Men's Double Sculls (M2x) - Final
The semifinals yesterday indicated that Australia's James McRae and Alexander Belonogoff would be out in front with World Champions Norway and Croatia One in the medals hunt. Today coming out of the start Croatia One had the edge. But it was very in the race for Martin and Valent Sinkovic of Croatia who are the current reigning World Champions in the men's quadruple sculls. Before joining the very successful Croatian quad, the Sinkovic brothers had spent time in the double and it paid off today.
Then, at the 700m mark Azerbaijan's Boris Yotov and Aleksandar Aleksandrov did a 40 stroke rate piece that moved them into the lead. The Sinkovic brothers seemed unconcerned and did not react. Yotov and Alekasndrov remained in the lead but only just over the Sinkovic's. Meanwhile, McRae and Belonogoff were starting to move. This was going to be an incredibly tight finish.
The Sinkovic's took their stroke rate to 39 while Yotov and Aleksandrov had upped it from 37 to 40. McRae and Belonogoff hit 41. At the line less than a second separated the top three boats. Croatia had pulled off a win, Azerbaijan had held onto second and Australia earned bronze.
Results: CRO1, AZE, AUS, NZL, GBR1, NOR
Gold - Valent Sinkovic (CRO)
It was a good race for us, we had planned to go out hard, take first and stay there. Before the World Cup we didn’t know where we stood but we’re very, very happy.
Silver - Aleksandar Aleksandrov (AZE)
It was a great race, the level of competition was perfect – there’s a lot of strong teams so it makes for tough racing. We already know what mistakes we made so we will improve in the future.
Bronze - James Mcrae (AUS)
It was a good race, our first race together internationally. We still have a lot to work on before Lucerne but it was a good start. This combination is going well.
There was nothing shabby about the crews in this B-final. Argentina had raced in the A-final at the London Olympic Games and Germany's Hans Gruhne and Stephan Krueger were the bronze medallists at this year's European Rowing Championships. Gruhne and Krueger had the next fastest time following yesterday's semifinals and they overtook Hungary to take the lead. Poland, who has come together for the first time at this regatta, challenged the Germans hard, but could never catch them. Germany, rating 40, stayed in front.
Results: GER, POL, ARG, HUN, EST, CZE