Heats kick off in Poznan after weather delay
An exciting morning at the Malta Lake in Poznan as a thunder storm rolled over the venue just fifteen minutes before the World Cup heats were due to get underway. Following a two-hour delay, the crews finally got on the water and the racing kicked off with the women's pair.
Women’s Pair (W2-)
Only the crew crossing the line first in each of the two heats in the women’s pair would qualify directly for the A-final. The other crews would line up in the repechage to have another go at qualifying for the Final.
The top crew in Heat One of the women’s pair was the British line-up of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning. The 2012 Olympic Champions have not lost a single race since London. Due to illness they did not compete in the World Cup II final a few weeks ago, but are now back strong in Poznan. The British duo started out strongly, establishing a firm lead by the 500m mark. By the half-way mark, they had distanced themselves even further from the rest of the field, followed by Germany in second. Kerstin Hartmann and Kathrin Marchand took silver at the European Rowing Championships in May. The four other boats in this race were packed far behind the Germans.
Results: GBR, GER, GBR2, BLR, NZL2, NZL, NOR
In Heat Two, New Zealand was the top boat to look out for. Genevieve Behrent and Rebecca Scown won silver at World Cup II in Lucerne and in this event, New Zealand has medalled at the World Rowing Championships each year in this Olympic cycle. But it was Romania jumping out of the starting blocks and moving out in front in the first quarter of the race. Denmark followed closely on their heels with Hedvig Rasmussen and Anne Andersen. The Danes finished fifth at World Rowing Cup II and at the European Rowing Championships.
By the half-way mark, however, the Kiwis had moved up the ranks from third to claim a slight lead over Romania. Over the following 500m, Behrent and Scown increased their lead, and as they closed on 1500m had a lead of a boat length and a half over the Romanians, with Denmark further back in third. With the finish line in sight, the Romanians upped their stroke rate, attempting to catch up with New Zealand. But the Kiwis had enough of a lead to maintain their advantage and claim the direct qualifying spot for the A-final.
Results: NZL1, ROU, DEN, POL, FRA, NED
Women’s Double Sculls (W2x)
In this event, a top finish would be necessary to qualify directly to the A-final.
Australia’s Sally Kehoe and Genevieve Horton took silver at the World Cup in Lucerne a few weeks ago. They completely owned Heat One, securing their lead from the start. Germany’s Marie-Catherine Arnold and Mareike Adams held on to second place in the first half of the race but then lost the rhythm, unable to keep the pace. It was Denmark’s Lisbet Jakobsen and Nina Hollensen who moved up the ranks and chased Australia down to the finish line in the second half of the race, finishing just one second behind the leaders. Reigning World Champions New Zealand stayed at the back of the field for the entire race. The reigning European Champions Belarus finished third.
Results: AUS, DEN, BLR, GER, BLR2, NZL
In Heat Two of the women’s double sculls, it was Poland, the gold medal winners at World Rowing Cup I, who stamped their authority on this race, securing their direct qualification spot for the A-final from the initial moments. Magdalena Fularczyk and Natalia Madaj will have pleased their local crowd.
Behind the Poles swapping between second and third with Great Britain was France. At the line, it was the French crew of Helene Lefebvre and Elodie Ravera-Scaramozzino who crossed the line in second, followed by the British line-up of Victoria Thornley and Katherine Grainger in third.
Results: POL, FRA, GBR, CZE, CHN
Men’s Four (M4-)
In this boat class as well, a top first finish would be necessary to avoid the repechage.
Great Britain and Australia were on top of each other throughout the race in Heat One. An epic battle went on between these Olympic gold and silver medallists from London (Great Britain and Australia respectively) at World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne. Australia had caught a crab right before the finish line, giving Great Britain gold. Here in Poznan, no crabs were caught, but it was Great Britain who crossed the line first, slightly increasing their lead with the line in sight to finish just more than half a second ahead of Australia. Australia will have to race in the repechage.
Results: GBR, AUS, ROU, GER
The reigning World Champions Italy lined up in Heat Two. They only competed once before this season, winning silver at World Rowing Cup I. They pushed hard to keep the other two boats at bay, with this year’s European Champion silver and bronze medallists, Belarus and France respectively, lying in their wake. Italy goes through directly to the A-final.
Results: ITA, BLR, FRA
Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x)
A top finish in this event would mean direct qualification for the A-final.
Ilse Paulis and Maaike Head of the Netherlands are the reigning European Champions in the lightweight women’s double sculls and recently won the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta to book their spot for Rio. They proved their strength in Heat One as they led from start to finish ahead of Denmark who followed throughout in second. The Danish scullers Anne Lolk Thomsen and Juliane Rasmussen were unable to challenge the Dutch, however, with Paulis and Head finishing nearly five seconds ahead, securing their spot for the A-final.
Results: NED1, DEN, ITA, SUI, BRA, HKG
In Heat Two, the New Zealanders unsurprisingly demonstrated their experience when they took the lead. The 2014 and 2015 World Champions were closely followed by Poland in the first 500m, and increasing their lead until the half-way mark. But drama struck when Kiwi lightweight Mackenzie caught a crab, effectively stopping the New Zealand boat. The Irish combination of Claire Lambe and Sinead Lynch, taking advantage of the situation, pushed up to the front, with Poland following in second. Only Ireland will skip the repechage.
Results: IRL, POL, NED2, TUN, NZL
Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (LM2x)
France are the 2015 World Champions in the lightweight men’s double sculls. But there is a change in the boat compared to last year – Pierre Houin has replaced Stany Delayre and joined Jeremie Azou. Houin and Azou won gold at World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne and here in Poznan they demonstrated their unwavering dominance when they led from start to finish in Heat One. The remainder of the field, including this year’s European silver medallists, were unable to challenge. Crossing the line first, the French claimed the only qualification spot for the A-final.
Results: FRA, ITA, GBR, GER, HKG, HUN
Ireland has impressed the lightweight men’s double sculls field this year. Qualifying for Rio through an 11th place finish at last year’s World Rowing Championships, O’Donovan brothers Gary and Paul earned European Championship gold this season, as well as silver at World Rowing Cup I. But in Heat Two it was Norway securing an early lead and holding off a strongly challenging Irish boat until the line. The 2013 World Champions Kristoffer Brun and Are Strandli earned European Championship bronze and silver in Lucerne this season. They grabbed their qualification spot for the A-final slightly less than one second ahead of the Irish, relegating the O’Donovan brothers to the repechage.
Results: NOR, IRL, AUT, BRA, SUI, ROU
Lightweight Men’s Four (LM4-)
New Zealand won against reigning World Champions Switzerland at World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne a few weeks ago, earning gold. Proving their power was no fluke, they moved up from third at the 500m mark in Heat One to secure their lead by the half-way mark. This year’s European silver medallists, Great Britain, crossed the line in second. The Kiwis will go straight to the A-final.
Results: NZL, GBR, ITA, CHN
In Heat Two it was Denmark leading from start to finish. The line-up won bronze at World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne and the Danes have a long history of Olympic and World Championship success in this event. The French upped their rate to keep the pace and attempt to catch up with the Danes, but at the line it was Denmark earning their direct qualification spot for the A-final.
Results: DEN, FRA, GER
Men’s Quadruple Sculls (M4x)
In the men’s quadruple sculls, a top finish would be necessary to go directly to the A-final in both heats.
Australia, the 2015 world silver medallists, claimed gold at World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne. They remained unchallenged from start to finish in Heat One, with Poland, fourth place finishers in Lucerne, being the closest opponents in second. Australia will go directly to the A-final.
Results: AUS, POL, SUI, CZE
Estonia are this year’s reigning European Champions and last year’s world bronze medallists. They lined up in Heat Two along with reigning World Champions Germany. The British crew, who won World Cup silver so far this season (behind Australia in Lucerne) were also in the race. But it was Germany who seized the lead from the start, successfully fighting off any challenges. Great Britain moved up from third at the half-way mark to finish second behind the Germans. Estonia kept a steady fourth position throughout.
Results: GER, GBR, ITA, EST
Men’s Pair (M2-)
A top three finish would be needed to qualify for tomorrow’s semifinal and keep A-final dreams alive.
Two British boats lined up in Heat One of the men’s pair. The British medalled at both previous World Rowing Cups this season, thanks to Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell and Matthew Tarrant in the first British boat. But they were not the top British line-up in this race. Instead it was Alan Sinclair and Stewart Innes in the second British boat overtaking Reilly-O’Donnell and Tarrant in the second half of the race. The first British boat were unable to challenge back in the second half. Italy’s Giovanni Abagnale and Domenico Montrone followed the two British boats further behind, taking the third qualification spot for tomorrow’s semifinal.
Results: GBR2, GBR1, ITA1, AUS2, ROU1
Heat Two of the men’s pair saw the invincible Kiwi duo of Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, who have not lost a single race since 2009, lining up. As expected, they dominated the field. Serbia, unintimidated, chased the New Zealanders to the line, finishing less than three seconds behind in second. It was a second New Zealand boat, with Axel Dickinson and Drikus Conradie, who moved up from fourth to take the third qualification spot for the semifinal.
Results: NZL1, SRB, NZL2, GER1, ITA2
The reigning European Champions, Hungary’s Adrian Juhasz and Bela Simon Jr, lined up in Heat Three of the men’s pair. But it was the Australians of Spencer Turrin and Alexander Lloyd who took the lead from the word go, increasing it throughout and crossing the line with clear water. Germany’s number two boat of Johannes Weissenfeld and Torben Johannesen took the second qualification spot, followed by Hungary in third.
Results: AUS1, GER2, HUN, ROU2
Men’s Double Sculls (M2x)
A top three finish in each of the three heats would also be necessary in the men’s double sculls event to qualify for tomorrow’s semifinal in the hope of then making it on to the A-final on Sunday.
This year’s European silver medallists, Marcel Hacker and Stephan Krueger, were the leaders of Heat One throughout, with the French Hugo Boucheron and Mattheiu Androdias following steadily in second without threatening the Germans. The Australians of Christopher Morgan and David Watts took the third semifinal spot.
Results: GER, FRA, AUS, POL, CHN
In Heat Two of the men’s double sculls, the Norwegian combination of Kjetil Borch and Olaf Tufte moved up into the lead by the half-way mark, increasing it gradually over the rest of the field until the line. The two-time Olympic Champion in the men’s single sculls, Olaf Tufte, helped qualify this boat for Rio at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne a few weeks ago.
Initially leading the race, but then falling back to second was the British duo of Jonathan Walton and John Collins, with Italy’s Romano Battisti and Francesco Fossi taking the third qualification spot for the semifinals.
Results: NOR, GBR, ITA1, NED
In Heat Three, New Zealand, last year’s world bronze medallists, caught up with and then overtook Serbia in the second half of the race. Marko Marjanovic and Andrija Sljukic of Serbia would have none of it, upping their stroke rate strongly with the finish line in sight. The Kiwis responded and held off the Serbian challenge, crossing the line first. A solid race by Cuba granted them the third and final semifinal spot.
Results: NZL, SRB, CUB, SWE
Women’s Single Sculls (W1x)
Four heats in the women’s single sculls meant that only the top finisher in each race would qualify directly for tomorrow’s semifinals, with the remainder having a second chance to qualify through the repechage.
In Heat One, it was Denmark’s Fie Udby Erichsen, who just qualified for Rio through the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne. Erichsen is the 2012 Olympic silver medallist. She started the race strongly, with Austria’s Magdalena Lobnig, this year’s European Champion, following closely behind throughout the entire race. With the finish line in sight, Lobnig made a major push, with Denmark unable to respond. Lobnig qualifies directly for the semifinal, relegating Erichsen to the repechage.
Results: AUT, DEN, AUS, NZL2, KOR
In Heat Two, the 2014 World Champion, Emma Twigg from New Zealand lined up in the centre lane. Twigg took a year out from rowing in 2015 to complete a master’s degree in sports management. She recently qualified her boat for Rio, by winning the Final Olympic Qualfiication Regatta in Lucerne a few weeks ago. Clear water separated her from her nearest rival, Dutch sculler Lisa Scheenaard who was unable to challenge. Twigg takes the direct route to the semifinal.
Results: NZL1, NED1, AUT2, NOR2, THA, QAT
Two-time World Champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Kim Brennan of Australia took gold at her first international regatta this season, World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne. She lined up in Heat Three and raced from start to finish unchallenged. At only 28 to 30 strokes per minute, she remained the fastest boat on the water and goes directly through to the semifinal.
Results: AUS, UKR, NOR1, CZE, BER, SWE
The final heat in the women’s single sculls, Heat Four, featured the multi Olympic and World Champion Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus. She also just recently qualified her boat for Rio, her sixth Olympic Games, a few weeks ago in Lucerne. Although Karsten took the lead early on, she was challenged throughout by Swiss sculler Jeannine Gmelin who finished fourth at World Rowing Cup I and fifth at last year’s World Rowing Championships. Every time Gmelin upped her stroke rate, Karsten responded. The Swiss sculler’s gutsy performance led to a photo finish with Karsten at the line, with Gmelin’s efforts paying off. The Swiss claimed the direct qualifying spot to the semifinal by 14 hundredths of a second.
Results: SUI, BLR, NED2, GER, CRO
Men’s Single Sculls (M1x)
A top three finish would be necessary in each of the six heats of the men’s single sculls to qualify for the quarterfinals in the hope of moving on to the semifinals.
Heat One featured five scullers, but with Argenis Rivero of Venezuela unable to start, the field narrowed down to four boats only. It was Hungary’s Bendeguz Petervari-Molnar who secured the lead, after overtaking initial leader Nick Larsen from Denmark in the second half of the race. Larsen gradually fell back, as the second Danish sculler Sverri Nielsen advanced past him. At the line, it was Hungary’s recently Rio-qualified sculler crossing the line first, with both Danish boats also qualifying for the quarterfinals.
Results: HUN, DEN1, DEN2, ZIM
Croatia’s Damir Martin raced twice internationally this season, winning gold at World Rowing Cup I and at the European Rowing Championships. He took the lead from the start in Heat Two, followed by the Netherlands’ Amos Keijser. These two scullers maintained an impressive lead in front of the field, with Venezuelan Jakson Vicent Monasterio finishing third to take the final quarterfinal spot.
Results: CRO, NED, VEN1, VAN
In Heat Three, it was the reigning Olympic Champion from New Zealand, Mahe Drysdale, lining up. Drysdale is a five-time World Champion in this event, although in this Olympic cycle he did not claim World Championship gold. Unsurprisingly, he dominated his heat, with another Kiwi sculler, the young John Storey, following in second for most of the race. The third qualifier was Korea’s Dongyong Kim.
Results: NZL1, NZL2, KOR, THA
Thibaut Verhoeven hails from the French men’s eight, and it is his first international season in the single. Verhoeven gained an impressive lead over the rest of the field in Heat Four, with Sweden’s Emil Freudenthal pushing hard in an attempt to close the gap. But Verhoeven held off the Swedish challenge and, in third, Switzerland’s Markus Kessler took the final quarterfinal qualification spot.
Results: FRA, SWE, SUI, ITA
In Heat Five of the men’s single sculls, it was Great Britain’s Alan Campbell in the lead throughout. Campbell won Olympic bronze in London, but has not yet made a World Championship podium in this Olympic cycle. In Lucerne, he finished fifth. The Czech Republic’s Michal Plocek held on to a steady second place, while Norway’s Nils Jakob Hoff, former World Champion in the men’s double sculls, followed in a consistent third qualifying spot.
Results: GBR1, CZE1, NOR, BRA1
The sixth and final Heat in the men’s single sculls featured another British sculler, Jack Beaumont, who started out in front and stayed there throughout. Brazil’s Steve Hiestand followed the British sculler steadily, remaining out of reach of the Belarus sculler, Stanislau Shcharbachenia, in the third qualifying spot.
Results: GBR2, BRA2, BLR, URU
Lightweight Women’s Single Sculls (LW1x)
A top two finish would be necessary to qualify directly for the semifinal.
Brazil’s Fabiana Beltrame is the 2011 World Champion in the lightweight women’s single sculls, and she featured in Heat One. But it was Switzerland’s Ladina Meier out in front at the start. The Brazilian sculler followed Meier closely, not willing to let go. These two lightweights stayed convincingly ahead of the rest of the field. With 500m left to row, Beltrame moved up into first place, although only just, with hardly anything separating the top two boats. At the finish line, Meier had done it, pipping Beltrame and taking first by four tenths of a second. Both crews move on to the semifinal.
Results: SUI1, BRA, POL, SUI2, KOR
Denmark’s Aja Runge Homegaard took the lead at the start and stayed there throughout in Heat Two. Homegaard won silver at this year’s European Rowing Championships, as well as at World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne. Following behind in second was the Netherlands’ Amber Van Zomeren. These two single scullers claim the two semifinal qualification spots, largely ahead of the rest of the field.
Results: DEN, NED3, IRL, LAT, THA
In Heat Three of the lightweight women’s single sculls, it was Marieke Keijser of the Netherlands who burst out of the starting blocks and stayed in front throughout. In Varese at World Rowing Cup I, the 19-year-old won gold in this event. Behind in second was Sweden’s Emma Fredh. Clear water separated the top two lightweights from the rest of the field. They both move on to the semifinal.
Results: NED2, SWE1, ITA, CZE, GER
Reigning World Champion Zoe McBride from New Zealand competed in the fourth and final heat of the lightweight women’s single sculls. In second, Fini Sturm from Germany followed. Sturm is competing here in Poznan in the lightweight single due to the elbow injury of her partner in the lightweight double sculls, Marie-Louise Draeger. This German duo will be competing in Rio together. Clear water separated the top two lightweight single scullers from the rest of the field. They will both move on to the semifinal.
Results: NZL, GER, NED1, SWE2, PER
Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls (LM1x)
As in the lightweight women’s single sculls, a top two finish would be necessary to progress to the semifinal in the lightweight men’s single sculls.
In Heat One, it was Konstantin Steinhuebel starting out in front. He won European silver a few months ago in Brandenburg, Germany. But challenging him strongly was Jerzy Kowalski of Poland. Also pushing hard and not leaving the initial top two scullers in peace was Switzerland’s Silvan Zehnder. With 500m left to row, there was nothing separating the top three lightweights. At the line, Switzerland missed out on the semifinal by eight tenths of a second. Germany and Poland crossed the line with identical times.
Results: GER, POL, SUI, IRQ, KOR, THA
In Heat Two of the lightweight men’s single sculls, Croatia and Norway were racing head to head for three quarters of the race, with the lead swapping between these two crews. At the line, it was Croatia’s Luka Radonic, the gold medallist at World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne, who crossed in the first qualification spot, followed by Norway’s Ask Jarl Tjoem who took the second semifinal spot.
Results: CRO, NOR, AUT1, SWE, AUT2, ECU
In the third and final heat of the lightweight men’s single sculls, it was Italy’s Pietro Ruta out in front ahead of Slovenia’s Rajko Hrvat in second. Hrvat won European Championship bronze in Brandenburg last May. These two lightweights separated themselves from the rest of the field, securing their semifinal spots and keeping them safe until the line.
Results: ITA, SLO1, TUN, PER, BRA
Lightweight Men’s Pair (LM2-)
A first place finish would be needed in each of the two heats for a direct qualification to the Final.
In Heat One it was France, silver medallists in Lucerne, taking the lead at the start and holding on to it until the line. Denmark, this year’s European silver medallists, followed in second. At the line, it was France taking the only qualification spot for the Final, relegating the Danes and the remainder of the field to the repechage.
Results: FRA, DEN, AUT, NED
In Heat Two, it was this year’s gold medallists at World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne and at the European Rowing Championships who secured the lead from the get-go. Joel Cassells and Sam Scrimgeour are also the reigning World Champions. Ireland followed the leaders in second position, but without truly challenging the British duo. With 500m left to go, Germany made a push to move past the Irish, while Turkey was dramatically improving its boat speed in lane one. At the line, Great Britain took the only qualification spot, while Turkey surprised the field, finishing second ahead of Germany and Ireland.
Results: GBR, TUR, GER, IRL