It was the United States out in front at the start. The crew of Babb, Chatain, Dean, Watson and coxswain Ryan Williams settled to a high 39 stroke rate to stay in the lead. But then they ran out of steam and Switzerland took over in the lead. The Swill finished seventh at the European Rowing Junior Championships and they looked great as they led over Germany in second. Then Italy began to move. Italy had the best time in the heats a couple of days ago and they were now equal with Switzerland.

With 250m left to row, Italy got the lead at a 37 stroke rate. Switzerland was at 36 and losing ground as the Americans went to 40. Germany then saw South Africa coming. What a finish. Italy celebrated by standing up in the boat. Dini, Sabbatino, Di Ruocco, Apuzzo and coxswain Riccardo Zoppini will be celebrating again tonight.

Results: ITA, SUI, GER, RSA, UKR, USA

Federico Dini, Italy, gold
“The race was very hard. We were third through the 1000m, but we just trusted and we did our sprint in the last 500m to get out in front.”

Nico Mueller (s), Switzerland, silver

“Our first 1000m was really good. We made a push through the 500m in the middle, but our sprint in the last 500m was awful.”

Oliver Peikert (s), Germany, bronze
“It was a nice race, but it was very, very hard. We could just see the others and we could tell they were very close. We had a push at the end, but it wasn’t enough.”

B-final

Great Britain and Croatia were neck-and-neck from the start and through the middle of the race. Croatia took their rate up, so did Great Britain. The British then got away just before the final 500 of the race. Croatia came back. Both boats were in the low 40s at the end. It was practically dead level. They umpires consulted the photo finish and declared Croatia the winner by 0.01 of a second.

Results: CRO, GBR, TUR