For immediate release
Aiguebelette, 4 September 2015

Six rounds of semi-finals set the stage for Sunday's finals at the 2015 World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette, France along with a day of finals in the International boat classes.

For the men's single sculls semifinal, Olympic Champion Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand finished first but had to hold off a strong challenge from Damir Martin of Croatia and the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Champion Olaf Tufte of Norway. This will be Tufte's first time in a World Championship final since 2011. Mindaugas Griskonis (LTU), Ondrej Synek (CZE) and Angel Fournier Rodriguez (CUB) also go to the final.

Kim Crow of Australia continued to dominate the women's single sculls. Crow has not lost a race all season and she will have strong competition from 2012 Olympic Champion Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic and Jungli Duan of China in the final. Genevra Stone (USA), Jeannine Gmelin (SUI) and Tatsiana Kukhta (BLR) will also be in the final.

Switzerland has stepped up to be the crew to beat in the lightweight men's four. They easily won their semi-final over crews from France and Italy who have also qualified for the final. In the other semifinal regular rivals Denmark and New Zealand met again. New Zealand has been the better boat through this season, but today Denmark was first with New Zealand finishing third behind the Netherlands. These are the boats that will race in the final.

The men's double sculls of Valent and Martin Sinkovic of Croatia is still the crew to beat. The World Champions finished in front of a close race between Australia and New Zealand. They will join winners of the second semifinal Marcel Hacker and Stephan Krueger of Germany as well as Lithuania and France. For the women's double sculls, the reigning World Champion New Zealand crew will take on Greece and Poland in the final with Germany, Great Britain and Lithuania making up the remaining spots.

Today's racing also saw finals in the International boat classes. New Zealand took gold in both the lightweight men's and women's single sculls. Adam Ling was the fastest man with Zoe McBride winning for the women. Germany had double success by winning both the lightweight women's quadruple sculls and lightweight men's eight.

France recorded their first World Championship title at this regatta with their lightweight men's quadruple sculls overtaking Germany right before the finish line to secure the gold medal.

Great Britain added medals to their collection that began with the para-rowing finals yesterday with two gold medals today. These came in the men's coxed pair and the lightweight men's pair.

Saturday's A-finals begin at 13:15 CET and continue through to 14:45 CET for the first round of Olympic boat classes. These finals will be preceded by the B-finals starting at 12:00 CET, many of which have the added importance of being part of Rio 2016 Olympic qualification.  All of the finals will be live streamed on www.worldrowing.com.

For results, schedules, full race reports, photos and live blogging go to www.worldrowing.com.