Slovakia proved to have a very strong start and they got out of the blocks the quickest. But then the field began to spread out with Spain’s Adria Mitjavila and Rodrigo Conde Romero getting into the lead. Spain tried to qualify for the Rio Olympics earlier this year. They missed out. Mitjavila and Conde come to this final with the fastest semifinal time and they must have been the favourites. Rating 36, Spain remained in front. Could they hold this through to the end?

France’s Benjamin David and Adrien Constantini were in second and holding a much more conservative pace. Italy was just off the French, in third. Spain now had an open water lead and they had managed to extend it to a huge four lengths. Italy, who finished third last year, now moved into second. But it was still a huge gap to catch Spain. Antonio Vicino and Lorenzo Galano of Italy took their stroke rate to 36 as the finish line came into sight. Spain continued to push on with France trying to catch the Italians. Conde Romero and Mitjavila had done it. They are the under-23 World Champions. Italy took silver and France bronze.

Results: ESP, ITA, FRA, RSA, DEN, SVK

Rodrigo Conde Romero (s), Gold, Spain
“It feels incredible. There are no words to describe what we feel. My family is here and I am so happy and we will celebrate a ton!”

Antonio Vicino (b), Silver, Italy
“We knew Spain was faster than us so we focused on the second half of the race. We took a move at the 1k mark and worked on putting as much space between us and France as possible and that's exactly what happened.”

Adrien Constantini (s), Bronze, France
“This is our last year in the U23 so this is a good result for us. It is very great to celebrate this with all our friends and family that are here.”