Varese para-rowing finals a step towards Paralympics
Racing over 1000m the World Rowing Cup in Varese, Italy welcomed the first finals of the regatta. Four para-rowing finals saw these rowers work their way through bumpy cross wind waters.
AS Women's Single Sculls (ASW1x) - Final
Moran Samuel of Israel absolutely dominated her heat two days ago and recorded the fastest qualifying time. Samuel, the 2014 silver medallist was up against World Champion Birgit Skarstein of Norway. Who would prevail? After a slight delay due to a technical issue with the Belarusian boat, the scullers got under way. Despite the delay Belarus's Liudmila Vauchok looked like the boat was not going well and she pulled out of the race. Instead it was Samuel that was having a great race. Samuel was fifth at the London Paralympics and then earlier this year Samuel beat Skarstein.
Using a 37 stroke rate pace Samuel pushed home to first over Skarstein who had taken her rating to 40 strokes per minute. But it was not enough. Samuel had the gold.
Results: ISR, NOR, BRA, GBR, ITA (BLR did not finish)
Moran Samuel (ISR) – Gold
“As all races it was a hard race, but I enjoyed it. The water was a bit bumpy. Italy is amazing and Varese is amazing. This is just one small step in my journey to Rio. Today we enjoyed and tomorrow we go back to work.”
Birgit Skarstein (NOR) - Silver
“The conditions were challenging, there was a cross wind so I had some missed catches. Besides that it was a good race, of course hard like all races It was a wonderful day on the water, it’s an amazing place with the lake and the mountains.”
Krisztina Lorincz of Hungary set the pace in the B-final. Lorincz started rowing last year and she got her first international experience last month at the Gavirate regatta.
Results: HUN, RUS1, RUS2
AS Men's Single Sculls (ASM1x) - Final
The heats two days ago were tight and then in yesterday's semifinals World Champion Erik Horrie of Australia did not have the quickest time. Instead it was Tom Aggar of Great Britain that had that honour. Today these two scullers met. Horrie had the early lead with Russia's Alexey Chuvashev following the closest.
Horrie still had the lead at the half way point with 2014 bronze medallist Chuvashev remaining ahead of last year's silver medallist, Aggar. But margins were relatively close and there was still have the race to row. In the final sprint, Aggar upped his rating and went after Chuvashev. He had left it a bit late. The order remained the same to the line.
Results: AUS, RUS, GBR, UKR, BRA, GER
Erik Horrie (AUS) – Gold
"I raced in the toughest conditions in years and it was incredible to see the times we all did, which is great for the sport and the category. It is an honour to win this second World Cup."
Alexy Chuvashev (RUS) – Silver
"I am satisfied with the result, it was a good race."
The Netherlands, Alexander van Holk had the lead at the start but by the end of the race he had been pushed into second by Jaroslaw Kailing of Poland. This is a great start to Kailing's para-rowing career as he races at his first international regatta.
Results: POL, NED, ITA, BRA1, BLR, CZE
TA Mixed Double Sculls (TAMix2x) - Final
Four boats moved away together with very little in it in the first 500m of this race. By the half way point World Champions Gavin Bellis and Kathryn Ross of Australia had moved into a very small lead over Brazil, France and Ukraine who were absolutely neck-and-neck. Ross and Bellis were the fastest qualifiers from the heats and today they again proved their World Championship status crossing the line in first. Brazil's Claudia Santos and Michel Gomes Pessanha got a slight edge to take second and France's Perle Bouge and Stephan Tardieu managed to get away from Ukraine to finish third.
Results: AUS, BRA, FRA, UKR, NED, POL
Kathryn Ross and Gavin Bellis (AUS) - Gold
“The conditions were the most challenging we’ve had in a while. We tried to stay relaxed and not let it bother us. It was a fabulous race by all the crews. For Rio this is a preparation to see where we are.”
Josiane Lima (BRA) – Silver
“We only trained together for a short time, since 8 May. My partner lives in Rio and I live in South Brazil and had injuries so I had to spend 6-7 months without training. This is the start of the training for Rio and we are really grateful for everything we experienced here in Italy. It’s an honour for me to represent Brazil here.”
Perle Bouge (FRA) - Bronze
“We were a bit frustrated because we actually expected a better place. We feel the others have progressed but we have not. We hope to find the right lever to make it work better.”
Russia got away the quickest, but at the other end of the race it was Israel in the lead. Yuliya Chernoy and Reuven Magnagey of Israel finished sixth at last year's World Rowing Championships and they are back for another season.
Results: ISR, RUS, ITA
LTA Mixed Coxed Four (LTAMix4+) - Final
After breaking the World Best Time in the heats two days ago, it was hard-pressed to look past Great Britain. The British are the World and Olympic Champions and have remained unbeaten for a number of years. Today they again set a new standard breaking their own World Best Time once again. This time by two seconds. The new standard is: 3:13.76.
The race, thus, was one for the silver medal with Italy and France the top contenders. Italy, coxed by the famous Giuseppe di Capua, was just ahead of France at the half way point and held them off until the end. Meanwhile France had to contend with Brazil who conducted an impressive second 500 and got within 0.21 of a second of a medal. France only just retained bronze.
Results: GBR, ITA, FRA, BRA, UKR, ISR
James Fox (GBR) – Gold
“I am really happy about the result, it couldn’t have been any better. I had no clue about the World Best Time and only realised it after when I was told and it is just the cherry on top.
This season we have to qualify for Rio and it would be great if we could do it with a gold in Aiguebelette.”
Luca Lunghi (ITA) - Silver
“We had one of our very best starts here and went down the course at 41-42. But then we suffered a bit with the wind. We were a bit disappointed that we could race in front of the grandstand in our home crowd.”
France - Bronze
“We were happy, we were hoping for better, but at the moment, we are still putting the boat together. We are trying to gather information from all around to see where we are. The goal will be Aiguebelette for the qualification.”