In the test race two days ago, Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll of Ireland proved to be the fastest crew. O’Donovan and O’Driscoll won World Rowing Cup I at the start of this month, beating the European Champions, Great Britain who were third. Today the Irish got away just a fraction ahead of Great Britain with Italy’s Stefano Oppo and Alfonso Scalzone slotting into second. Going through the middle of the race O’Donovan and O’Driscoll were able to get an advantage over the field and push away from Oppo and Scalzone. This is Oppo and Scalzone’s first international regatta of the season and they were managing to stay ahead of Great Britain.

Going to the line Russia overtook Great Britain and went after Italy with the Italians holding on for dear life. O’Donovan and O’Driscoll became the European Champions, Russia snatched silver from Italy who held on to bronze.

Results: IRL, RUS, ITA, GBR, FRA, TUR 

Mark O'Donovan (b), Ireland, gold
“We were really, really hungry to win. We wanted to up the pressure for the start. We had a cracking start and then settled. At the end we were expecting Russia to sprint, but felt comfortable ahead of them. There is plenty more to come, we’re not stopping here.”

Aleksei Kiiashko (s), Russia, silver
“It was a good race, with a good finish, but it was a very hard race. We are happy, it is our first medal in an important event. Thanks a lot to the great Russian supporters in the stands and the coach.”

Giuseppe Di Mare (b), Italy, bronze
“It was a great race, but at the end we didn’t have a lot of energy. I am very happy with the result because I am only 20 years old and it's my first international race."