Great Britain’s lead continues in Samsung World Rowing Cup series
The domination of 2012 Olympic Games host, Great Britain, continued as the British rowing team remained in the lead on the overall World Cup points table following the second round of the Samsung World Rowing Cup series in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Great Britain completed the second World Cup regatta with a total of 135 points after adding 56 points to their tally that began at the first Samsung World Rowing Cup at the start of May in Belgrade, Serbia. Behind the British, Germany finished in second place, but they were a full 40 points behind with a total of 95 points. China advanced to third place on the overall standings board, up one position from their Belgrade result.
The Chinese advance included an impressive three gold medals. Xiuyun Zhang outfoxed women’s single sculls newcomer, Kim Crow to grabbed gold in a finishing sprint. Zhang also took gold in Belgrade, boding well for Olympic success later this year. China’s lightweight men’s four returned to the top of the medals podium, a position this boat has not seen since the 2006 World Rowing Championships.
The third gold came in the lightweight women’s double sculls. Dongxiang Xu and Wenyi Huang’s first place finish was impressive as they did it by denying both the World Champions, Greece and new World Best Time holders, New Zealand of obtaining gold.
The British points from Lucerne, however, were not as impressive at their Belgrade success due to the arrival of more nations to the second World Cup; most notably rowing powerhouses, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
New Zealand earned 46 points at this regatta, putting them in fourth place overall, despite only earning two points at the Belgrade World Cup. The New Zealand team of ten crews held on to just one gold in the men’s pair with the real boost in points coming from three silver medals. World Champion men’s single sculler, Mahe Drysdale finished second to the Czech Republic’s Ondrej Synek with silvers also coming in the lightweight women’s and men’s double sculls. A further medal, a bronze, went to the women’s pair.
Great Britain’s flagship men’s crew, the four, continued to impress. They broke a ten-year-old World Best Time by a notable four seconds during the heats and then met their nemesis, Australia in the final. The Australians led for the majority of the race, but the British were able to out-sprint them at the end. This was one of three silver medals that the Australians obtained.
The top women’s boat for Great Britain, the women’s double sculls – Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins – continued their two-year winning streak. Grainger and Watkins held off strong challenges from Poland and Germany to retain gold.
For second-placed Germany, their men’s eight again held the limelight. Germany’s eight is on an unbroken winning streak that has triumphed with three World Champion titles along the way. The Germans also picked up gold in the men’s double sculls – a highly competitive event that saw World Champions New Zealand racing at the back of the B-final.
Samsung World Rowing Cup racing continues with the final in the series of three in Munich, Germany. This will take place from 15 – 17 June, 2012.
For results of the Samsung World Rowing Cup click here and to see the World Cup standings after two regattas click here.