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Already 300m had been raced and still many of these boats were at 41, 42, 43 strokes per minute. Belarus had a small lead before the 2017 silver medallists, Valent and Martin Sinkovic of Croatia got a smidgen ahead. Now the Sinkovic’s, who won gold in the double at the 2016 Rio Olympics, started to show their power and they surged into the lead. They had gone through the first 500m at World Best Time pace.

The Sinkovics then settled into 37 strokes per minute. The Czech Republic (Podrazil and Helesic) held on to second with Spain in a close third. In the sprint to the finish, Romania, at 41, came flying The Romanian crew of Cozmiuc and Tudosa finished 5th last year and they recorded the fastest qualifying time in yesterday’s semifinals.


Martin Sinkovic (b), Men's Pair, Croatia, Gold,
“We are really happy, this is our first pair win. Big respect to the other crews as we really had to push to the maximum today. From here we need more races and get some more experience in the pair.”

Jakub Podrazil (s), Men's Pair, Czech Republic
“It was a great race, we had a good start then just settled into our pace. At the end we tried to close the distance between the brothers but they’re extremely fast. We just tried to defend our spot against the Belarussians but there’s a lot of work to do for the rest of the season.”

Siarhei Valadzko (s), Men's Pair, Belarus, Bronze,
“This is the first year in this crew, so we’ve been training a lot. The race was good, but I can see us getting better, we hope this is just the beginning.”


Paul Schroeter and Laurits Follert of Germany only just missed out on making the A-final and they led the way from the start but they were pipped at the finish. At 39 strokes per minute in the final sprint Germany remained just in front of a tight finish that included Great Britain and the Netherlands and Germany Two. Great Britain’s Harry Glenister and George Rossiter had the better sprint and finished first.

Results: GBR1, GER1, GER2, NED2, NED1, RUS