Striking 44 strokes per minute, the Netherlands had the best start. The Dutch finished last in the race for lanes. But then the World Champions, Germany got into the lead. The Germans finished second to Poland at last month's World Rowing Cup and since then they have brought Julia Lier into the boat. Germany still had the lead at the half way point with Poland slipping behind Australia and into third.

Going through the third 500m, Germany did another push. Both Australia and Poland responded and remained with the Germans. Then Australia began to sprint which earned them second ahead of Poland. The entire field remained closely packed together and all four boats would have to sprint. It was too close to call. After a pause Germany was chosen as the winning crew with Australia in second. The Netherlands had sprinted through Poland to take bronze.

Results: GER, AUS, NED, POL 

Lisa Schmidla (s), Germany, gold
“We definitely had to fight in this race. The last 700metres really, really hurt. We knew the others were strong, especially the Netherlands, so we had to take the rate up early in the race. The level in the women’s quad has increased, but this race has shown that we are fighters and that we want to win, even if it is only by a tenth of a second.”

Jessica Hall (b), Australia, silver
“The plan was to stick it to them early so that we would be at a good place later down the course. In the end, it was just full focus in our boat and go.”

Chantal Achterberg (b), Netherlands, bronze
“It was a very close race and for our style, we had a really fast start. It meant we were in a good position to compete at the end. The fact that it is so close means everything is possible in Rio.”