Lightweight Men's Double Sculls - Final
France's Pierre Houin and Jeremie Azou got away very quickly settling into a 35 stroke rate pace. The French are the reigning World Champions but they have swapped Houin into the boat to join Azou. They got to the 500m mark first, just inches ahead of 2013 World Champions Norway with a line forming between Great Britain, United States and 2014 World Champions South Africa. What a field! On any given day any of these finallists had the talent to win.
Norway's Kristoffer Brun and Are Strandli then closed a little on France as they found themselves under pressure from James Thompson and John Smith of South Africa. As the finish line came into view Azou and Houin demonstrated a controlled and beautiful sprint at a 41 stroke rate to stay out in front. Brun and Strandli also looked in control and powerful at a 40 stroke rate to stay in second. Thompson and Smith shot up to 46 to stay in third. European Champions, Ireland gave it their all at the end but remained outside the medals in fourth. What an awesome race and fabulous finish for such a talented group of 12 rowers.
Results: FRA, NOR, RSA, IRL, GBR, USA
Poland's Artur Mikolajczewski and Milosz Jankowski dominated this race from start to finish leaving a big tussle to go on behind them between the entire rest of the field for the first half of the race. Then it began to spread out a bit, but Poland still was able to dominate.
Results: SUI, SUI, AUT, BRA, CHI, JPN
Jeremie Azou (s), France, gold
“This World Cup I have a new teammate. This is a selection moment for French rowing and our double. We have three rowers to compete for two spots in this boat at the Olympic Games.”
Kristoffer Brun (b), Norway, silver
“We were hoping for a close battle with France. We had a very good first 1000m. This regatta has given us some good information on things we can work on for Rio.”
John Smith (s), South Africa, bronze
“It was a very good race, consistent all the way down. We now fly back to South Africa, have a week off and then two training camps. We are going to the north of the country for altitude and warmth. We will train with the hippos and crocodiles.”