The Olympic Champion, Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand has had a very solid winning season, keeping World Champion Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic at bay through the World Cup racing. Today they met in the final with last year's medallist Angel Fournier Rodriguez of Cuba also in the mix. But through this World Championships it has been Mindaugas Griskonis of Lithuania who has impressed with his speed. Griskonis got away the quickest with Drysdale back in third. Drysdale and Synek both began to push the pace in the second 500 with Synek taking the lead. Then Synek broke away to a nearly boat length lead.

In the third 500, Drysdale realised it was now or never and did an absolutely destructive push that saw him close on Synek. Drysdale was now in front. Could Synek hold on? Drysdale pushed again, Synek pushed back. This was one of the best two-boat fights seen in this boat class for a few years. Drysdale still had the lead, rating 35. Synek, at 37, fought back. Just three strokes before the line, Synek got back into the lead. At the line only 0.34 of a second separated them.

Results: CZE, NZL, LTU, NOR, CRO, CUB

Ondrej Synek – CZE – gold
“My winter wasn’t 100% as I had a surgery in February. I focused everything on the World Championships. The last training camp changed everything. After the semi, I knew I needed to row long to be in front. It’s all about next year.”

Mahe Drysdale – NZL – silver  
“It was a tough race, unfortunately I lost the most important of this year, it is a bit disappointing, but obviously next year is the one we all want. I lost because I didn’t see Ondrej’s move.”

Mindaugas Griskonis – LTU – bronze
“I feel very good. It is the best race of my rowing career. This year I am in better shape. I believe in myself and I knew I could be fast.”