Great Britain and Germany won their respective semifinals earlier in the week and today they met in the final along with the reigning under-23 World Champions Italy. The Italians had two of the same crew that took gold in 2015 and they must have had high expectations and a powerful sprint to match. Poland and Germany got away the quickest to establish a very fast pace at the head of the field. Germany was then able to pull away from Poland who couldn’t hold the pace.

Italy, at 37, moved into second behind Germany who had a 36 stroke rate. Germany had nearly a boat length lead, but Italy was desperately trying to close the gap. In the final sprint Italy must have been able to hear the crowd support as they really began to sprint. Their stroke rate was 39. Great Britain then went to 42 and came roaring past Poland. Germany could not hold off the Italians. The crew of Di Seyssel, Oppo, Sfiligio and Di Girolamo of Italy had won. Germany held on to silver with Great Britain snatching bronze.

Results: ITA, GER, GBR, POL, JPN, SUI

Stefano Oppo, Gold, Italy
“This medal is so important to us. We left it all on the course and it is dedicated to the victims of the earthquake in Italy.”

On racing in Rio before coming to Rotterdam ... 

"I wasn't supposed to come to this regatta but since it's my last year to be a U23 rower. I am so proud of this boat for coming together."

Kevin Diedrich Alexander (s), Silver, Germany
“We started off really well and were leading throughout the middle thousand, when we saw the Italians coming we really tried to hold them off but they were just too strong.”

Benjamin Reeves, Bronze, Great Britain
“Off the start we really felt like we were in the pack. We took a big move at the 1k mark which pushed us to bronze. It was all about being brave and putting ourselves in a spot deeper than anyone else.”