Chasing the Sinkovic's in the men's double
Before Valent and Martin Sinkovic of Croatia turned up in men's double sculls earlier this season, they were already well known. The brothers had been part of the dominating men's quadruple sculls. An injury to teammate, Damir Martin prevented the World Champion quad racing this season and so at the 2014 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the Sinkovic's have become Croatia's big medal hope as a sculling duo.
The brothers teamed up in the double for the World Rowing Cup in Aigubelette back in June and surprised everyone, especially themselves. by winning. They won again at the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne and Martin says, " We had more time together in the double so we were really satisfied about our performance in Lucerne."
Their strategy for the final in Amsterdam, says Martin is to be out in front; " We always do the same. Go fast from the start and try to push it the end. We believe that if we do our best we will win. We are the favorites I think."
In the semifinals on Friday the Sinkovics followed their strategy and went very fast. They became the first double ever to go sub six minutes with a finishing time of 5:59. The writing was on the wall that they were the crew to beat.
Last year's bronze medallists, Romano Battisti and Francesco Fossi of Italy know they will have to quick when they face Croatia in the final. The Italian duo have barely had a showing this season. Injury impacted on their performance at both the European Rowing Championships and the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne so they came to Amsterdam with just a third-place result from the World Rowing Cup in Sydney.
Despite this broken lead-up Battisti and Fossi remain hopeful in their abilities. "We’ve always been good in training as the boat has been fast, but we then got injured during regattas," says Fossi. "So our training's been good, but not our confidence as you also need some proof in racing and not just good training."
In the semifinals earlier this week, Battisti and Fossi finished a close second behind World silver medallists Rolandas Mascinskas and Saulius Ritter of Lithuania. Fossi says they used the semifinal as a simulation for the final. "Then we need to be 100 per cent ready for the final."
Mascinskas and Ritter have become the consistent duo of the double. They took silver at the 2013 World Rowing Championships and this season they took gold at the European Championships as well as picking up a couple of World Rowing Cup medals. In the semifinals earlier this week the Lithuanian duo finished first and their time of 6:01 was faster than the previous World Best Time.
The final of the men's double sculls will be raced at 13:03 CET. Watch it live on www.worldrowing.com.