Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland comes to these World Championships following an upbeaten season. Gmelin is the reigning World Champion and it was all about who could beat Gmelin. Sanita Puspure of Ireland has finished fourth too many times at the World Champs and she was looking to be the one that wanted to beat Gmelin the most. Puspure was the fastest out of the blocks and she reached the 500m mark in the lead. The 2012 Olympic silver medallist, Fie Udby Erichsen of Denmark was in second with Gmelin right on Erichsen’s heels in third. The margins were tight and it would take the second 500 to try and create a spread.

Puspure continued to lead at the half way point. Then at the 1100m mark Gmelin began to push and go after Puspure. Puspure had almost two lengths over Gmelin making it difficult for the World Champion. At the 1500m mark Puspure was at 34 and she continued to dominate Gmelin. Gmelin went to 35 and tried to catch the Irish sculler. Puspure was ready and did another push. Erichsen was holding on to third with Kara Kohler of the United States trying to get into the bronze spot. Puspure was still in the lead. Gmelin could do nothing. Puspure was the World Champion. A first for Ireland. A flying finish by Magdalena Lobnig of Austria saw her sprint through to the bronze.


Sanita Puspure, Ireland, gold
“This was always the goal, all I wanted was the gold and it’s finally happened.”

Jeannine Gmelin, Switzerland, silver
“It was obviously not my best race. The conditions are really tough but that was the same for everyone. Good job by Sanita. Obviously I’m disappointed as I came here to win but if I look at the big picture, I’m still happy with the result.”

Magdalena Lobnig, Austria, bronze 
“Before the race I was a little unsure about the lane changes, but last year in Sarasota it was the same and I also managed to get a medal from the outer lane. I’m glad I stepped it up from the previous rounds of racing. I knew it would be a tough race.”

Re-watch the race here


Madeleine Edmunds of Australia is getting a bit of a reputation for going out very quickly. Today Edmunds did just that. Ukraine followed in second with New Zealand in third. Edmunds continued to power on and she had more than a boat length lead at the half way point. In the third 500 Carling Zeeman of Canada began to motor. Zeeman caught a crab in the semifinals which put her out of contention for the a-final and it was likely that she wanted to prove herself today. But Edmunds was on fire and now had open water over New Zealand now in second. The order did not change in the final sprint. Edmunds had clocked a fast 7:26.