A-finals at Rowing World Cup II
The Blue Riband events at the Rowing World Cup in Munich, Germany, wrapped up the second World Rowing regatta for 2010. On the waters of the 1972 Olympic Regatta Course, Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic absolutely controlled the men’s single while Germany absolutely controlled the men’s eight. Ekaterina Karsten-Khodotvitch of Belarus continued on her winning ways and Romania proved that they can win the women’s eight in non-Olympic years.
WOMEN’S PAIR (W2-) - A Final
What a way to come back to international competition after a post-Olympic break! Racing in the bow seat for New Zealand was Olympian Juliette Haigh. Haigh raced from 2005 to 2008 in the pair with Nicky Coles, then took a break in 2009 and came back to team up with Rebecca Scown. Haigh and Scown jumped out into the lead at the start and by the half-way point they had a huge five-second lead over Great Britain.
Where were the Romanians?
Adelina Cojocariu and Nicoleta Albu of Romania Two had been sitting back in third and then managed to move past a slowing Great Britain. Cojocariu and Albu will race later today in their country’s eight. Were they saving themselves? Meanwhile New Zealand had moved even further away and must have been having a glorious time with no stresses. All Romania could do was try to hold on to second and try to hold off China’s Li twins, Tong and Meng. Tong and Meng, rating 45, closed on Cojocariu and Albu at the end of the race, but the Romanian’s, at 36, held them off.
Haigh and Scown retained a smooth, solid 36 and then upped it to 38 to cross the finish line well in front.
Results: NZL, ROU2, CHN1, GER1, GBR3, ROU1
Juliette Haigh (NZL) – Gold
“It’s my first regatta since the Olympics and it feels really great. I love being back. And it is obviously a really exciting year for us. We want to do well at the World Rowing Championships in our home town.”
MEN’S PAIR (M2-) - A Final
There were three crews on top of each other at the start. New Zealand’s Bond and Murray had a small advantage with Great Britain’s Peter Reed and Andrew Triggs Hodge and Nikola Stojic and Marko Marjanovic of Serbia right there with them. Hamish Bond and Eric Murray are the reigning World Champions while Reed and Hodge have not yet managed to beat them. Stojic and Marjanovic raced in the B-final at Bled but had a great semifinal yesterday.
Going through the middle of the race the order remained the same with Bond and Murray earning a small one second lead over Reed and Hodge. As Serbia began to slip back, New Zealand and Great Britain moved away from the rest of the field battling with each other for that all-important gold medal.
Coming into the final sprint, Reed and Hodge gave it all that they could and brought their rating from 43 to 46. Bond and Murray, at 39 strokes per minute, stayed solid and stayed just in front. Bond and Murray remain World Cup leaders and retain the yellow jersey. Reed and Hodge add another silver medal to their collection and Stojic earns his first World Cup medal since 2006 while Marjanovic earns his first World Cup medal ever.
Results: NZL, GBR1, SRB, ROU, GBR2, RSA
Hamish Bond (NLZ) – Gold
“It was a really tough and tight race. We didn´t race really well. We can´t take anything for granted. “
Mirko Marjanovic (SRB) – Bronze
“I think we did alright. We tried to challenge the other crews which we did quite well during the first 1000 meters. Then they were gone. But we are still a very young crew. We’ve only been rowing together since two months. So we are looking forward to the future.”
WOMEN’S DOUBLE SCULLS (W2x) - A Final
In almost the same fashion as at the first Rowing World Cup in Bled, Anna Watkins and Katherine Grainger of Great Britain got out in front and let the rest of the field sort out the minor medals. As in Bled, Watkins and Grainger are going after two gold medals and will race later today in the women’s quad.
Germany’s Annekatrin Thiele and Julia Richter was the closest boat to Great Britain with sisters Lenka and Jitka Antosova of the Czech Republic right with them. Thiele was part of the extremely close final of the double at the 2008 Olympics when she ended in a photo finish with New Zealand and Great Britain. Thiele got silver and has been motivated ever since to step up to gold.
“It was just wonderful - from the start to the finish. It was our best race this year. We had more training and it totally worked out that we switched places. Now I am in the bow and my sister in the stroke. In Bled it was the other way around.”
MEN’S DOUBLE SCULLS (M2x) - A Final
After their win in the semifinal yesterday all eyes were on China. What could they do today? All eyes were also on France. After an average semifinal for reigning World silver medallists, Cedric Berrest and Julien Bahain of France, everyone was wondering what they had saved for the final.
But it was Bled winners Great Britain who jumped out at the start. Matthew Wells and Marcus Bateman of Great Britain are in their first season together after Wells’ partner Stephen Rowbotham got injured. Today they moved into a tiny lead by the half-way point but were challenged strongly by Berrest and Bahain.
Meanwhile, China must have used their best in the semifinal and they were at the back of the field. France and Great Britain continued to go head-to-head at the front of the field and together they moved away from everyone else. Germany’s Eric Johannesen and Sebastian Peter were now working their way from the back of the field and in the final sprint gave it their all to get a medal. Germany rated 41, Great Britain was just in the lead and on 39, France rated 37 and the United States flew down the outside at 39 strokes per minute.
Results: GBR, FRA, GER, USA, SUI, CHN
Julien Bahain (FRA) – Silver
“We rowed in this combination for the first time together. But we could see that we improved race after race. So this was definitely our best race of the weekend. But it was the right decision to start the season in the single. I really like to row in the single. But on the other hand rowing together with Cedric is so powerful which is great.”
Eric Johannesen (GER) – Bronze
“Reaching the A-final was already a big success for us. So we are very happy with the third place. We just gave everything and we knew that we have a good finish which worked out this time again.”
MEN’S FOUR (M4-) - A Final
After the semifinals it looked as though the gap was closing on reigning World Champions, Great Britain. Australia Two had beaten their number one crew of last year’s silver medallists and Great Britain had been challenged hard by the Americans. Today Australia Two (William Lockwood, Samuel Loch, Nicholas Purnell and Joshua Dunkley-Smith) got out the quickest at the start followed most closely by New Zealand.
Going through the middle of the race there was very little in it with less than three seconds separating the top five boats. Australia Two was still in the lead with New Zealand now under threat from the United States. Meanwhile Great Britain was still very much on the pace but appeared to be having steering problems. New Zealand then started to slip back and Great Britain managed to make it into second with the Americans right with them.
In the final sprint the United States gave it their all to catch Australia Two taking their stroke rate to 43. Australia Two went to 39 and held on. Great Britain, also on 39, tried to catch up, with the USA just ahead. Australia Two crossed the line first well ahead of Australia One. This will not be such a surprise for Australian selectors as this number two crew has been showing more promise during trials.
Results: AUS2, USA, GBR, AUS1, NZL1, CZE1
Nicholas Purnell (AUS2) – Gold
“It was really amazing. We did as best as possible coming against the Brits. So we are really happy with the result.”
LIGHTWEIGHT WOMEN’S DOUBLE SCULLS (LW2x) - A Final
Coming into this final Hester Goodsell and Sophie Hosking of Great Britain have looked to be the strongest combination. They finished second at Bled to the Americans (who are not racing here) and through the heats two days ago Goodsell and Hosking looked in control.
With that Goodsell and Hosking took off in the lead. Only Germany (Daniela Reimer and Anja Noske) and China (Jing Liu and Wenyi Huang) looked to be the closest contenders. By the middle of the race Goodsell and Hosking had moved away to a full three seconds over the Chinese and Germans. Meanwhile the fight for second between China and Germany was intense. The two boats were neck-and-neck, neither conceding an inch.
A solid final sprint by China, as Germany looked to run out of steam, gave Liu and Huang the silver medal spot. Great Britain now earn the World Cup leaders bib with a gold and silver medal already this season.
Results: GBR1, CHN, GER, GBR2, BEL, SUI
Hester Goodsell (GBR1) – Gold
“It will be wonderful to row in the yellow jersey in Lucerne. We basically lead this race from the start. We feel more comfortable now. And we get better and better the more we train together. So we are looking forward to Lucerne."