More World Best Times in semifinals at World Rowing Under 23 Championships
The rowing-perfect conditions continued at the Plovdiv regatta course in Bulgaria for the 2017 World Rowing Under 23 Championships. It was flat calm for these afternoon races, but perhaps a little hot as temperatures stretched into the low 30s degrees Celsius.
Women’s Four (BW4-) – Semifinals
Romania recorded the best time in the heats two days ago and they took over the middle lane of Semifinal One. Right from the start Romania’s Popescu, Pop, Parfenie and Parascanu had the lead using a high stroke rate. This crew became European Champions earlier this year. But coming into the second half of the race the Netherlands overtook Romania and began to move away. The Dutch rated 36 to Romania’s 38 and remained nicely in the lead. Great Britain came through to take third. The Netherlands crew of Beeres, Florijn, Clevering and Meester had set a new under-23 World Best Time.
Semifinal Two opened with Germany in the lead. Then New Zealand picked up the pace and challenged Germany. But all of the boats were close and Italy’s Pappalardo, Rocek, Pelacchi and Serafini then took over in front and once there they kept their stroke rate high and the pace on. Italy was at 40 as they came to the line with Germany following in second. But the real fight was for third. New Zealand had a slight margin with Denmark gaining with every stroke. Both boats had to wait for the results. The announcement was Denmark had made the final by 0.07 of a second.
Qualifiers: NED, ROU, GBR, ITA, GER, DEN
Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Sculls (BLM4x) – Semifinals
The pack was incredibly close at the start of Semifinal One. This reflected the similar times that had been recorded in the three heats two days ago with Austria being slightly faster. Austria was the first to show today and by the middle of the race Kabas, Brabec, Kepplinger and Schoeberl of Austria had earned a small edge. Four boats were flying for the line with three places only available. Ireland, Italy and Germany were right there. The Danish supporters were deafening. But it didn’t help. Austria got to the line first. Italy came through in second and Ireland got the better of Germany to take third. Austria had set a new under-23 World Best Time. The new standard is 5:47.86.
France moved away the quickest in Semifinal Two. They had finished second to Austria in the heats two days ago and it must have been a good race for them as they got to the first 500m marker in the lead. Switzerland was in second. Then coming through the middle of the race, Switzerland pushed into the lead with France trying to hold on. Mueller, Fernandez, Struzina and Ryser of Switzerland managed to stay in the lead rating 36 into the final sprint. Great Britain at 37 now got into second. France held on to third. Switzerland had grabbed the under-23 World Best Time by a fraction of a second off Austria from semifinal one. The new standard is 5:47.26.
Qualifiers: AUT, ITA, IRL,SUI, GBR, FRA
Men’s Four (BM4-) – Semifinals
Semifinal One featured Great Britain who had recorded the fastest qualifying time in the heats two days ago. Today they met Australia who had won their heat on Wednesday. Australia was the first to show and they still had the lead at the half way point. Great Britain followed very closely in second with Serbia back more than a boat length in third. Australia and Great Britain now moved clean away from the rest of the field in a race that looked very much like the 2016 senior races between these two countries. Australia was at 38 with Great Britain at 35, but they were still managing to close on Australia. The Australians then went to 37 and held a slight lead. Australia’s time of 5:44.28 was a new under-23 World Best Time.
The Netherlands and Austria were the fastest boats in Semifinal Two going by the heats two days ago. They sat next to each other in the middle lanes. The Dutch crew included the Rienks brothers whose father, Nico Rienks is an Olympic medallist. Austria and The Netherlands matched each other through the first half of the race and in the process left the rest of the field behind. But behind them there was a very strong battle going on for third with Italy just being a little in front. Austria are the reigning under-23 World Champions in this boat class and they then managed to break free of the Netherlands and come home in first. The Dutch held on to second with Switzerland flying through in third.
Qualifiers: AUS, GBR, SRB,AUT, NED, SUI