The first to show was World Champion, Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic. This is the first time for 2016 that Synek and the reigning Olympic Champion, Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand had met. As the rain fell and the water remained absolutely flat, Synek pushed away from the pack with Drysdale, Campbell of Great Britain and Stefan Broenink of the Netherlands in close proximity.

Going through the 1000m mark Synek was rating 30 and looking strong at the head of the field. Drysdale, rating slightly higher was gaining and Broenink and Campbell were still within striking distance. Synek and Drysdale then pushed clean away from the rest of the field to conduct their own battle. A piece with 300m left to row saw Drysdale take the lead. Synek had no answer. Drysdale had beaten Synek. Synek took his stroke rate right down in the last 50m as Cuba's Angel Fournier Rodriguez came through ahead of Broenink to grab the bronze medal.



These scullers had to come through heats, quarterfinals, semifinals and today's finals. Mexico's Juan Carlos Cabrera had a great semifinal and only just missed out on qualifying for the A-final. Today Cabrera came out in third and then worked his way up into second at the finish. Out in front for the whole second half of the race was Stanislau Shcharbachenia of Belarus who rated 38 at the end.

Results: BLR, MEX, LUX, FRA, GER1, GER2

Mahe Drysdale, New Zealand, gold
“I love racing against Ondrej. It was a really tough race and I’m really glad Ondrej threw in the towel in the end because I didn’t have much left anymore. But Ondrej is still the one to beat in Rio.”

Ondrej Synek, Czech Republic, silver
“From this spring I have had pain in my back. The last two weeks were terrible. The doctors told me I have a disk missing and broken vertebrae. I have had an injection and it is a bit better now. In the morning I need to warm up and stretch, it’s terrible. We just decided on Tuesday that I would race here, so I am happy about the result. I could have raced faster here, but what counts is Rio.”

Angel Fournier Rodriguez, Cuba, bronze
“It was very good today. I knew it was a very important competition. It was tough, but it’s one more medal, I’m happy.”