Women’s Pair (BW2-) – Semifinals

These crews raced in the heats two days ago and they were back racing for a chance to be in the final. In Semifinal One Belarus’s Dzina Haluts and Kseniya Ramanouskaya had the edge. They were first in their heat giving them a direct path to this semifinal and maybe their legs felt fresh. Then Great Britain’s Heidi Long and Hannah Scott got into the lead, but the margins were close and just two seconds separated the top four boats with Australia and Italy also in the mix. Long and Scott held on with Belarus fighting back. Coming into the sprint zone the Australians, Great Britain and Belarus were separated by less than half a second. Then Giorgia Patten and Bronwyn Cox of Australia lifted their stroke rate and charged for the line. Great Britain could not keep up. Australia crossed the line in first.

The reigning under-23 champions, Melita and Antonia Abraham of Chile got out to a great start with Romania in hot pursuit in Semifinal Two. Then the United States did a piece and moved up on the Abraham’s overtaking Romania in the process. As Regina Salmons and Alina Hagstrom of the United States, the Abraham sisters showed that their stamina was good and pushed away from their competition. The final sprint was in view and Greece and Romania were neck-and-neck in third with Salmons and Hagstrom moving up to challenge Chile. Greece went to 42 strokes per minute. Chile and the United States were at 37. The US got to the line first and recorded the overall fastest qualifying time.

Qualifiers: AUS, GBR, BLR, USA, CHI, GRE

Men’s Pair (M2-) – Semifinals

From the heats it looked like France’s Thibaud and Guillaume Turlan were the crew to beat. They took off in fine form in Semifinal One and gained an early lead, albeit only slightly over Poland and Italy. Much to the crowd’s delight Poland got out in front going through the middle of the race and they looked secure to qualify for the final. But the Turlan’s had other ideas and Italy was also moving up. Germany was also joining in the chase. There were now four boats in the fight for three spots. France went to 36 and fought back into the lead. Germany put their heads down and gave it their all. Italy, at 35, added chase using their last bit of energy into the head wind conditions. Disappointment for Poland. They were unable to give it that final push and finished fourth. France, who finished second last year, had won the race.

At the start of Semifinal Two Greece had the edge. But their opening pace seemed to be too intense with South Africa’s Charles Brittain and James Mitchell taking over in the lead. Greece couldn’t hold on as Romania’s Dumitru-Alexandru Ciobica and Florin-Sorin Lehaci pushied into second with Australia now in third and within a shot of qualifying.  As the last 500m came into view there were four boats all within striking distance of a qualifying spot with Brittain and Mitchell now easily in first. Greece took their stroke rate up. Romania went to 34 and so did South Africa. Australia could not match the pace. South Africa, Romania and Greece had done it.

Qualifiers: FRA, GER, ITA, RSA, ROU, GRE