The United States has all but owned this boat class in recent years and they come in as the defending under-23 World Champions. Georgia Ratcliff has remained in the boat from 2015 and has been joined by Kendall Chase. This duo won their heat a couple of days ago, but Canada recorded the faster qualifying time in their heat. These two countries sat in the centre lanes for this final. Canada’s Hillary Janssens and Nicole Hare were the first to show. Hare raced earlier this month at the Rio Olympics in the women’s pair. She finished 14th.

Hare and Janssens then pushed away to nearly a boat length lead. Meanwhile the United States, from second, was under threat from both Norway and Russia. Ratcliff and Chase were also racing in their country’s women’s eight. Had they overdone it? Still rating 36, Janssens and Hare remained in front with 500m left to race. Russia’s Kira Yuvchenko and Elzaveta Kornienko had grabbed second from the Americans. Chase and Ratcliff had now picked up the pace. Russia was holding on. Italy was charging. It was a photo finish for second. Canada had taken gold, Italy’s Carmela Pappalardo and Ludovica Serafini had scored silver and Russia had taken bronze. The reigning World Champions were in fourth and out of the medals.

Results: CAN, ITA, RUS, USA, NOR, GER

Hillary Janssens (b), Nicole Hare (s), Canada, Gold
“We have just come back from Rio. I rowed in the pair and Hillary was an alternate, so we have rowed together for a week. We are so glad to bring home the win for our country and hope this isn’t our last gold.”

Carmela Pappalardo (b), Ludovica Serafini (s), Italy, Silver
“We thought the best crews were Canada and the United States, so we knew we just had to do our own race. This was the best race of our season, even better then the race at the World Cup III in Poznan.”

Elizaveta Kornienko (s), Russia, Bronze
“The last 250 meters we thought we were racing for second or third place, but when the americans started to push I got a little worried about our medal. I’m very happy we won a medal.”