Re-watch the live footage here

Yesterday’s semifinals presented a mere two second spread among the times of the top six boats and these top six lined up today in near perfect racing conditions. Ireland’s Gary and Paul O’Donovan had the fastest time, but only just. They were silver medallists from the Rio Olympics and looked the best on paper of these crews. Ireland were 53 – 54 strokes per minute at the start and still managed to keep their length. The Irish have been known to start slowly. Had they been working on this in their winter training? The brothers took a very slight early lead, but not for long with Kowalski and Jankowski of Poland taking a very small lead. The Poles were fourth in 2017 and are starting to get established as a double.

At the half way point only two seconds separated the entire field with Poland remaining a nose in front over Austria and Ireland. These Austrians raced in the lightweight quad in 2017 and they are now in the double. Ratings began to rise as the final sprint came into view with Ireland getting ahead of Austria with Belgium hot on their tails. Poland now had to keep an eye on Ireland who had moved their stroke rate to 41 and then 43. Poland went to 41, then 42. Poland had won in 6:13, just four seconds outside of the World Best Time. Belgium took Ireland to a photo finish with Belgium taking the silver by just 0.01 of a second.

Results: POL, BEL, IRL, CAN2, AUT, SUI1

Milosz Jankowski (s), Poland, Gold,
“We are racing all the World Cup events in this boat and obviously we would like to win everything. This was a very hard race, it was very hard at the start but I think we had a very strong finish.”

Niels Van Zandweghe (s), Belgium, Silver,
“We are very happy with the result, we were still looking for our form coming into the regatta and still changing the set up of the boat. Right before the heats we changed the angles and this race Tim’s final scream before the finish really got me going. I just relied on my bowman. We will be racing all of the World Rowing events in this combination.” 

Gary O'Donovan (b), Ireland, Bronze,
“Good race, we planned to go off really hard and we made a big push at 1000m to keep up with everyone. Then at 100m to go I shouted at Paul to go for it but the others pulled away.”


Denmark only just missed out on racing the A-final by just 0.01 of a second yesterday. It must have taken the wind out of them as today they came out in fourth and then dropped to fifth with Mexico and then the Czech Republic having the lead. The Czech’s of Juri Simanek and Miroslav Vrastil still had the lead at the finish giving them a seventh place overall – the same result that they achieved at last year’s World Rowing Championships.

Results: CZE, GBR1, POR, DEN, MEX, ESP