Twigg knocks off Crow in season opener
The calm water and mild temperatures made perfect racing weather for the 21 countries racing at the 2014 World Rowing Cup I in Sydney (AUS) and Emma Twigg made the most of it by outfoxing her women's single sculling rival, World Champion Kim Cro...
The women's single scull was not the only race to see the World Champions finish out of the gold medal spot. The women's double sculls, men's four and women's quadruple sculls all saw the best crews from 2013 change medal colour.
Lightweight Men's Single Sculls (LM1x) - Final
Tiexin Wang of China led the entire race to pick up the gold medal. Wang was at the 2012 Olympic Games in the lightweight men's four, an event that second placed Richard Coakley of Australia1 raced in at the 2008 Olympics. This is Coakley's first season rowing for Australia as he formerly competed for Ireland.
Coakley held on to Wang through the body of the race, but was under no threat for his silver medal spot and chose not to sprint the finish to challenge the Chinese leader. Wang held a high rating through the body of the race and was at 35 strokes per minute when he came into the finish. Jackson Harrison of Australia2 finished third.
Credit must go to Linh Nguyen Van of Vietnam. Nguyen Van who comes from a small rowing development programme, won his repechage yesterday and was sitting in third place for most of this race. His fourth-place finish is credit to him and his coach.
Results: CHN, AUS1, AUS2, VIE, HKG2, VAN
Tiexin Wang - GOLD
“The rowing was maybe not as consistent for me because I have been training hard. I’m going to be in France for the second World Rowing Cup.
Richard Coakley - SILVER
“I knew the Wang (CHN) would be quick. The plan was to stay with him or move past but he was too quick today”
Jackson Harrison - BRONZE
“I sort of knew my final place. I kept contact with the others for most of it. I took up the rate half a stroke and was able to push through at the end. It (overtaking 3rd) gave me a confidence boost at the end.”
Lightweight Women's Single Sculls (LW1x) - Final
This boat class was one of the best contested at this regatta and after coming through to the final by finishing well in their heats, it looked as if the three Chinese crews may be the ones to beat. After being silver medallist in the lightweight women's double sculls at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Wenyi Huang of China1 had the best pedigree.
Huang did not disappoint and the sculler rowed her own race by starting off well within the pack before working her way up to the head of the field. Huang recorded nearly even splits throughout the race indicating her consistent boat speed.
Dandan Pan of China3 came through into second after starting off at the back of the field while Miao Wang of China2 led for the first half of the race but was overtaken by both Pan and Huang in the third 500 of the race.
Results: CHN1, CHN3, CHN2, AUS1, AUS2, KOR1
Wenyi Huang - GOLD
“It was a good race. I tried my best. I like Australia; the air is good and it is very beautiful. I will go to Europe for the second World Rowing Cup.”
Dandan Pan - SILVER
“The race went according to plan. It was easy to adjust to the weather and to control my weight in the warm weather.”
Miao Wang - BRONZE
“I’m very happy. We are a great team in China, we always train together.”
Men's Quadruple Sculls (M4x) – Final
In the race for lanes two days ago China took first. Australia1, however, did not race as members of the crew have also been competing in their country's national championships over the week of the Sydney International Rowing Regatta. Today Australia1 of Linke, Hudson, Girdlestone and Belonogoff took off in the lead and never looked back.
China slotted into second with Australia2 doing their best to catch the two leading crews. Australia has regularly fared well in the men's quad but the top crew at this regatta is a brand new configuration of athletes. One thing is for sure, they are strong and they are ready to race.
At the line Australia1 had held off China and China had held off Australia2 with Russia coming through at the back of the field.
Results: AUS1, CHN, AUS2, RUS
Nick Hudson – GOLD
“This is my return season after London. We didn’t train together as a quad until yesterday- but there was this amazing feeling. We came into the race with this confidence. It’s an honour to be picked in the Australian team and to have a world rowing cup on home ground. Winning the gold was perfect.”
Zhiyu Lui - SILVER
“The race went according to plan. The weather is very good for us and it was easy to acclimatise. We are looking forward to World Rowing Cup II in France.”
James McRae - BRONZE
“It’s a bit more familiar to me (being in the quad). I tried something a bit different for a while, but it’s good to be back in a team.”
Women's Quadruple Scull (W4x) - Final
In the race for lanes two days ago Australia finished first. Australia won the quad at last year's Sydney World Cup, but have brought together a new crew for this season. This crew includes three-time Olympian Kerry Hore. Hore medalled at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and had remained a regular in the quad for much of her rowing career.
At the start Germany had the lead. The Germans are the reigning World Champions, but have had two changes to the crew since their 2013 win. They were second in the race for lanes and today they did their best by getting out to an early lead. A push by the Australians around the 700m mark put Germany into second. The German's, however, were not giving up and went through the middle of the race neck-and-neck with Australia.
Australia did just enough to stay ahead of Germany and control the race to finish first. Hore, Hall, Edmunds and Cleary looked very relieved at the finish while Germany looked exhausted. Poland came in third with Vietnam, made up of lightweight rowers, coming through in fourth.
Results: AUS, GER, POL, VIE
Jessica Hall – GOLD
“It went exactly to plan. We were committed to each other especially through the middle. Selection for the World Championships is in 3 weeks and we want to stay together as a quad. We have a really good dynamic. We knew if we could beat Germany it would put us in good stead going forward. They are definitely the ones to beat.”
Marie-Catherine Arnold - SILVER
“We hoped to push from the middle (of the race), then the Australians went past but we couldn’t close the gap.”
Magdalena Fularczyk - BRONZE
“We always train in Europe. We came over a week or two ago. The weather here is good. It feels hot because in Poland it’s still below zero.”
Men's Pair (M2-) - Final
Don't ask Thomas Murray and Alex Kennedy of New Zealand about their compatriots and dominators of the men's pair, Eric Murray and Hamish Bond. Thomas Murray is not related and the pair is not the boat they will be rowing this season. Murray and Kennedy are part of the New Zealand under-23 men's eight who will race later today and the pair is more of a training boat for them.
With that Murray and Kennedy showed their skill in the pair by slotting into second behind last year's bronze medallists in the pair, Rogier Blink and Mitchel Steenman of the Netherlands. Blink and Steenman rated an aggressive 42 at the start and were already in the lead by the 100m mark.
For the rest of the race Blink and Steenman, who have been based and training in Australia for the past seven weeks, slowly moved away from the New Zealanders. This turned the race into a procession as China2 (Zengxin Yang and Dongjian Li) slotted just a bit back into third. China2, though, had to keep an eye out for China1 who weren’t far behind.
Blink and Steenman looked comfortable at 35 while Kennedy and Murray were at 37 in the final sprint and looked shorter through the water. The order did not change with the Netherlands scoring the gold medal.
Results: NED, NZL, CHN2, CHN1, AUS
Mitchel Steenman – GOLD
“It has been a good experience coming to Australia. We have been here for 7 weeks. We had 2 races at the Australian Championships and 2 races here at the World Rowing Cup. It was good having the racing at the end of a long training camp because it helps with the boredom.”
Thomas Murray - SILVER
“We wanted to be closer to the Dutch, but they were too strong.”
Dongjian Li - BRONZE
“We trained really hard here with the other teams. We really enjoyed training here in Sydney and it’s a great start to our season to have medal.”
Women's Pair (W2-) – Final
The top boats coming through from Friday's heats were New Zealand's Louise Trappitt and Rebecca Scown and Canada1 of Christine Roper and Ashley Brzozowicz. Roper and Brzozowicz come from Canada's bronze medal World Championship eight, while Scown has been in New Zealand's women's pair since 2009, notching up an Olympic bronze medal along the way. Trappitt is new to the pair this year.
At the start Canada1 took the lead with Scown and Trappitt in second. Coming through the 750m mark, Scown and Trappitt got the lead and it seemed to knock Canada off their game. As the Canadian's slipped back, the Canada2 boat of Natalie Mastracci and Susanne Grainger as well as Min Zhang and Tian Miao of China1 closed on Canada1.
With 500m left, Zhang and Miao were in second place with Mastracci and Grainger following in third. Meanwhile Scown and Trappitt, moving away at the head of the field, had taken full ownership of this race.
Results: NZL, CHN1, CAN2, CAN1, USA
Louise Trappitt – GOLD
“It is our first international race in the pair, so it was good to come out with the win. We have been selected through to the World Championships.”
Min Zhang - SILVER
“We tried our best and we are very happy. We train all year in warm weather so it hasn’t been a problem”.
Natalie Mastracci - BRONZE
“Training is back and forth all the time with our teammates. It was really good to race against them and the other competitors. It makes it feel like home.”
Men's Four (M4-) - Final
This race grabbed the interest of the crowd. The World Champions (the Netherlands) and the world silver medallists (Australia) were racing. Australia1 had the early lead with the crew of Moore, Hill, Turrin and Lloyd leading the way. The Dutch, who have had two changes to their World Champion boat, came out at the start a bit slower and sat in third behind Australia's second crew.
Going through the middle of the race Australia still owned the top two positions, but both boats must have been wary of the Dutch sprint that brought them to gold at last year's World Rowing Championships. With that knowledge Australia1 and Australia2 led the field into the final sprint. Then the Dutch began to push. Their winter training had done nothing to harm that big push and Australia2 could not hold them off.
At the line Australia1, rating 37, remained in control, the Dutch took second and Australia2 were third.
Results: AUS1, NED, AUS2, NZL, AUS3, AUS4
Alex Lloyd – GOLD
“We knew we had to get out to a quick start to get ahead of the Netherlands because they come home strong. There are a lot of guys vying for just 4 spots in the crew and it shows in the standard of the fours in the race today. We are lucky we get to row with people we enjoy hanging around with.”
Vincent Van Der Want - SILVER
“We’ve been here for 7 weeks. This has been a wonderful race at the end of our time in Australia in perfect weather. I’m new in the crew so we’re still building our foundations. We’re going home for the Netherlands nationals and The Holland Bakker race.”
Joshua Dunkley-Smith - BRONZE
“Right at the beginning we did badly and it went bad for the rest of the race. The trials are in a few weeks it will be good to start training again soon to prepare.”
Lightweight Men's Double Sculls (LM2x) – Final
The heats two days ago showed that Eleftherios Konsolas and Spyridon Giannaros of Greece had very good boat speed and that they would be the crew to beat. They rated 43 out of the blocks and got their boat in front by the 200m mark. This is rather unusual in the lightweight double where very tight races are common.
China1 of Xiaoxiong Li and Tianfeng Dong followed in second holding a tight race with the rest of the field. By the middle of the race Konsolas and Giannaros had broken away from the field and were rowing their own race out in front. The Greeks won the lightweight men's quad last year after spending most of the season on the double.
Coming through to the last 500m Li and Dong remained in a tight fight with Perry Ward and Adam Kachyckyj of Australia1 and China's second boat. Li and Dong sprinted hard to hold on to second and close the gap on Greece. Australia1, rating 41 at the finish, earned the third place spot.
Results: GRE, CHN1, AUS1, CHN2, HKG1, AUS2
Eleftherios Konsolas – GOLD
“It was a hard race, we got out at the start but the others, especially China and Australia, closed in the last 500 meters. I got a kangaroo shaved into the back of my head in Athens- I had to show the guy a picture of what a kangaroo looks like.”
Tianfeng Dong – SILVER
“The race went as planned. The middle of the race wasn’t great but we had a good start and a good finish. The weather has been great for training.”
Adam Kachycky - BRONZE
“We tussled the whole way with the two other Chinese teams. We are still fatigued from the interstate (regatta) yesterday.”
Lightweight Women's Double Sculls (LW2x) – Final
The race for lanes two days ago saw Australia1 of Ella Flecker and Georgia Nesbitt finish first. Today was a very different story. The experienced Hannah Every-Hall and her partner Maia Simmonds of Australia2 got out in front and never looked back.
Every-Hall and Simmonds finished third in the race for lanes, but they must have been holding something up their sleeve for today. By the middle of the race Every-Hall and Simmonds had a boat length over New Zealand and Australia1, who were vying for the silver medal spot. Every-Hall and Simmonds were definitely giving something for the Australian selectors to think about as they remained the dominant boat in this race.
Strack and Edward did a big push and got ahead of Flecker and Nesbitt. In the final sprint Every-Hall and Simmonds remained on fire and looked to have another gear, rating up to 35. Strack and Edward were at 37, while Flecker and Nesbitt, at 33, look tired. Every-Hall and Simmonds won.
Results: AUS2, NZL, AUS1, CZE, KOR1, KOR2
Hannah Every-Hall – GOLD
“The race was just fun. This was the first year I’ve come back and it is hard work, but I’ve just wanted to make it fun and Maia helped make it fun and that was the key. With the Australian Nationals during the week- we just wanted to build towards this race and so we just did just enough to get through some races. My husband is the reason I’m still here. He believes in me more than I believe in myself I think and he makes everything possible.”
Lucy Strack – SILVER
“We’ve been working on things in the summer that we wanted to put into play in this regatta and we know what we want to work on when we go home.”
Ella Flecker - BRONZE
“It was good to have a few races leading up to this. We had nationals on Wednesday and Saturday. We both did really well in the Victoria Cup and it was nice to follow that up with this.”
Men's Double Sculls (M2x) - Final
After a false start all crews got away cleanly with Italy's Francesco Fossi and Romano Battisti rating 42 to get their bow ball in front. But last year's silver medallists, Lithuania (Rolandas Mascinskas and Saulius Ritter) were holding on and they got to the first 500m mark first by keeping their stroke rate at 38. It looked like they had no intention of settling and they remained at a high rating through to the 1000m mark.
Fossi and Battisti, who are the 2013 World Championship bronze medallists, realised that they would have to rate high to stay in the medals and they followed the Lithuanian lead. Coming through in third was Australia1 of Cameron Girdlestone and Alexander Belonogoff. Girdlestone and Belonogoff had already won gold earlier in the day in the men's quadruple sculls.
As these crews came into the final sprint, Lithuania proved that they still had something left for the finish. Rating 40, Mascinskas and Ritter remained out in front leaving a huge battle to go on between Australia1 and Italy. The Australians had the better sprint and snatched the silver medal out of Italy's hands.
Results: LTU, AUS1, ITA, USA, AUS2, DEN
Rolandas Mascinskas – GOLD
“It was a good race, a good first step towards the World Championships. We are a little bit jet-lagged, we’ve only been here 3 days and so it’s like rowing in the night-time. Now, in Lithuania, we have pretty top level men’s and woman’s double sculls. It used to be always 8s and 4s for the last 120 years but now it seems to be all about doubles.”
Alexander “Sasha” Belonogoff – SILVER
“We had a good field. Our goal was to give our best performance. We’ve been rowing together for one month and this was good preparation for the future.”
Francesco Fossi - BRONZE
“Our next international race will be in Italy at Piedoluco at the Memoria d’Aloja. This is our first race of the year. We didn’t do as well as we hoped but it’s a good start to the year.”
Women's Double Sculls (W2x) - Final
Denmark got out very quickly, but by the first 500m mark the Australia1 boat of Olympia Aldersey and Sally Kehoe was in the lead. Kehoe won the junior single back in 2003 and has been plugging away on the senior team ever since. Aldersey comes to the double from racing in the women's quad in 2013. The duo settled into a 35 stroke rate pace to hold the lead.
Sitting in second was Julia Lier and Mareike Adams of Germany2, they are both part of Germany's very successful women's sculling squad. This pushed the World Champions, Donata Vistartaite and Milda Valciukaite of Lithuania into third. The Lithuanians did not have the fastest of starts, but they are well known for their ability to find a bit more speed at the finish, so the race was far from over.
With 300m left to row Kehoe and Aldersey lifted their rating knowing that the Lithuanians would be coming. And they did. Vistartaite and Valciukaite were sprinting at 41 and had already overtaken Lier and Adams, but they had a long way to go to catch Australia.
Kehoe and Aldersey got there first, with Vistartaite and Valciukaite taking second, and Lier and Adams in third. Another World Champion crew had been beaten.
Results:AUS1, LTU, GER2, GER1, CAN, DEN
Olympia Aldersey – GOLD
“Last year’s results were a bit of a surprise, this year we’re rowing a different boat, but we tried to bring the same mentality. Sally Kehoe has been really great; she been giving me good advice and I’ve learned a lot from her. Having Kim (Crow) has been good for women’s sculling in Australia. She’s the world’s best and we use her achievements as a benchmark. Kim is really supportive and is always encouraging us to get as close to her results as possible.”
Donata Vistartaite – SILVER
“We are a little disappointed about not winning because everyone wants to win, but this is our first race so it’s not too bad to get second. We arrived Wednesday and we’ve had one training session on the water and we are still jetlagged.”
Mareike Adams - BRONZE
“The race went perfectly; it went exactly according to plan. It was exactly how we practiced it. It’s great to be here, Australia is very beautiful.”
Men's Single Sculls (M1x) - Final
Mindaugas Griskonis of Lithuania looked to have the highest rating at the start, but it was not enough to get him into the lead. Instead it was Nicholas Purnell of Australia1 and Dirk Uittenbogaard of Netherlands1 who led the way.
Purnell was Australia's single sculler for the first time in 2013 and through his career he has raced in a variety of boats, but it looked as if Purnell had gone out too hard. By the middle of the race Purnell was visibly fading leaving Uittenbogaard to take over the lead.
Uittenbogaard was rowing beautifully. He comes from his country's quad and his long flowing strokes looked like they would sustain him for many more kilometres. Rhys Grant of Australia2 and Griskonis then put in the most effort to chase Uittenbogaard. But the Dutch man was unstoppable.
In the sprint for the finish Uittenbogaard remained in front with Griskonis pushing past Grant who was at 43 strokes per minute. China's Liang Zhang started to move in the sprint and had just enough energy to put pressure on the leaders. These results may surprise.
Results: NED1, LTU, CHN, AUS2, NED3, AUS1
Dirk Uittenbogaard – GOLD
"This is my second 2km of the year. The first was the heat. We had training camp for 7 weeks before this and I think that was the best preparation. I love the nature here in Australia. For us it feels like the amazon, there's so much wildlife.”
Mindaugas Griskonis – SILVER
"I arrived on Wednesday so I'm still very jet lagged. It’s been difficult to adjust. The weather is great and Australia is very beautiful.”
Zhang Liang - BRONZE
"I started training very early in winter to prepare for this competition. I’m very satisfied with my result today.”
Women's Single Sculls (W1x) – Final
This race was nothing short of the race of the regatta. World Champion Kim Crow has become the darling of Australian rowing after having Olympic success in 2012 and winning all of her races in 2013. Today Crow faced the silver and bronze medallists from 2013 - Emma Twigg of New Zealand and Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic.
Crow decided to take full charge of the race at took off at a cracking pace. By 350m Crow already had clear water on the rest of the field and a two length lead by 500m. This must have given her a huge psychological advantage as she continued to move away from Twigg in second.
Knapkova never really featured in the heats two days ago and had to race a repechage yesterday. Occasionally suffering from back problems, it looked like Knapkova was not racing at full power.
Coming into the last 500m Crow still had a handy lead. With 350m to go, Twigg started her burst as she tried to close the gap on Crow. Rating 36, then up to 39, Twigg was moving closer to the leader with every stroke. Crow, at 34, looked like she was running out of steam but she still had the lead. Twigg moved closer and closer and on the very last stroke Twigg overtook Crow to win gold.
Watch interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMuUgGO4Dfw&feature=youtu.be
Results:NZL, AUS, CHN1, CZE, CHN2, CHN3
Emma Twigg – GOLD
"It's a great feeling to be first across the line, there's nothing like a bit of trans-Tasman rivalry. I felt that (Kim) was tiring in the last 1000m so I had a go.”
Kim Crow – SILVER
"It was a good race. I went out hard and came home well, a good tough race.”
Jingli Duan - BRONZE
"I'm very satisfied about how my race turned out. I’m very confident about my future races.”
Men's Eight (M8+) - Final
Australia wrapped up a very successful regatta with a win in the men's eight. The smooth looking crew got out to the lead at the start and never really gave the Netherlands any room to catch up. New Zealand, from the back of the field, came through in a gallant effort and overtook Australia2 to win the bronze, with the Netherlands having to settle for silver.
Results:AUS1, NED, NZL AUS2, CHN
David Webster (cox) – GOLD
"Considering we've only rowed the 8 twice it was a great effort from the boys especially backing up after a long week. We did what we needed to do up against a good Dutch crew".
Peter Wiersum (cox) - SILVER
"It was a hard race and the Australians were solid. We had great training here and the great weather helps. Next we're going to Belgrade for the European Championships".
Caleb Shepherd (cox) - BRONZE
"This is a whole new level compared to the under-23 world champs - this is the elite. The principals are the same, but we really just had to push the standard. Now we're going to get ready for World Cup in Lucerne and the next under-23 world champs.”