Sunny semifinals to begin Sunday's racing at the European Under 23s
The second morning of racing in Duisburg got off to a sunny start. With a slight tail wind the crews were flying down the course for the A/B semifinals in their quest to secure a spot in the A-finals.
First up were the lightweight men’s singles sculls, one of the most hotly contested category at the European Rowing Under 23 Championships. In Semifinal 1, Greece controlled the race from the lead with Spain putting in a massive sprint to take the second spot. Denmark snuck in to take the third and all-important spot to the A-final. In Semifinal 2 it was one, two, three across the line with the main tussle happening early on in the race. Italy established the leading position and stayed there, followed by the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.
A-final qualifiers: GRE, ESP, DEN, ITA, CZE, BUL
The women’s single sculls was up next and off the start in Semifinal 1 it was looking good for home favourite Alexandra Foester of Germany. Foester is stepping up from the junior level and making her mark at the under-23 level. But through the finish, it was Greece’s Anneta Kyridou who got the better of the field. Bulgaria hung on for the third spot into the A-final. The field was more spread in Semifinal 2 as Russia’s Anastasiia Liubich claimed open water and strode away from the field. Ireland and Estonia came charging back in the last 500m, but were unable to claim back much advantage on Russia.
A-final qualifiers: GRE, GER, BUL, RUS, IRL, EST
The men’s single sculls saw a great effort by Nicolo Carucci in Semifinal 1. The Italian wanted to secure the best lane in the A-final and he powered through the middle of the race to control it from out front. Behind him Austria’s Lukas Reim and Hungary’s Marton Szabo just held off a late charge from Denmark. In Semifinal 2 all eyes were on Mortiz Wolff from Germany. After an early lead, Romania’s Mihai Chiruta made a big push forcing Wolff back into second place. Jan Fleissner of the Czech Republic held on for the third spot.
A-final qualifiers: ITA, AUT, HUN, ROU, GER, CZE
It was down to the line in some fast and furious semifinals in the men’s double sculls. Semifinal 1 had Ireland with a convincing lead and they were glad to have it in the final sprint. Three boats behind them were vying for two spots into the A-final. Moldova in the middle kept one deck ahead while Italy and Switzerland went across the line together. In a photo finish, it was Italy to the A-final. Semifinal 2 was a battle at the front of the pack between Belarus and Spain. Through the 1500 meters these two crews were dead level. Then Belarus turned on the gas and managed to pull slightly ahead. Germany maintained their speed to take the last spot to the A-final.
A-final qualifiers: IRL, MDA, ITA, BLR, ESP, GER
Close racing is expected in the lightweight men’s double sculls and the semifinals were no exception. In Semifinal 1, Belgium, France and Germany were leading the pack and going stroke-for-stroke. They were glancing back looking at Spain who was trying desperately to get back into A-final contention. Through the finish line it was Belgium who made the best of it, followed by Germany and France. Semifinal 2 saw a big upset when the leaders from Greece caught a crab at 1250m. After setting their boat right, they sprinted back and managed to get back into contention. In the meantime the two crews on the other side of the course used the advantage to secure their spots. Through the line it was Italy, Estonia and Greece.
A-final qualifiers: BEL, FRA, GER, ITA, EST, GRE
Rounding off the A/B semifinals were the men’s quadruple sculls. In Semifinal 1 there were three crews that got out in front of the field, but it was a race for the best lane in the A-final. Romania, Italy and the Czech Republic strode out and into the final sprint, Romania turned up the speed to pip Italy at the line, followed by the Czech Republic. Semifinal 2 shaped up in a similar fashion with two races occurring. At the front of the field it was Belarus, Germany and the Netherlands. Could France put in enough of a sprint to get into the A-final? Into the last 500m, Germany with the best sprint followed by the Netherlands and Belarus.
A-final qualifiers: ROU, ITA, CZE, GER, NED, BLR