In yesterday’s semifinal Imogen Grant of Great Britain recorded the fastest overall qualifying time. Grant is the 2018 under-23 World Champion and today she faced the winner of the other semifinal, Alena Furman of Belarus. Furman is the European Champion and something looked wrong at the start for Furman who was going along at 32 at the back of the field. Up in front was Grant and she led the field through the 750m mark. France’s Laura Tarantola was in second with the former junior champion, Clara Guerra of Italy in third. Now Tarantoa, who was second at the European Championships, did a piece and pushed ahead of Grant.

Furman then stopped sculling. Something was wrong. Now Guerra was moving up to challenge Grant for silver as Tarantola continued to push away. Tarantola led the way into the final sprint with Grant having to hold off Guerra and now Michelle Sechser of the United States. The battle for silver was on. This battle closed the gap on Tarantola. Tarantola was at 34 and then forced to go to 37 as Guerra was coming at her at a 43 stroke rate. Grant went to 40 with Sechser at 42. At the line it was Tarantola that had held on by just 0.17 of a second to take gold. Guerra took the silver and Grant the bronze.


Laura Tarantola, France, gold
“The race was really hard and really fast. At the 1000 meters I told myself, let’s go and you can do this. When I crossed the finished line, I wasn’t sure if I was in first or second place. I couldn’t believe it when I found out I was in first!”

Clara Guerra, Italy, silver
“I really wanted to put myself in a medal position today. Before the start, I was thinking anything but fourth place. I gave everything I had and I’m very happy.”

Imogen Grant, Great Britain, bronze
“This feeling is pretty unreal as I wasn’t expecting this 6 weeks ago. It’s been a tough season with the boat race, learning to scull and all my studies. I’ve had to do a few ergs in the hospital carpark. The race was a bit of a blur today. There’s a really high caliber in the field.”


Re-watch the race here