Women's Double Sculls (W2x) - Final
Coming through from yesterday's semifinals it looked like World Champions, Donata Vistartaite and Milda Valciukaite of Lithuania were back on their game. They recorded the fastest qualifying time, faster than World Cup leaders, Olympia Aldersey and Sally Kehoe of Australia.
At the start Aldersey and Kehoe had the lead. This did not last long as the reigning European Champions, Magdalena Fularczyk and Natalia Madaj of Poland got their bow in front with Lithuania chasing hard. This was turning into a race where the second half would be the decider.
As the last 500m came into view the crowd was straining to see the order. Three boats - Australia, Poland, and Lithuania - were fighting it out at the head of the field. But flying down the outside lane were the 2013 World Championship silver medallists, Fiona Bourke and Zoe Stevenson of New Zealand. Bourke and Stevenson finished seventh at the World Rowing Cup in Aiguebelette, but here in Lucerne they showed a new gear. Rating 37, the New Zealand duo closed the leaders gap with every stroke.
At the line margins were small between the top three crews. New Zealand pulled off a win, Lithuania earned silver and Poland took the bronze. These crews will now go back into training in preparation for doing it all again for the big one - the 2014 World Rowing Championships.
Results: NZL, LTU, POL, AUS, USA, BLR1
Gold – BOURKE, Fiona (NZL)
I am happy that we got in the A final, that was my aim. This race exceeded my expectations. It was quite a tough race because of the quality of the other women in the field, which is good for women’s rowing. I feel relieved now, but I want to concentrate on the World Championships. Now I am going to get a big ice cream.
Silver – VISTARTAITE, Donata (LTU)
It was a very tough, I could barely square my blade at the end, but it was not a bad result. We really fought. All the strong crews were here today, so we will see about Amsterdam. It will be tough, and it will be interesting.
Bronze – FULARCZYK, Magdalena (POL)
It was terrific for us, for 1800 meters. But the last 200 were a horror. NZL were all the way in lane 6 and we could not see them until the very end. But this is very good for our third time out together: One time first, two times third. Next time, Amsterdam!
Germany took off at a cracking pace and held it for the first 1000m, but then found themselves overtaken by Italy. Italy couldn't hold the pace either as Denmark and Belarus Two went flying past in the sprint to the line.
Results: DEN, BLR2, ITA, GER, CZE, FIN