Eight years after having a brain tumour removed, New Zealand rower Toby Cunliffe-Steel is enjoying success on the international stage.
The 23-year-old Cunliffe-Steel, who is part of the national rowing squad, has won a silver medal in the lightweight single scull at the World University Games in South Korea.
Not having previously made an A final at an international event Cunliffe-Steel says he finally feels as though he's making progress at the top level.
"I've been racing for New Zealand at world level since 2012 and I've never made an A final so to not only make an A final but make the final is a really big deal for me....it show that hopefully I'm improving I've got a bright future if I keep it up."
Cunliffe-Steel says he's known for having a slow start and a quick finish so he's worked with a sports psychologist on improving his starts.
"It was all about bringing it back into my boat and not get lost in what other people are doing...so I came out with a reasonable start and got onto a solid race speed and just kept doing that.
"When I got towards the finish I could hear the Kiwis, which was very good, so I just put down the hammer and said 'right time to empty the tank and lets see what we can do.'"
On his website Cunliffee-Steel says he had a tumour successfully removed when he was 15 years old.
"The experience had a profound affect on me as I gained a real appreciation of life's vulnerability. It was then that I decided if I was going commit my time to something, I would give it 100%."
His goal is to compete at next year's Rio Olympics.