Men’s Pair (JM2-) – Semifinals

Romania had the fastest time from the heats and they lined up in Semifinal One. On board was junior World Champion Florin Arteni-Fintinariu with his partner Alexandru Gherasim. At the start France had the lead. But it was very close and by the middle 1000m marker Romania had got the leading edge. They were rating 37 and started to pull away from Victor Toston Lamm and Gregoire Charles of France. Challenging the French was Belgium and Switzerland.

France continued to hold on to the Romanians and in doing this had left Belgium and Switzerland behind and challenging each other for the third qualifying spot. Romania and France did not look under pressure in the close of the race with Belgium managing to drop Switzerland.

The qualifying times from the heats between Italy and Germany were incredibly close and they sat in the middle lanes of Semifinal Two. Italy’s Achille Benazzo and Alessandro Bonamoneta got away at the start with Croatia and Germany hot on their heels. Italy managed to stay ahead going through the 1000m mark with Croatia’s Ivan Vukovic and Karlo Borkovic holding their pace. Germany’s Kasper Virnekaes and Tom Tewes remained within striking distance in third. Then Italy did a push and got over a boat length lead. Germany had now overtaken Croatia and moving into the final sprint they were chasing down Italy. Going to 40, Germany closed on Italy who had replied with 39. The race was decided on the final stroke. Italy had won with only just.

Qualifiers: ROU, FRA, BEL, ITA, GER, CRO

Women’s Quadruple Sculls (JW4x) – Semifinals

It was Germany that had the fastest pace at the start of Semifinal One. They were a crew of first-timers on the junior national team and it was surprising to see them in from of the Czech Republic who had three World Champions (from the women’s eight) on board. At the half way point it was incredibly close with just two seconds separating the top four boats. Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Italy were all in the mix. Then Germany managed to get a boat length over Switzerland. But it was all on in the final sprint. Germany kept the pressure on and held off the chasers. The Czech Republic had missed out. The second place for Italy puts two-seat Giulia Clerici into three finals tomorrow. She is also coxing the women’s coxed four and eight. 

New Zealand got away the quickest in Semifinal Two. They were the fastest qualifiers from Wednesday’s heats. Romania was chasing hard with the Netherlands on the pace. By the middle of the race it had become much more spread out than the previous semifinal. Romania had to come through the repechages to get to this semifinal and they were holding on to second and trying to chase down the New Zealanders. Romania did a big push and came up even to New Zealand with Canada overtaking the Netherlands to grab third. The final sprint was on and Romania continued to push. New Zealand replied and tried to hold off Romania. Canada was giving their all to stay ahead of the Dutch. New Zealand got to the line first and in a time almost identical to Germany in semifinal one.

Qualifiers: GER, ITA, SUI, NZL, ROU, CAN

Men’s Quadruple Sculls (JM4x) – Semifinals

Semifinal One had Germany leading at the start. Three of this crew had raced to bronze last year but some in different boat classes. They led slightly over the Czech Republic and New Zealand. Germany had recorded the fastest qualifying time from the heats but it was only a fraction faster than the New Zealand time. Germany then got a small advantage with the Czech Republic and New Zealand neck-and-neck. In the final sprint New Zealand went to 44 with the Czechs at 39, but the Germans continued to lead. Germany had won in 5:56.

Italy had won their heat on Wednesday and they were the first to show in Semifinal Two. But it was oh so close. Just a quarter of a second separated the top four boats with only two seconds separating the entire field. Italy remained in front by a whisker. Chile was having a great race and was in second, just ahead of Romania. Russia was back a fraction in fourth. This was the closest race so far today. It was going to all come down to who had the best second 1000m. Chile was at 37 and trying to hold on to second. Russia then did a push coming into the final sprint and overhauled Chile. Italy had a very small lead. Italy was at 38, Romania at 39. It was close! Chile then took the lead. Chile had won.

Qualifiers: GER, NZL, CZE, CHI, ITA, RUS

Men’s Double Sculls (JM2x) – Semifinals

The fastest qualifiers from the heats was Hamish Henriques and Harrison Fox of Australia. They sat in the centre lane of Semifinal One. Henriques and Fox took the lead at the start with the French taking chase. Benjamin Haguenauer and Romain Harat of France both raced at the junior championships last year. Australia remained in front and had moved to more than a boat length lead over France with Spain coming up to challenge France. Australia moved into the final sprint out in front as Span began to raise their stroke rate and go after the two boats ahead of them. Spain was comfortably within a qualifying spot and they did enough to hold off any challenges.

It was Matteo Sartori and Nicolo Carucci of Italy out in front of Semifinal Two. Italy had qualified directly from the heats along with Germany. And it was Paul Krueger and Aaron Erfanian of Germany sitting in second. These two leading crews then pushed away from the rest of the field as they went neck-and-neck out in front. Krueger took gold in this boat class last year and Erfanian raced last year to a medal in the quad. Behind them Zimbabwe and New Zealand were battling it out for the third qualifying spot.

Germany then did a push and absolutely blew away Italy. Zimbabwe’s Patrick and Rory Plunket also did a huge push and shook off the New Zealanders.

Qualifiers: AUS, FRA, ESP, GER, ITA, ZIM

Women’s Double Sculls (JW2x) – Semifinals

It was all about Hairong Zhang and Peibing Zhang in Semifinal One. China recorded the second fastest time overall when they won their heat three days ago. Today they decided to completely dominate. At the half way point China had more than a boat length lead over Germany. Jetter Prehm and Judith Guhse of Germany had a battle going on with Great Britain and Greece. This battle helped Germany close on China with Greece trying to get the better of the British. At the line Great Britain had missed out on qualifying.

Semifinal Two saw the Dutch do what the Chinese did in the previous race. The crew of Lisa Bruijnincx and Jacobien van Westreenen of the Netherlands got away quickly at the start and already had a handy lead with just 500m raced. By the middle of the race the Dutch duo had open water over Lithuania in second. Challenging Lithuania was Belgium and Ireland. As the Netherlands continued to lead the battle was going on behind them. Lithuania’s Ugne Juzenaite and Dovile Rimkute held on to second with Ireland, Belgium and now Italy chasing hard. Italy went to 37 strokes per minute in the final sprint and tried to get into a qualifying spot. Lithuania gave it their all with Ireland holding on. Italy had missed out after a great sprint finish. The Netherlands had qualified with the fastest time overall.

Qualifiers: CHN, GER, GRE, NED, LTU, IRL

Men’s Single Sculls (JM1x) – Semfinals

At the start of Semifinal One it was Bulgaria in the lead. Emil Neykov of Bulgaria has an Olympic Champion rower for a mother and he rowed last year in the junior double. Neykov continued to lead at the half way point with Poland’s Piotr Plominski  sitting right on the pace in second with Belgium’s Tristan VAndenbussche following in third. Poland and Bulgaria were now neck-and-neck and this fight had moved them away from Vandenbussche. The Belgian took bronze last year but looked like he had more pressure this year. Then Vandenbussche put the foot down and went after the leaders. He over took Plominski and went after Neykov. Neykov was ready and reacted back to win the race.

Germany’s Paul Leerkamp jumped out to an early lead in Semifinal Two. He came to this semifinal through the repechage. Tim Roth slotted into second with Italy’s Gennaro di Mauro following in third. Then disaster for Leerkamp. He had capsized at the 750m mark as was unable to finish the race. Roth took the lead with Ivan Brynza of Belarus now picking up the pace and moving into second. Italy tried to hold on as Brynza closed on Roth. IN the final sprint Brynza showed his class and moved out into the lead finishing first and finishing with the fastest qualifying time by a large margin. Italy held on to second with Roth in third.

Qualifiers: BUL, BEL, POL, BLR, ITA, SUI

Women’s Single Sculls (JW1x) – Semifinals

The fastest qualifier from the heats was Isabel van Opzeeland of the Netherlands. She was in Semifinal One and opened at the head of the field. This is the third year on the junior national team for van Opzeeland and she must have been the favourite in this race. But Germany’s Alexandra Foester was giving van Opzeeland a run for her money. Foester stuck with van Opzeeland through the first half of the race with Canada and Switzerland and Algeria all fighting it out for the third place spot.

Van Opzeeland continued to push on and she got an edge over Foester. They now both had a huge clear water lead over the rest of the field. Canada, Switzerland and Algeria carried out a huge battle for third. They would all have to give the sprint of their life to qualify. Alina Berset of Switzerland had the highest stroke rate but Abigail Dent of Canada got to the line first to qualify.

Semfinal Two had Katelin Gildersleeve of the United States in the lead at the start. Gildersleeve had won her heat on Wednesday and she was looking good to qualify today. But then Anastasiia Liubich of Russia and Bettina Siska of Hungary started to really move. Liubich then got the better of Gildersleeve and not only moved into the lead but left all of the other boats behind. Gildersleeve was fading with Siska going into second. Liubich had won and recorded the fastest qualifying time.

Qualifiers: NED, GER, CAN, RUS, HUN, USA