The heats two days ago saw France’s new line up of Laura Tarantola and Claire Bove record the fastest qualifying time when they just beat Great Britain to the line. They met for the first time today the winners of the other heat, Italy’s Valentina Rodini and Federica Cesarini. At the start it was Poland that led the way. The Polish duo of Weronika Deresz and Martyna Mikolajczak were seventh at the Rio Olympics and they won earlier this month at World Rowing Cup I. The young duo of Tarantola and Bove got to the first 500m mark in the lead with Poland just a smidgen behind. But less than two seconds separated the field and it was early days.

At the half way point France had earned a boat length lead with Italy and Poland vying for second.  Poland then did a big piece in the third 500 and they managed to close the gap on France and by the end of their piece Deresz and Mikolajczak had moved into the lead. Poland kept the pace on as France began to fade in the last sprint of the race. Romania, at the back of the field, had found another gear with the Netherlands also pushing the sprint. Gold went to Poland. The Netherlands had grabbed silver and Great Britain snatched bronze. In the British boat was 2012 Olympic Champion Katherine Copeland. In the Dutch boat was 2016 Olympic Champion Ilse Paulis.

Results: POL, NED, GBR, ROU, FRA, ITA

Weronika Deresz (b), Poland, gold
“It was a fantastic race. Since the beginning we managed to take the lead and keep it. It always feels easier when you win. We developed from race to race, but I think we are still in shock about this win.”

Ilse Paulis (b), Netherlands, silver
“I feel great about this silver medal. I think it is the best that we could have done today. The race was phenomenal. Six boats fighting until the finish with not much distance between each other. That’s why I love rowing.”

Katherine Copeland (b), Emily Craig (s), Great Britain, bronze
“Really pleased to be on the podium. We knew it would be a tight finish, considering we only had 10 days together. We embraced the challenge and it is great to be here today.”

B-final

Greece had the fastest time in yesterday’s repechage of these crews, but it was Leonie Pless and Fini Sturm of Germany that had the lead over Greece. Pless has been on the German national team since 2010 and she is one of the nation’s top lightweights. In the final quarter of the race Greece tried to close on Germany, but they could not close the clear water lead that Pless and Sturm had established as the German double was able to respond to Greece’s moves.

Results: GER, GRE, SUI, DEN, CZE