Just three seconds separated the times of all of these crews from yesterday’s semifinals and there was no doubt that the race would be close. Germany’s Annika Steinau and Emma Appel had the fastest time, but only just. Steinau and Appel had the better speed over a fast-starting Greece. Bu the lead kept on changing at they moved through to the first 500m marker with China’s Ying Liu and Peibing Zhang getting there first. But just two seconds separated all six crews. This was going to be one full-on 2000m fight.

Liu and Zhang then got a slight edge over the rest of the field with Greece and New Zealand going neck-and-neck for second. It was an amazing performance from the Chinese crew as they continued to lead with Greece getting a slight edge over New Zealand as Belarus began to move up. They went to 36, then 37. New Zealand reacted with 40 and Greece with 38. Belarus then ran out of steam. China had won gold, Greece silver and New Zealand bronze.


Ying Liu (s), People's Republic of China, gold
“Super excited but really tired! It was our first championships together so we’re so happy to win the gold medal!”

Ismini Noni (b), Greece, silver
“That was difficult. But we did the best for ourselves and our country and we think everyone at home will be proud of us.”

Kathryn Glen (s), New Zealand, bronze
“Off the start we didn’t want to go out too hard, we wanted to keep some energy for the 2nd 1k. We had a strong move at the 1000meters. We were not expecting to make the a final even so to make the podium is so great. I’m so proud of this girl here (hugs teammate).”

Re-watch the race here



Estonia had the fastest time of these crews following yesterday’s semifinals. But it was Italy that burst out at the start with Japan in hot pursuit. Then the United States started to close on the leaders with Estonia also very much on the pace. But then the US crew did an extraordinary third 500 and not only got into the lead, they were going out for open water. Japan was the boat that managed to close on the US with a rather low 33 stroke rate and they grabbed second.