Employing expertise at the under 23 championships
Balmy summer weather continued for today's first round of semifinals at the 2015 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
These athletes had already raced in heats with some also coming through the second chance, repechage race to make it to these semifinals. This meant the regatta course and surroundings had become a lot more familiar with rowers making the most of landmarks along the 2000m course including the bridge at the half way point to signal transitions in their racing strategies.
Lightweight Men's Pair (BLM2-) - Semifinals
Turkey won their heat two days ago and today they raced in the middle lane in Semifinal One. The duo of Mert Kaan Kartal and Fatih Unsal jumped out and into the lead at the start and held that position. But Italy's Piero Sfiligoi and Giovanni Ficarra were not letting the Turks get away. Sfiligoi and Ficarra had recorded the fastest qualifying time two days ago in the heats by a fair margin and for Turkey to stay ahead of them was quite some feat. In the final sprint Italy managed to nudge ahead of Kartal and Unsal. But full credit to Turkey for sticking with Italy through to the end. Italy, Turkey and a very consistent United States crew of Jordan Tewksbury and Alexander Bonorris, will advance to Saturday's final.
Greece and the Netherlands got out the quickest in Semifinal Two. This moved the two boats away from the other crews with Greece having the edge. Then Great Britain joined in the battle for the lead and with just 500m left to row there was barely anything between Greece, the Netherlands and Great Britain. From the heats two days ago, Ioannis Petrou and Stefanos Ntouskos had the fastest qualifying time of this bunch and they continued to hold a slight lead.
Then James Gobel and Thomas Marshall of Great Britain did an impressive sprint to the line which enabled them to overtake the Netherlands, but not catch the Greeks. The Dutch held on to the final qualifying spot.
Qualifiers: ITA, TUR, USA, GRE, GBR, NED
Semifinal racing will continue on Saturday 25 July at 10:45 EEST. These will be preceded by B-finals in eight of the boat classes. Then the A-finals of the first eight boat classes will be raced beginning at 17:00 EEST. The remaining A-finals will be raced on Sunday 26 July.
Live streaming of the racing can be viewed here: http://i.cdn.bg/live/e6NSu3j5z8
The World Rowing website will continue to show the live race tracker with commentary for all races.