PHOTO AND STORY COURTESY WORLD ROWING
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A tail wind provided fast conditions on Lago di Varese for the semifinals and the first of our finals at the 2023 World Rowing Cup II. Eleven nations picked up medals, with home nation Italy securing three golds, one silver and one bronze in the non-Olympic and non-Paralympic boat classes.
The morning session saw some very fast times across the board. The most impressive performance was undoubtedly Great Britain’s lightweight women’s double sculls combination of Emily Craig and Imogen Grant. The reigning World and European champions in that boat class broke the World Best Time in the semifinal, clocking 6:40.47, and will be the crew to beat tomorrow during the A-Final.
Another lightweight combination was impressive today – the french duo of Hugo Beurey and Ferdinand Ludwig, who broke the World Cup Best Time in their boat class in 6:08.75, beating the reigining European Champions of Switzerland in a fast and furious semifinal. The final tomorrow will certainly be one not to miss.
One of the surprises of Friday was Japan’s Ryuta Arakawa, who was the fastest time across all heats in the men’s single sculls. The dream regatta for the Japanese sculler continues as he managed to qualify to his very first A-Final in the single, finishing just behind World Rowing Cup leader and reigning World Champion, Oliver Zeidler of Germany. In the other semifinal, the two Onfroy brothers of France, Valentin and Theophile, also qualified for the A-Final tomorrow, and will try to reach the podium together… but for the first time in different boats.
It was a great day for siblings, as the Struzina brothers of Switzerland, Gian and Andri, were both competing in the lightweight men’s single sculls A-Final in the afternoon. While Gian was quickly out of contention, he surely was delighted by the performance of his brother, who grabbed a silver medal behind Italy’s Niels Torre and ahead of France’s Baptiste Savaete.
As the wind was picking up on Lago di Varese, the lightweight women’s single sculls saw Aurelie Morizot of France take the best start, and lead the way from start to finish, en route to a well-deserved gold medal ahead of Sophia Luwis of the USA and Olivia Bates of Great Britain.
The non-Paralympic boat classes also competed today – and it was another gold medal for Corne De Koning of the Netherlands, this time in the PR2 men’s single sculls, ahead of Gian Filippo Mirabile of Italy. Both rowers will compete again tomorrow in the PR2 and PR3 mixed double sculls.Ukraine and Brazil also picked up gold medals, respectively in the PR3 men’s pair and the PR2 women’s single sculls.
Racing will resume tomorrow morning at 8:25 am CET with the B-Final of the PR1 women’s single sculls, before A-Finals will wrap up the 2023 World Rowing Cup II, starting at 10:05.