World Rowing Championships -- Thursday 29th August
posted by Roy Sinclair
- 30 Aug 2013, 5:07 p.m.
In their semi finals, both Inverness athletes, Imogen Walsh in Lightweight
Women's Double Sculls (LW2x) and Alan Sinclair in Men's Four (M4-)
powered into the A Finals which will take place on Saturday 31st August
Report from World Rowing noted below
Lightweight Women's Double Sculls (LW2x) - Semifinals
Like fine-tuned Formula 1 racing cars, Laura Milani and Elisabetta Sancassani
of Italy led from start to finish in Semifinal One to cross the line just six
seconds outside of the World Best Time. Milani and Sancassani came together
late last year and they haven't lost a race since. Behind the Italian
duo, the United States (Kristin Hedstrom and Kathleen Bertko) remained within
striking distance of the Italians. Following the US was the New Zealanders,
Julia Edward and Lucy Strack.
This is how the order remained through to the line with South Africa, in
fourth, not having the firepower to challenge for a qualifying spot. At the
line Italy and New Zealand looked relatively comfortable while the United
States, at 39, had kept the pressure on right to the line.
Semifinal Two was much closer than the first semifinal. Germany's Lena
Mueller and Anja Noske got out into the lead at the start with Sweden and
Poland in hot pursuit. The Swede's and Poles then seemed to be out of
their league, slipping down in the rankings. This gave Elisabeth Woerner and
Maaike Head of the Netherlands the chance they were looking for with Great
Britain and Australia stepping up the pace.
There were now four boats in contention for a qualifying spot. The best sprint
award goes to Kathryn Twyman and Imogen Walsh of Great Britain. Rating 36,
Twyman and Walsh closed in on the Germans. At the line Germany had remained in
first, Great Britain had earned second and the Dutch had qualified just ahead
of Australia, in third.
Qualifiers: ITA, USA, NZL, GER, GBR, NED
Men's Four (M4-) - Semifinals
When you see a crew come out of the start looking relaxed in their faces and
effortless through the water, you know you've got a special crew -
especially when they're in the lead. This was the case for the United
States. The sole medal at the London Olympics for US men's rowing went to
the four when they finished in the bronze medal spot. Henrik Rummel is the
sole remaining member of the London four. This new 2013 crew won at the World
Rowing Cup in Lucerne and today they remained in the lead for the entire
But the United States did not have it all their way. The entire field was
still within striking distance of the leading crew through the middle of the
race with only Germany dropping back a bit. In the sprint to the line the
field closed on James, Weil, Rummel and Gennaro of the United States. At a 42
stroke rate the US held off a lower rating Netherlands in second. A very happy
Czech Republic snuck through in third ahead of a disappointed Belarus.
Semifinal Two had all six crews jump out quickly at the start moving through
the first 500m mark with less than two seconds separating the entire field.
Then Australia did a strategically planned piece and drew their boat into the
lead. Australia had finished second to the United States at the World Rowing
Cup in Lucerne and, as London Olympic silver medallists, they had a fine
history in this event to call on.
The sprint to the line finally saw crews spread out. Spain and Croatia had
dropped back a bit with the real battle going on between Lucerne bronze
medallists, Italy against Australia and Lucerne B-finallists, Great Britain.
At the line Lodo, Perino, Paonessa and Vicino of Italy had taken first,
Australia was in second and Great Britain qualified from third.
It is interesting to note the finishing times of all of the finalists is
within just two seconds. This will be one hot final on Saturday with no real
Qualifiers: USA, NED, CZE, ITA, AUS, GBR
USA, Grant James, "We got ahead as planned and expected the field to come
back at us but we knew we could hold them. It will be an exciting final race
from start to finish."
CZE, Jan Pilc, "We had a good start to go with the field and the plan was
to push at the half way point. The last 200m we were just satisfied with
holding a qualifying spot. The final will be very tough as everybody has a
chance to win a medal."
ITA, Paolo Perino and Mario Paonessa, "We had a very good start with
Australia and we fought with them until the 1500 and then we decided to attack
in the last 500. Australia tried to push past us, but we responded well. It
will be a war in the final from 0 to 2000m."
GBR, Alan Sinclair, "We needed to make sure we weren't in a risky
position in the last part of the race. Our crew's goal here was to make
it to the final, but now we'll try to take a step forward for the
AUS, Joshua Dunkley-Smith, "We expected a tight race with the Italians as
we raced them in Lucerne. They are a young crew so you can always expect some
kind of a surprise. Our goal is to go faster in the final and we are happy how
we have been going through this regatta week."