coxed four, including Thomas Murray, Michael Brake, Cameron Webster and coxswain Sam Bosworth, beat Germany by a boat length to claim gold in a time of 6min 26.67sec, while European champions Serbia had to settle for bronze.
The women's junior straight four and the quadruple scull won bronze medals in their finals.
The junior men's quadruple scull had a tougher time in their A final, as the crew of Mitchell Mackenzie-Mol, Russell and Cameron Crampton and Corey McCaffrey were never able to challenge for the lead to finish sixth overall.
Jenkins' coxed four had recorded the fastest time in winning their heat on Wednesday.
"They weren't that quick in the final but they might have been rowing into a headwind or something," Bruce Jenkins said last night.
At the start, New Zealand shot out to take the lead and Germany, Italy and Ukraine formed a virtual line behind the Kiwi crew.
At the half-way point the Kiwis kept the heel-biters honest with a 35-stroke pace as Serbia and Germany cast wary glances at each other in the battle for silver with Italy not far behind.
In the final sprint New Zealand retained their lead, albeit at rating 34, and Germany pipped Serbia to the line.
Bruce Jenkins said the Kiwi coxed four crew had trained all month in Bulgaria and six weeks before that at Lake Karapiro in Waikato.
"He'll have to come back and catch up with school now," his father said with a laugh, adding Rowing New Zealand had provided the under-19s with a tutor to keep them accountable academically.
The victory was especially rewarding for Jenkins who missed out on last year's junior world champs in London after injuring his wrist, which required surgery a fortnight before the 2011 crew departed. They returned with a silver. Saturday's crew had no rower returning from last year.
"He's really chuffed. It has been really hard for him so we're really proud of his accomplishment," mother Kathy Jenkins said.
"Not a morning person", Kathy said they effectively stayed out of Thomas' way in the mornings before the Hawke's Bay Rowing Club member drove off to train at Clive River.
Rio Olympics is a nice thought but Kathy reckons it'll be hard for Thomas Jenkins and Andrew Potter (NBHS) to replace London gold medallists Eric Murray and Hamish Bond right now in a "great sport where my children have met great friends".