Eight finals on Friday at World Rowing Championships
The second day of finals at the 2013 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, Korea will include eight events, ending with the lightweight men's eight as well as the women's four returning to the programme. There are four days of finals and the first day yesterday, Wednesday, included the five Para-Rowing finals.
Commencing at 15:03 (local Korean time) the women's four (W4-) sees the United States and Canada go head to head. This event returns to the World Championship programme after one year's lapse with the United States being the defending champions from 2011. The US crew finished first in their preliminary race and will be the favourite racing for medals in the final.
Racing through the heats, quarterfinals and semi-finals has demonstrated that the lightweight men's single sculls (LM1x) will be an extremely close final. Winner of this year's World Cup series, Pedro Fraga of Portugal is on form. Fraga will be up against reigning World Champion Henrik Stephansen of Denmark and World Best Time holder, Jeremie Azou of France. Azou has held off Stephansen so far this week, but the Dane is bound to have another gear when it comes to the final.
The lightweight women's single sculls (LW1x) is similarly intense. Ruth Walczak of Great Britain is in her second season as a lightweight rower and she has been improving with every race this season. Walczak will face the very experienced Michaela Taupe-Traer of Austria who has medalled numerous times but is yet to earn the elusive World Championship title. Also in the running is 2011 World Champion, Fabiana Beltrame of Brazil and under-23 World Champion, Aikaterini Nikolaidou of Greece.
Racing in the lightweight men's quadruple sculls (LM4x) has seen former multiple World Champions, Italy back on form. The Italian's clocked a very fast time in the heats that saw them close on the World Best Time. Italy will meet last year's silver medallists in this event, Greece for the first time in the final. Germany, who had to race the repechage to make it through to the final is also showing medal winning form.
The Netherlands recorded the fastest qualifying time in their heat of the lightweight women's quadruple sculls (LW4x) on Monday putting them in top contention for a gold medal in the final. But the Dutch crew has gambled with putting Maaike Head in this event as well as the lightweight double. The Dutch will race winners of the other heat, the United States, for the first time in the final and it is likely that these two boats will be very close in speed.
The lightweight men's pair (LM2-) has seen some very close finishing times through the heats and repechages. Switzerland's Simon Niepmann and Lucas Tramer will face Italy's Elia Luini and Martino Goretti and it is likely that these two crews will be very closely matched. Watch out too for Great Britain's Sam Scrimgeour and Mark Aldred who have already taken a World Rowing Cup medal earlier this season.
The men's coxed pair (M2+) and lightweight men's eight (LM8+) both had preliminary races earlier in the week. Italy proved to be the stand out boat in both of these events with the Italian lightweight eight looking set to go for a World Best Time if conditions are in their favour.
The 2013 World Rowing Championships go from 25 August to 1 September 2013 with finals being raced over the next three days.
All finals and semifinals will be video-streamed live. Please go to www.worldrowing.com/video for details.