All eight gold medalists from the Tokyo Olympics racing at the 183rd Henley Royal Regatta advanced to the semifinals.
Sir Steve Redgrave, Chairman of the Committee of Management for the regatta said the close proximity to the sport’s best athletes was something for all to marvel at.
“It’s a really exciting day because we started to see the Tokyo gold medalists and other world-class athletes alongside the other quarter-finalists in some of our events, and the top domestic school, club, and university crews going head-to-head with the best from around the world.
“To have them all rubbing shoulders on our riverbank and in the boat tents, competing against and learning from each other is what makes the Regatta special. You can start here as a 15-year-old and think ‘that could be me,'” Redgrave said.
In The Princess Grace Challenge Cup—the women’s quad—the Chinese national team defeated the current cup holders Leander Club with a verdict of “easily.” The victorious quad includes four Tokyo Olympians. Three of the rowers are from the Chinese gold-medal quad—Yunxia Chen, Yang Lyu, and Xiao Tong Cui. The fourth athlete, Shiyu Lu, raced in the straight four that represented China in Tokyo.
“It’s quite meaningful for us, we have a lot of fun here,” Yang Lyu said. “It’s great to have the audience here and it’s very exciting. We would like to win.”
The day wasn’t without some excitement, however, as the USA and Australian composite pair of Meghan Musnicki and Jessica Morrison, racing for California Rowing Club wrestled with some of the lane-markers about halfway down the course.
“It was pretty tricky, really windy, we had to correct our steering off the start but Megan did a great job,” Morrison said. “Naturally with Henley there’s always a challenge to stay off the booms. It was a good confidence-boosting race and our first race together.
“It’s wonderful, I’ve never raced here before, I have been a spectator once before but this is such a world-renowned regatta so I’m glad we took the opportunity we had and we’re very grateful for the support we’ve had. Both of us are not just here representing our countries but the club that got us here. Sometimes, it’s a case of always striving to race at the world stage for your country, so to be on a different side of it and to be able to enjoy it makes it all really fun.”
A full list of results from the fourth day of the 183rd Henley Royal Regatta.