Men's Single Sculls (M1x) - Final
There is a reason why the men's single is a blue riband event. Wrapped in history the single demand the mental and physical toughness that only a small group of elite rowers can endure.
Today's final demonstrated this. Lithuania's Mindaugas Griskonis is a regular A-finallist, but does not always get to the medals podium. Today he decided to give it his all at the start and stamp some authority. Was the effort too much? Just on the 1000m mark Griskonis hit a buoy and fell into the water. His race was over.
This left the lead open to World Champion, Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic with Olympic Champion, Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand moving up. Drysdale raced at the World Rowing Cup in Aiguebelette and finished just ahead of Synek. In Aiguebelette, Drysdale showed that he did not have the fastest start, but he was able to carry out an incredibly strong finish.
Through the third 500m, Drysdale pushed ahead of Synek. Synek, however, was not ready to give in yet. In the final sprint Drysdale was at 38 and Synek had hit an amazing 40 stroke per minute. Then, with just 20m left to row, Synek all but stopped rowing. Drysdale had won. Lucky for Synek, the next sculler, Marcel Hacker of Germany One was way back. Synek paddled across the line in second with Hacker in third.
Results: NZL, CZE, GER1, NED, NOR, LTU (dnf)
Gold - DRYSDALE, Mahe (NZL)
It was a fantastic race. It has been a great few days for NZL and I wanted to be part of the party. It was fairly easy going through until Ondrej [Synek] started coming strong, but I held my position until the line. I had good speed coming into the second 1000m but my start is lacking. Rio is the big event I am looking forward to now.
Silver – SYNEK, Ondrej (CZE)
It was very difficult for me today. I started quite well, but early in the race, Griskonis caught a buoy and fell into the water. I responded but Mahe [Drysdale] surged forward. I saved a little bit of power for the last 500 but not enough for the victory. I feel good going for the Worlds. I know I need to train more going into the World Championships, and I will be the strongest competition for Mahe!
Bronze – HACKER, Marcel (GER)
I saw him [Griskonis] swimming but I had my race. The last 500m is all about the big finish and I was happy.
When you have an Olympic medallist in the C-final, you know that this is a tough race. It also means racing in the B-final was no mean feat and former French rower, now of Canada, Julien Bahain gave it his all. This is Bahain's first international season in the single and he led the B-final just ahead of Petru Codau of Romania.
Coming into the finish both Codau and Bahain had almost run out of steam. Codau had just enough more push to cross the line in first. His happiness was evident.
Results: ROU, CAN, ITA1, AUS1, FIN, BUL2