, Austria" border="0" src="/medias/images/media_352391.jpg" title=" © Simon Lorenz" width="250">Women’s Double Sculls (W2x) – Final

Last year was Qin Li’s first go at international competition. She finished 8th in the double with 21-year-old Liang Tian. This year they have stepped up a notch, but not without a fight. With World Champions Australia and former World Champions New Zealand not racing here the favourites must have been Germany’s Britta Oppelt and Susanne Schmidt who are currently ranked second in the world. However, Oppelt and Schmidt had been beaten coming into this final and they came out at the start back in fifth place. Meanwhile Li and Tian had pushed past a fast starting United States duo to take the lead.

The Chinese didn’t stop there opening up a full-length gap going through the middle of the race and continuing to increase it. Their long lay-back stroke and lower rating was doing the trick for Li and Tian as the Americans slipped further back. Then Germany’s two crews began to attack. The sprint was on. Italy rated higher but made no impact. USA got up to 38 to try and retain their position. Oppelt and Schmidt, at 37, made up the most ground. At the line Li and Tian had won gold, Oppelt and Schmidt pick up silver and their sculling teammates, Germany2 of Christiane Huth and Stephanie Schiller come through to bronze.

The flags row on top of the Regatta building of the 2007 Rowing World Cup in Linz/Ottensheim</img>
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 <span><em><strong>Huth,</strong> "The circumstances were very difficult because of the rain. Actually we have expected more but we have to learn what we can from the race."</em></span>
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 <strong>Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) – Final</strong><br>

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 World Champions France got piped in their semifinal. They weren’t going to let that happen again. Maybe they didn’t vouch for being in the tightest six-way race of the day. Coming out in front at the start France tried to work their way away from Australia in second. However by the half-way point Adrien Hardy and Jean-Baptiste Macquet of France only had a half-second lead with Great Britain’s Matt Wells and Stephen Rowbotham picking up the pace. Wells and Rowbotham had been the duo that beat the French yesterday and Hardy and Macquet must have been cautious.<br>

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 Coming into the final 500m, the gap over the entire field had closed. Wells and Rowbotham had found the lead, Hardy and Macquet were just in second and Estonia2 of Allar Raja, 23, and Igor Kuzmin, 24, from last year’s bronze medal quad, had come through to third. But there was nothing in it. The sprint was on. Germany’s Rene Bertram and Robert Sens hit 37 strokes per minute, France were on 38, Great Britain hit 40, Raja and Kuzmin were sneaking through down the outside.<br>

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 In a photo finish that ended with only 1.32 seconds separating the entire field, the French had been denied a medal. Wells and Rowbotham take gold, Bertram and Sens silver and Raja and Kuzmin earn bronze.
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 <span><em><strong>Wells, </strong>"We won, even though the quad is on top of the game. Very much went to plan and at the 1000m mark I already knew that we would win."</em></span>
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 <span><em><strong>Rowbotham,</strong> "It feels like a long time coming?! It is just a fantastic feeling!"</em></span>
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 <span><em><strong>Raja, </strong>"When we saw that we were third, it was just a great felling. Every race is getting better and better."</em><em>Bertram, "The decision of the race fell already at 1100m when the English went away. It is obvious that they have a very high level. We sprinted at the last 1750m."</em></span>
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 <span><em><strong>Sens,</strong> "The conditions were not as good due to the wavy water. I think the sprint was a little too late, it should have been earlier."</em></span>
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 <strong>Men’s four (M4-) – Final</strong><br>

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 Great Britain are aiming to retain their unbeaten record. Today they hoped to do that by taking off out of the start at a 50 stroke rate pace. It served them well. The same line-up that goes into their third year together, Andy Hodge, Alex Partridge, Peter Reed and Steve Williams making the calls from bow have the winning formula. In two seat Reed holds the current biggest erg score on the British team and has a pair of lungs to match. At two metres tall Reed weighs in at 98kg.<br>

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 Settling at 38, Great Britain kept an eye on most likely challengers, the Netherlands. The Dutch delivered. Through the middle of the race the Netherlands kept their boat overlapping with the Brits with France the only other real contender in third.<br>

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 The order didn’t change. Great Britain back up at 38 strokes per minute remained in the lead and take gold, The Netherlands earn silver and last year’s sixth place finishers, France, finish with bronze.
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 <span><em><strong>Vermeulen, </strong>"It is good to be back and I am certain this will be an important year for us."</em></span>
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 <span><em><strong>Despres,</strong> "The results are very good for the French rowing team. It was a revenge against ourselves of last year, as we made a lot of mistakes. We are very happy and we know that we can go even faster."</em></span>
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 <span><em><strong>Hodge, </strong>"It was a credit to the French and the whole field."</em></span>
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 <span><em><strong>Williams, </strong>"It is very nice of the Austrians to provide English weather :-). I realised that I am still learning a lot after 27 wins. I believe the next 27 months will be crucial."</em></span>
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 , AUSTRIA - JUNE 03:  Katrin Olsen and Julianne Rasmussen of Denmark celebrate their gold medal in the Lightweight Women's Double Sculls Final during Day Three of the FISA Rowing World Cup held at Ottensheim on June 3, 2007 near Linz, Austria.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images) Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – Final

The reigning World Champions, Dongxiang Xu and Shimin Yan of China got a scare yesterday when they were beaten in the semifinal. Today there was going to be another surprise for them. This is how it unfolded. Xu and Yan got off the line first and established just a tiny lead over Canada’s Lindsay Jennerich and Tracy Cameron. The lead did not last. Both Canada and Germany pushed ahead. Canada’s lead also didn’t last. A strong piece coming into the last 500m gave Katrin Olsen and Juliane Rasmussen of Denmark the lead.

Olsen, 29, and Rasmussen, 28, competed last year in the lightweight quad where they finished second and now selected the Olympic boat class, the double, the duo gave an indication to their boat speed by winning yesterday’s semifinal. At a 34 stroke rate pace they continued to hold the lead with now China3, Haixia Chen and Hua Yu, coming swiftly down the outside.

At the line the World Champions had not only lost, they were off the medals podium. Instead it was Olsen and Rasmussen in the gold spot, Chen and Yu taking silver and Jennerich and Cameron holding on for bronze.

LINZ</img>
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 <span><em><strong>Olsen</strong>, "I believe this is a very well organised event and the race was much better than expected."</em></span>
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 <span><em><strong>Rasmussen,</strong> "The finish of the race was very fast and we had to play the trump card in the last 250m."</em></span>
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 <span><em><strong>Jennerich, </strong>"We tried to stay within ourselves but when the Danes push, they really push. The final is all mental, every team could have won this race."</em></span>
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 <strong>Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (LM2x) – Final</strong><br>

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 A Danish double-header. Reigning World Champions Mads Rasmussen and Rasmus Quist of Denmark said yesterday they had some more to give when they won their semifinal. Today they gave a little more. Facing winners of the other semifinal, Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase of Great Britain, for the first time the Danes did what they love to do. Get out into the lead and stay there. Maintaining a steady 35 strokes per minute Rasmussen and Quist moved ahead of Great Britain in first.<br>

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 Bow seat for Great Britain, Zac Purchase is used to winning. Two years ago he became World Champion in the lightweight single at the under-23 level. Last year he won the same event at the senior level. Coming into this final Purchase and Hunter had won all their races. But facing Denmark, Great Britain were forced to race for second. Meanwhile the real battle was going on between Canada, Japan and Hungary who were all trying to grab that final medal spot. At the line Rasmussen and Quist had won gold, Great Britain take silver and Matt Jensen and Douglas Vandor of Canada, using a 41 stroke rate, earned bronze.
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 <span><em><strong>Rasmussen</strong>, "I am certain we can get faster because of the new great Danish team performance."</em></span>
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 <span><em><strong>Quist, </strong>"It was not the best race."</em></span>
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 <span><em><strong>Hunter, "</strong>We have been rowing together for five weeks. There is a lot of potential in this boat."</em></span>
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 , AUSTRIA - JUNE 03:  (L to R) Zhongming Huang, Chongkui Wu, Lin Zhang and Jun Tian of China celebrate winning gold in the Lightweight Men's Four Final during Day Three of the Rowing World Cup held at Ottensheim on June 3, 2007 near Linz, Austria.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)Lightweight Men’s Four (LM4-) – Final

They may be reigning World Champions but yesterday China got beaten by Italy1 in the semifinal. Today, facing Italy1, they knew the challenge that was on their hands. China took a flying start leaving the starters at a 40 stroke rate pace and remaining at 38 as they passed through the first 500m mark. Great Britain, winners of yesterday’s second semifinal, held on. There wasn’t much in it and despite the effort China was putting in, they could not shake off their opposition.

A piece before the half-way mark gave Italy1 the lead. Stroked by former Portuguese rower Bruno Mascarenhas, the Italian crew is made up of three of the athletes, including Mascarenhas, who won bronze in this event at the 2004 Olympics. China fought back and coming into the final sprint China got up to 41 strokes per minute. Italy1 answered with 40, with Great Britain coming back at 42. At the line China had retained their honour with gold medal position, Italy1 had established themselves as the best Italian line-up with silver and Great Britain had held on to take bronze.

Great Britain's Lindsay-Fynn, "It is brilliant to be the first crew to get a medal in this discipline for so long."

, AUSTRIA - JUNE 03: (L to R) Katherine Grainger, Frances Houghton, Debbie Flood and Annie Vernon of Great Britain pose for the camera after they win Gold in the Women's Quadruple Sculls Final during Day Three of the FISA Rowing World Cup held at Ottensheim on June 3, 2007 near Linz, Austria. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)" border="0" src="/medias/images/media_352443.jpg" title=" © 2007 Getty Images" width="250">Women’s Quadruple Sculls (W4x) – Final

Two-time World Champions, Great Britain did not look under any real pressure. Katherine Grainger, Great Britain’s most successful woman rower, Frances Houghton, Debbie Flood and new member Annie Vernon got out to a comfortable lead and had enough space to keep an eye on China in second. With an open-water gap Great Britain was able to sit comfortably on 33 strokes per minute for the majority of the race with barely a sprint necessary. Meanwhile China were giving it their best effort even though they had a clear water lead over the slow-starting, now picking-up-pace Germans.

At the line Great Britain take gold, China earns silver and the young German crew comes through to bronze.

LINZ</img>
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<img><img align=Men’s Quadruple Sculls (M4x) – Final

Coming into this event there was no doubt that Poland, as reigning World Champions and World Best Time holders as well as 2006 World Rowing Male Team of the Year, were the hot favourites. The pressure was on them to perform. And they did. Leading from the start Poland took to the front over Germany Two, even if only just. Going through the middle of the race Germany Two were still there. Poland had to keep the pressure on. Then Italy began to move. Made up of two members of the Sydney 2000 gold medal quad, the Italians are aiming to get back to the top of this event. Back into the fold is Rossano Galtarossa who comes back from post-2004 Olympics retirement where he won bronze.

In the final sprint Poland used their lead to keep an eye on the rest of the crew with Italy and Germany taking second to a photo finish. It came down to the difference between being at the catch or the finish. Italy take second and Germany win bronze. All three of these crews looked very happy as they picked up their medals from the 217th race of this regatta.

LINZ</img>
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 <span><em><strong>Poland's Korol</strong>, "It was a very hard and difficult race."</em></span>
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 <span><em><strong>Poland's Kolbowicz, </strong>"We knew Germany boats 1 and 2 were very strong and fast. Today was a very strange day because of the rain. We could go faster."</em></span>
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 <span><em><strong>Germany's Bertram, </strong>"I think we could have come closer to the Polish."</em></span>
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 , AUSTRIA - JUNE 03:  Baz Moffat, Carla Ashford, Georgina Menheneott, Jessica-Jane Eddie, Beth Rodford, Natasha Page, Katie Greves, Louisa Reeve and Caroline O'Connor of Great Britain pose for the camera after winning the Silver medal in the Women's Eight Final during Day Three of the FISA Rowing World Cup held at Ottensheim on June 3, 2007 near Linz, Austria.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Baz Moffat;Carla Ashford;Georgina Menheneott;Jessica-Jane Eddie;Beth Rodford;Natasha Page;Katie Greves;Louisa Reeve;Caroline O'ConnorWomen’s Eight (W8+) – Final

Was Germany saving themselves for this one? Despite some of their team also racing in the women’s pair, the Germans looked fresh as they headed out in the lead of this penultimate race of the first Rowing World Cup. Surprisingly it was Great Britain that latched onto second place. Australia, last year’s bronze medallists, got off to a good start and then faded. The extra pairs racing at this regatta maybe had taken its toll.

Germany, stroked by Elke Hipler, stayed on 35 strokes per minute and held on to the lead with Great Britain remaining in second. This left Canada and the Netherlands to fight it out for the bronze. In the process of the Canadian-Netherlands tussle the two boats advanced to put Great Britain under threat. Ratings started to rise. Germany held on to win gold. Great Britain takes silver, their first silver medal for the women’s eight this decade, and the Netherlands gets the better of Canada to win bronze.

LINZ</img>
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 <span><em><strong>Great Britain’s Baz Moffat,</strong> "We really came together but we were not surprised by the placing. We only focused on the race."</em></span>
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 <span><em><strong>Germany’s Annemarieke Van Rumpt,</strong> "This was a really tough and close competition. Maybe there will be more home advantage in Amsterdam and we hope to meet the USA team there. We were surprised by the GB team."</em></span>
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 <span><em><strong>German coxswain, Annina Ruppel, </strong>"It was a really great weekend and I enjoyed the race. Right after the start we could already control the field. The atmosphere in Linz/Ottensheim was really great. The audience was very warm and nice."</em></span>
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 <strong>Men’s Eight (M8+) - Final</strong><br>

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 Coming into this race Belarus had been proving themselves and their newfound boat speed. They took off at a blistering pace that gave them a slight edge. But Russia was having none of it. Stroked by Denis Markelov, Russia found the head of the field and tried to hold it. Meanwhile Canada were picking back up from a relatively slow start and making a huge dent on the field. With new coxswain Stephen Cheng and stroked by Kyle Hamilton, Canada did a massive piece just after the 1500 metre mark and powered away from the field. Russia had no answer. Belarus tried to hold on. China took their rating up to 40 and fought back. At the line Canada earned gold, Belarus held on to silver and an ecstatic China win bronze. Perhaps the first ever international medal for a Chinese men’s eight.
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