The United States crew of Jovanni Stefani and Brennan Wertz had recorded the fastest time coming into this heat. But they were up against last year’s bronze medallists, Viktor Pivac and Martin Mackovic of Serbia. Pivac and Mackovic had the quickest start getting their nose ahead of the United States with Italy the closest challenging crew. In the middle of the race Pivac and Mackovic had a full boat length lead with Stefani and Wertz holding on to second over France. The French crew of Romuald Thomas and Raphael Lescieux had won their heat earlier in the week. Serbia continued to pull away as the United States did all that they could to stay ahead of France. Pivac and Mackovic then shifted gear and went to 40, then 41. France was also sprinting and they had left the United States in the dust. Serbia had become under-23 World Champions.

Results: SRB, FRA, USA, AUT, ITA, RSA

Viktor Pivac (b), Gold, Serbia
“It was really rough after losing to the US in the heat. It really got to our head but we wanted to get out ahead as quick as possible and hold on. We really trusted our sprint since we’ve rowed together for four years, so that helped a lot.”

Raphael Lescieux (s), Silver, France
“We were third out of the start but it was really close between third and fourth place afterwards. In the last sprint we knew we could medal, so we just said go, go, go! It was unbelievable.”

Brennan Wertz (s), Bronze, United States of America
“We tried to control the race as much as possible. There was lots of head wind, but our coach from Craig has been amazing. Waiting all week was hard with so much build up, but it was nice going straight to finals.”