London 2012 Olympic Spirit Alive and Strong at the Eton Dorney Olympic Course
The London 2012 Olympic Spirit was alive and strong in the UK at the 2013 Samsung World Rowing Cup regatta in Eton Dorney, Great Britain where record crowds roared their appreciation for the rowers from start to finish.
Overall the British Team topped the World Cup medals table followed by Germany in second and New Zealand in third. After the completion of the second of three World Cup regattas Great Britain sits in first, Australia second and New Zealand third.
The conditions for the rowers were tricky in a strong tail wind but resulted in fast times including a World Cup Best Time being set by New Zealand's Eric Murray and Hamish Bond in the men's pair. New Zealand won three other Olympic events including the lightweight men's four, men's double sculls and the women's single sculls. Emma Twigg, racing at her first international race since the London Olympics, led comfortably for the majority of the race with Frida Svensson of Sweden coming through in second and Eleanor Logan, rowing for the first time in the single after winning the gold medal in the 2012 US women's eight, in third. Svensson's silver medal was her first international medal since 2010 when she won the World Championship title.
The lightweight men's four was one of the most closely fought races of the regatta with Olympic bronze medallists, Denmark going head to head with New Zealand. High ratings and race tactics not usually seen until the World Championships were in play today. At the line New Zealand were ahead of Denmark by just 0.04 of a second, and their winning time was less than four seconds outside of the World Best Time.
Great Britain entered their largest ever World Cup squad and came away with three gold medals from the Olympic boat classes. Helen Glover and Polly Swann made it two in a row for the 2013 season by winning the women's pair while the new-look women's double sculls of Frances Houghton and Victoria Meyer-Laker won over Denmark and China. Great Britain's third gold become reality only in the last few strokes when their Men's Eight overtook Poland to win the race.
Poland showed unanticipated strength at the regatta taking home one gold and three silver medals in the World Cup events. The Polish gold was earned in the lightweight men's double sculls by Artur Mikolajczewski and Milosz Jankowski while the silver medals came in the women's quadruple sculls, the men's pair and the men's eight. Germany came ahead of Poland in the women's quad. Germany also won gold in the lightweight women's double sculls.
The third and final Samsung World Rowing Cup of the 2013 season will take place in Lucerne, Switzerland from 12 - 14 July.