Olympian Elodie Ravera-Scaramozzino of France recorded the fastest time in yesterday’s semifinals to be the favourite coming into today’s race. Ravera-Scaramozzino has been having a great season, finishing second in the women’s double earlier this month at World Rowing Cup III. Today she was up against the fastest sculler from the heats, Pascale Walker of Switzerland. Walker was ninth in this boat class last year. There was also Lovisa Claesson of Sweden who took silver last year in the single. The fastest pace at the start went to Walker with Sweden and Juliane Faralisch of Germany on the pace.

Claesson then squeezed into the lead with Faralisch taking second. But margins were very, very tight and just two seconds separated the top four boats. Ravera-Scaramozzino meanwhile was back in fifth. Claesson then moved to a clear water advantage. Sweden was having the race of her career. A huge fleet of cycling coaches followed this race as Claesson came into the final sprint rating 34 to stay ahead of Walker that had gone to 37 and closed on Claesson. Now the United States was coming. Emily Kallfelz had moved into a medal spot. Claesson had won.


Lovisa Claesson, Sweden, gold
“Good race. I pushed in the 500m, I was quite nervous as I had food poisoning Tuesday morning and was in hospital for two days. This played on my mind today. I am really happy as I had silver for two years at under 23s until now.”

Pascale Walker, Switzerland, silver
“I was so nervous, but I wanted to just go with the race and focus on the speed. There was a lot of battling it out in the middle thousand. But I am very happy with the result. I will maybe go to the European Under 23 Championships and will start my studies in Zurich in the fall.”

Emily Kallfelz, United States, bronze
“I was slow off the start, but that was expected, I normally am. I focused on the middle thousand, it was very close between all the boats. I could see France and Norway a bit. I will be going back to school in the fall.”


Right from the start it was all about Russia’s Ekaterina Pitirimova as she led the way through the first half of the race. Pitirimova was fourth in yesterday’s semifinal which meant she just missed out on making the a-final. But she was making the best of this race with Israel, Bulgaria and Ukraine racing each other behind Pitirimova. Going to 34-35 Russia remained in the lead until the line with Bulgaria’s Desislava Georgieva using the crowd support to bring her home. Hungary’s Zoltana Gadanyi, however, got there just a fraction ahead of Bulgaria.