Korean success in first finals at Sydney World Rowing Cup
The first day of finals at the Samsung World Rowing Cup in Sydney, Australia saw Korea earn their first ever silver medal at a World Cup event and also the first World Cup women’s medal for Korea.
In changeable cross-wind conditions on another summer-like hot day, Yoo Jin Ji of Korea put herself and her country into the record books by coming second in the lightweight women’s single sculls. Then Ji’s team mate, Hakbeom Lee, followed this success up with a bronze medal in the lightweight men’s single sculls. This bodes well as Korea prepares to welcome the rowing world to Chungju later this year for the World Rowing Championships.
Lightweight Women’s Single Sculls (LW1x) – Final
The first international final for the 2013 season, the lightweight women’s single sculls began with five scullers after Canada’s Lindsay Sferrazza did not make the required weight of 59kg or less.
As in yesterday’s heat, Ka Man Lee of Hong Kong China had a flying start. But the flying start took its toll and Lee soon slipped right to the back of the field with Yoo Jin Ji of Korea taking over in the lead. Ji is an Olympian from the Beijing Olympics but did not make the cut for London.
Then Jaclyn Halko of Canada made a huge move and got her nose in front. Halko, who became a World Champion last year in the lightweight women’s quadruple sculls for Poland, now had a slight edge and, in her black boat, she started to push away. The real race was now going on between Ji and Sarah Pound of Australia.
In the final sprint to the line Ji showed that she had more to give and got the better of Pound, but by the slightest of margins. At the head of the field a new World Cup gold medallist was crowned – Jaclyn Halko.
Results: CAN2, KOR, AUS, GBR, HKG
Jaclyn Halko (CAN2) – Gold
“I was pretty confident that my training would take me through to the finish. We are just coming out of winter training in Canada so I am slow at the start as we haven’t been doing a lot of water time.”
Yoo Jin Ji (KOR) – Silver
“The other competitors were very strong and so I went out out strong to keep up with the other competitors. That was probably the best strategy for this race.”
Sarah Pound (AUS) – Bronze
“It was my first time ever representing Australia. I just wanted to have good start, sit with the pack and really bring it home in the finish.”
This regatta has attracted a sizeable contingent from Asia and the B-final in the lightweight single saw a race between An Le of Vietnam and Aisyah Saiyidah of Singapore. Le, at her first international regatta finished first.
Results: VIE, SIN
Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls (LM1x) – Final
From yesterday’s heats this looked like it would be a race between former World Champion Duncan Grant of New Zealand and Jost Schoemann-Finck of Germany. These two scullers won their respective heats. Last month Grant and Schoemann-Finck raced each other at the New Zealand National Championships. Schoemann-Finck, who has been training in Sydney for the last few months, finished first with Grant taking third.
Grant took no chances today and right from the word go Grant stamped his dominance on this final. Schoemann-Finck gave it a good shot to try and match Grant’s pace but was unable to keep up. Grant crossed the line with an open water lead with Schoemann-Finck in second.
Behind these two leading scullers three boats were carrying out a very tight battle: Michael Egan of Australia, Great Britain’s Jamie Kirkwood and Hakbeom Lee of Korea. Charging for the line at a 38 stroke rate pace Lee and Egan gave it their all while Kirkwood didn’t quite have the same push. In a photo finish Lee had managed to edge out Egan to take the second medal for Korea of the day. Lee’s bronze medal was Korea’s second ever World Cup medal for Korean men.
Results: NZL, GER, KOR, AUS, GBR, HKG
Duncan Grant (NZL)
“It was good to be back in the single. I raced against Jost (Schoemann-Finck ) in the NZL nationals and he won there but he has been racing in the heavyweight single this week also, so I thought if I could control the race I’d be in with a chance.
Jost Schoemann-Finck (GER)
"I am very happy. It is my second medal (also medalled at the Australian Championships) this week and my seventh race this week. I hadn't got so much power but hopefully I can do it again tomorrow.”
Hakbeom Lee (KOR)
"I have been racing for five days in the Australian National Championships and it has been challenging but today this was my best result and my best physical condition.”
Adam Kapa of the Czech Republic completely dominated Nadzrie Hamzah of Singapore to finish seventh overall at this regatta. In increasing tail wind conditions, Kapa rowed a very consistent race to start off his 2013 season.
Results: CZE, SIN
Women’s Pair (W2-) – B-final
Finishing first in this race was Xiaoqin Wang and Yuanyuan Gu of China. This young duo finished first in the women’s four at last year’s World Rowing Junior Championships and their move to the pair looks to be positive.
Results: CHN2, AUS2
Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (LM2x) – B-final
The Hong Kong China selectors will go back to the drawing board after their number two crew of Chiu Mang Tang and Kwan Hoi Lok easily beat their top seeded crew. Tang and Lok’s time of 6:33 was very respectful and showed that they could handle these tail wind conditions.
Results: HKG2, INA, HKG1, VIE
Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – B-final
This is Micheen Thornycroft’s first international race since competing at the London Olympic Games for Zimbabwe. Her first place finish, and seventh place overall, earned her one World Cup point for her nation. Thornycroft came home at a 31 stroke rate pace to stay ahead of Yeji Kim of Korea.
Results: ZIM, KOR, BUL
Men’s Single Sculls (M1x) – B-final
Another point came Zimbabwe’s way with Peter Purcell-Gilpin winning this B-final. Purcell-Gilpin, 18, raced last year in the junior single and looks to be starting out on a positive senior rowing career.
Results: ZIM, VIE
Women’s Eight (W8+) – Repechage
When an eight finishes in 6:05 you know that there are good crews on the water. Despite this being the repechage, it featured the gold and silver medallists from the 2012 London Olympic Games – the United States and Canada.
But off the line first was China’s number one crew. China’s starting pace could not be maintained and soon the United States moved into the lead following a big push before the 1000m mark. Canada then picked up the pace and drove their boat into second. This order remained the same at the line. The United States, Canada, New Zealand and China1 had qualified for Sunday’s final.
Qualifiers: USA, CAN, NZL, CHN1
Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – B-final
An hour earlier Jaclyn Halko of Canada had raced in the lightweight women’s single sculls and won it. She was back in the boat with partner Lindsay Sferrazza to race this B-final and the two of them raced in fine style to lead from start to finish. Korea’s number two crew came in second.
Results: CAN, KOR2, INA, HKG, VIE