The four Paralympic boat classes are the AS women’s single sculls (ASW1x), the AS men’s single sculls (ASM1x), the TA mixed double sculls (TAMix2x) and the LTA mixed coxed four (LTAMix4+). There are 12 crews racing in each of these four events, representing a total of 48 boats.

On day one of racing, Friday 31 August, new World Best Times were set in three of the four boat classes, as crews were fighting to cross the finish line first to qualify directly for the A-final. Two of these best times were set by China.

China’s Cheng Huang is a newcomer on the scene of international rowing. Huang was the first adaptive rower to set a new World Best Time on Friday 31 August. In his heat he clocked a time of 4:45.02 in the AS Men’s Single Sculls, more than four seconds faster than the previous time set by Great Britain’s Tom Aggar in 2010. Aggar has been unbeaten at world and Paraylmpic level since 2007 - he also won his heat yesterday and qualified directly for tomorrow’s A-final.

Two new World Best Times were set in the TA Mixed Double Sculls, one in each heat. Two-time world silver medallists Perle Bouge and Stephane Tardieu from France won the first heat in 4:00.00, nearly two seconds ahead of the time set by China at the 2011 World Rowing Championships. But 15 minutes later in Heat Two, the 2011 World Champions Xiaoxian Lou and Tianming Fei from China set an even faster time of 3:54.92, reclaiming the title of World Best Time holders in this boat class.

In the LTA Mixed Coxed Four it was Germany who took the lead ahead of Ukraine in Heat One, beating the World Best Time set by Canada in 2010 to establish the new one at 3:15.91. Germany won bronze at each World Rowing Championships since 2009 and come to these Paralympic Games with a new line-up.  Reigning World Champions Great Britain won Heat Two to qualify directly for tomorrow’s A-final.

In the AS Women’s Single Sculls, Liudmila Vauchok from Belarus who won silver at the 2008 Paralympic Games and is also a multi winter Paralympic Champion finished ahead of the field to qualify for the A-final, while reigning World Champion Alla Lysenko of Ukraine, who has never lost a race on the international rowing scene, won Heat Two.

Today, crews who did not directly qualify for the A-final on Friday had a second chance to claim one of the four remaining qualification spots in today’s repechage races.

A-finals will be raced tomorrow Sunday 2 September from 10:50 BST, while B-finals which rank crews 7 to 12 will take place beforehand from 09:30 BST.

Stay tuned to and for up to the minute information and photos about the regatta.

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