The times in the semifinal indicated that France and New Zealand would be battling it out. They went one-two in semifinal one with less than half a second separating the two boats. But today the two crews were up against the European Champions, Switzerland. At the start France took the lead but by the middle of the race New Zealand had managed to pull equal with Great Britain and Switzerland on the pace.

Then New Zealand's Hunter, Bond, Lassche and Rapley started to stride away. This is unusual in a lightweight race when margins are invariably incredibly tight. But then Switzerland unleashed their sprint and moved on the 2014 silver medallists, New Zealand overtaking France in the process. At the line the Kiwis remained in first place with Switzerland in second and France earning bronze.

Results: NZL, SUI, FRA, GBR, CHN1, CHN2

James Hunter (bow)  - NZL – gold

“For us it is clearly really important to come to Europe and to row well. To cross the line first is a big relief. It is a very satisfying feeling. Concerning the conditions, it is much warmer and much faster to race here. It is really good to see fast times.”

Mario Gyr (2) – SUI – silver

“We came here to win. We had a good race, but we had a bit of bad wind in the middle of the race which allowed New Zealand to pass us. Our goal was to keep the yellow jersey so we are happy with that. It’s not easy to go from sculling to sweeping and from two to four people. The stroke is still a bit off, but we are focused guys and we are working hard.”

Thomas Baroukh (3) – FRA – bronze

“We are happy to have fought for our place. We know we are well prepared physically but we are not good technically. We have only done 450km together. Today the goal was to succeed as much in our technique as we did in our physical abilities. We know we have a lot of technique to improve on. We’ve had three races in a row and are excited to go back home.”



In yesterday's semifinal Italy 1 missed out on making the final by just 0.14 of a second. They made the best of today's B-final by leading from start to finish and letting no other crew even get a look in on the lead. Italy 2 and Austria gave it a go but they did not have the power or pace of Italy 1.

Results: ITA1, AUT, ITA2, CAN, JPN1, AUS