​Re-watch the live footage here

In the first 200m the Netherlands, at 38, got into the lead. The Dutch boat has top single sculler Marieke Keijser (silver in 2017) and Olympic Champion from the double, Ilse Paulis coming together for 2018. But it was Great Britain One of Elanor Piggott and Emily Craig got to the first 500m mark in the lead. France and the Netherlands were in hot pursuit. Then in the second 500 the lead changed several times between Great Britain and the Dutch.

Keijser and Paulis got to the half way point first, half a second ahead of Piggott and Craig with France’s Laura Taratola and Claire Bove in third. France had the fastest qualifying time from yesterday’s semifinals and they finished seventh in 2017. Then the Dutch showed their stamina and gained just over a half boat length lead over Great Britain. South Africa now moved up to challenge for the medals. South Africa went to 39 to try and get a medal as the Netherlands looked smooth and relaxed at the head of the field. They crossed the line just two seconds outside of the World Best Time. Kirsten McCann and Nicole van Wyk of South Africa grabbed silver and Great Britain to bronze just ahead of France who missed out by a mere 0.32 of a second.

Results: NED, RSA, GBR1, FRA, SUI, USA1

Ilse Paulis (s), Netherlands, Gold
“It was a fierce race! I think we did Lightweight rowing proud with having it so close and I think we made our team proud after having a not so good race on Friday. We look forward to continuing in the double and are very happy with this start with a gold medal.”

Kirsten McCann (b), South Africa, Silver
“It is Nicole’s first senior race and I think it’s a pretty good start to her senior rowing career. We went out there to race our race and to just do what we do best. I think we got a bit of a sniff of the other crews and just got going. We’ve been in and out of the double a lot, but we are having lots of fun and trusting in the process.” 

Eleanor Piggott (b),  Great Britain, Bronze
“I’m really thrilled, I really wanted to get a medal today. In the middle of the race, we had a sneaky look and seemed to be doing well. I made a call with a minute to go as anything can happen at the end.”


From the semifinals it looked like this race would go the way of Poland. As the rain began to fall through the middle of the course, Germany led the way before Canada was able to take over in the lead. Poland was fourth in the world last year, but today they were back in third in the B-final. Canada’s Jill Moffatt and Jennifer Casson kept the speed on through the second half of the race and held it to the end going to 39 in the final sprint. Germany held on to second ahead of Poland.

Results: CAN, GER, POL, USA2, CHN1, IRL