Drysdale misses chance to defend World Champs title
The quarterfinals at the 2013 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, Korea signalled the end of the season for Olympic Champion Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand.
Racing in the men’s single sculls, Drysdale was up against former World Champion Marcel Hacker of Germany, winner of the single at this year’s Henley Royal Regatta Aleksandar Aleksandrov of Azerbaijan and medallist from the World Rowing Cup in Eton Dorney, Georgi Bozhilov of Bulgaria.
In the first quarterfinal Drysdale needed a top three finish to advance to the semifinals and going through the middle of the race, Drysdale was inside that zone, but being pressed hard by Aleksandrov and Bozhilov with Hacker easily in front. It came down to the final sprint. Drysdale, who took time off after his Olympic win and did not compete in this year’s World Rowing Cup series, could not sustain the pace of Aleksandrov and Bozhilov and finished fourth.
The three other quarterfinals saw a much slower pace with Alan Campbell of Great Britain, Angel Fournier Rodriguez of Cuba and Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic making easy work of their races. Overall Hacker recorded the fastest qualifying time.
Racing today in the repechage of the lightweight men’s four, South Africa knew that they had a tough task on their hands. The crew includes three of the London Olympic boat with new member Michael Voerman. The crew also had to deal with two seat James Thompson recovering from illness. A tight finish saw South Africa qualify from first with United States and Spain also getting through to the semifinals. Germany just missed out.
The crowd was ecstatic when the repechage for the lightweight women’s quadruple sculls saw Korea get a boat through to the final. The Korean crew of Kim, Jung, Kim and Park were in third for most of the race with only the top two qualifying for the final. But, boosted by the spectators, Korea pulled it all out for the final 500m beating Vietnam to the line by just 0.28 of a second. Russia, in first, also advanced to the final.
Repechage Two in the lightweight men’s quadruple sculls got within eight seconds of the World Best Time when the United States, Hong Kong and Denmark raced each other for the full 2000m. At the line the United States had missed out by an agonisingly close 0.30 of a second.
Quarterfinals in the lightweight men’s single sculls were comparatively sedate affairs. Germany’s Jonathan Koch generated the fastest qualifying time, but none of the four races were very tight at the finish.
New Zealand was unlucky to miss out in the repechage of the women’s eight. In a race that saw a tight battle between New Zealand, the Netherlands and Great Britain and only two crews qualifying, New Zealand found themselves outsprinted. They finished in third by less than a second with Great Britain and the Netherlands qualifying.
Through the men’s eight repechage, France and the Netherlands got themselves into the final by racing each other at the front of the field. With two boats qualifying for the final, the Dutch and the French held off Australia who remained in third at the finish line.