Fiercely contested semifinals at European Rowing Championships
The 2020 European Championships in Poznan, Poland completed the semifinal round to help decide the remaining boats for tomorrow’s finals, with great conditions of almost flat water.
Men’s Pair (M2-) - Semifinals
Three crews from the final of last year’s World Rowing Championships lined up in the first semifinal including Croatian brothers Martin and Valent Sinkovic, as reigning World and European Champions. It was the Sinkovic brothers who took the early lead but it was all to play for in the chasing pack. The Italians worked their way through the field and put on a final sprint but it wasn’t enough to overturn the Sinkovic brothers. Denmark took the third qualifying spot.
The top four crews were incredibly tight at the 1,000m marker of the second semifinal with the Netherlands taking the early lead. By 1,500m, the top three crews were starting to break away with Romania putting the pressure on Spain in the final quarter of the race. An incredible final sprint from Romania took them past both Spain and the Netherlands.
Qualifiers: CRO, ITA, DEN, ROU, ESP, NED
Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) - Semifinals
A powerful start for the Dutch double gave them a comfortable lead which they maintained throughout the first semifinal. The rest of the pack was pretty spread out and there were no discernible final sprints. Romania came in second place followed by Ireland.
The second semifinal had to be delayed due to a broken boat for Germany and was raced at the end of the session. Once the race got underway, the Swiss double, who took silver at last year’s European Rowing Championships, took the early lead, closely followed by Germany. With reigning European Champion Miroslaw Zietarski on board, Poland worked their way through into second place. Four boats charged to the line with Switzerland maintaining the lead over Poland but, in the final stages, Lithuania, rating 41 overtook Germany.
Qualifiers: NED, ROU, IRE, SUI, POL, LTU
Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls (LM1x) - Semifinals
It was no huge surprise to see reigning European Champion Peter Galambos of Hungary leading the first semifinal for the majority of the race, but in the final stages Kristoffer Brun of Norway sculled through to take the win.
The second semifinal was a much closer affair between the top three crews at 1,000m. Into the third quarter, Niels Torre of Norway, who won the lightweight men’s single sculls at the recent 2020 European Rowing U23 Championships in Duisburg, took the lead, which he maintained to the finish. The young sculler Jan Cincibuch from Czech Republic put in an impressive performance but got overhauled in the final quarter of the race by 19-year-old Tybo Vyvey from Belgium. Ireland’s Fintan McCarthy, who has moved from racing in the lightweight double sculls last season, took second place.
Qualifiers: NOR, HUN, GRE, ITA, IRL, BEL
Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) - Semifinals
There was a ferocious first semifinal with real attack and drive from the Dutch who had a clear lead at 1,000m. With France in second, Romania and Greece were fighting for the all-important third place. The 2019 World silver medallists from the Netherlands controlled the second half of the race but the chasing pack swapped positions with Romania finding another gear and moving through France.
In the second semifinal, Federica Cesarini of Italy, who won gold in the lightweight single at last year’s European Rowing Championships teamed up with Valentina Rodini to lead throughout. The Italian lead started to get eaten into as 2019 European Champions, Belarus and Poland started to put on the pressure in the final quarter of the race.
Qualifiers: NED, ROU, FRA, ITA, BLR, POL
Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (LM2x) - Semifinals
It was all to play for at the 1,500m marker in the first semifinal with five crews fighting for three qualification spots. In the final quarter of the race, Belgium were trying to find another gear to close the gap between them and Italy. The Swiss double worked their way through the field from fifth at 500m to finish third.
Reigning European Champions from Germany had a length lead over Poland at the 1,000m marker of the second semifinal, and continued to extend their lead, dominating the remainder race. Ukraine, in third place, held off an attack from Slovakia in the last 500m.
Qualifiers: ITA, BEL, SUI, GER, POL, UKR
Men’s Four (M4-) - Semifinals
It was an impressive start for the Netherlands in the first semifinal, but a strong push from reigning World Champions Poland approaching 1,000m allowed them to close the gap, and take the lead by a canvas in the third quarter of the race. The Netherlands kept the pressure on Poland whilst, in turn, they were facing serious pressure from Germany in the closing stages of the race.
Italy had a fast start in the second semifinal, allowing them to set a length lead over France who were almost level with Croatia at the halfway marker. Changes came in the second half of the race with Italy taking their rating up to 40 strokes per minute. Austria matched them to move into second place with Croatia fading to sixth.
Qualifiers: POL, NED, GER, ITA, AUT, FRA
Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) - Semifinals
The young German sculler, Pia Greiten matched her impressive performance from the heats leading the first half of semifinal 1, but 2019 European silver medallist Jeannine Gmelin from Switzerland kept the pressure on her throughout. As she often does, Gmelin crept through towards the end of the third 500m and had taken the lead by 1,500m by less than half a second. The Greek sculler Anneta Kyridou had an incredible final quarter and finished 0.15 seconds behind Greiten, pushing Gmelin into third.
The second semifinal had the top three boats almost in a line in the early stages, with clear water to the second half of the pack. The lead changed at 1,500m with Magdalena Lognig of Austria moving ahead of Denmark's Fie Udby Erichsen who then got overtaken by reigning World Champion Sanita Puspure of Ireland in the final quarter of the race.
Qualifiers: GER, GRE, SUI, AUT, IRL, DEN
Men’s Single Sculls (M1x) - Semifinals
Kjetil Borch from Norway took an early lead in the first semifinal but, to the delight of the locals, Poland’s Natan Wegrzycki-Szymczyk pushed his rating up to 37 in the second half of the race to overtake Kristian Vasilev of Bulgaria and really start to put the pressure on Borch.
In the second semifinal, Germany's Oliver Zeidler led from the blocks to 1,000m, but an incredible push from Sverri Nielsen of Denmark allowed him to take the lead, which he maintained to the line. Meanwhile, Zeidler slipped into third place as Stefanos Ntouskos of Greece sculled through into second. Everything got incredibly close at the line with Zeidler only just holding on to a qualification place after the final sprint from Dutch sculler Amos Keijser.
Qualifiers: NOR, POL, BUL, DEN, GRE, GER