PHOTO AND STORY COURTESY WORLD ROWING
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A drizzle of rain welcomed rowers to the Rotsee this morning for the second day of racing at the 2023 World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland. Today’s racing started with the minor finals in most of the boat classes, which went all the way to a G-Final in the field of the men’s single sculls. The majority of today’s racing was the Semifinals in all remaining boat classes.
After starting the season in the women’s single sculls, Fie Udby Erichsen is back in the women’s pair with Hedvig Rasmussen. The pair competed at the Olympic Games in this boat class, finishing 8th overall. They have qualified for the A-Final here in Lucerne, along with Romania and Spain.
Also back in the women’s pair is Christina Bourmpou, who last competed at the 2022 European Rowing Championships. She had finished 5th in this boat class at the Tokyo Olympic Games. She will be competing in tomorrow A-Final, finishing second in her semi, behind the Australians, and ahead of Ireland.
The World Champions are back!
In the first semifinal of the men’s pair, Cozmiuc and Bejan, the reigning World Rowing Champions, beat the British to the line by 0.32 seconds. Both crews will contest the A-Final, but having that win must be a good confidence booster for the Romanians headed into that race. Serbia took the third qualifying spot.
The cowbells and fans along the course must have been a good motivator for the Swiss, who finished first in the second semi, along with Ireland and Spain.
There’s no stopping Radis and Bodnar…
Simona Radis and Ancuta Bodnar won the semifinal in the women’s double sculls, making it look easy in the process. By the 1000m, they lead the field by 7.5 seconds, opening to 8.10 seconds by the finish. Lithuania won the second Semifinal with open water, but were afew seconds slower than the Romanians – can they repeat their performance from the European championships where they almost beat the unbeatable Romanians?
… and there’s no stopping Florijn either
Karolien Florijn, who has not lost a race in the women’s single sculls since she swapped into it after the Tokyo Olympics, cruised into the line in her Semifinal with clear water over Germany’s Alexandra Foester and Bulgaria’s Desislava Angelova.
In the second Semifinal of the women’s single sculls, Tara Rigney of Australia led Olympic Champion for New Zealand, Emma Twigg through the 1500m. Coming into the finish, Twigg started to gain on Rigney, but decided to take her foot off the gas, knowing she would make the A-Final. Anna Prakaten of Uzbekistan took the third spot.
T-Mack takes it back
After a tough time trial for Olli Zeidler, he stormed out of the block in this semifinal. He had a 4 second lead at the 500m, and was only building on that from there. Tom Mackintosh of New Zealand slowly closed the gap on Zeidler – reducing it to 0.9 seconds at the 1500m. Both will progress to the A-Final, alongside Kristian Vasilev of Bulgaria.
In the second semifinal of the men’s single sculls, Sverri Nielsen took the win, with Stefanos Ntouskos of Greece and Ryuta Arakawa of Japan, both former lightweights, behind him.
Redemption for Tarantola and Bove
Perhaps caught napping in their time trial yesterday morning, and having to go through the repechage, the Olympic silver medallists in the lightweight women’s double sculls, Laura Tarantola and Claire Bove, led their semifinal from start to finish and won in dominant fashion, ahead of Greece and New Zealand. In the second semifinal, Great Britain led the whole race, with Canada just a few lengths down. Going through the 1500m, Romania and Ireland changed gears and passed Canada to squeeze into those A-Final spots. This was arguably the fastest race of all the Semifinals, with the British posting 98.35% of the World Best Time and qualifying for the A-Final with Romania and Ireland.
Can Mexico play spoilers in the LM2x?
The French led the first semifinal through the 1000m, when Mexico made a move, took charge and never looked back – a fantastic performance from Miguel Angel Carballo Nieto and Alexis Bladimir Lopez Garcia. It was a race for second and third between France, Greece and the Czech Republic. The French and Greeks managed to take a length on the Czech Republic, who will have to settle for tomorrow’s B-Final.
The second semifinal might have been one of the most anticipated races of the regatta – the local crew of Raphael Ahumada Ireland and Jan Schaeuble, who won the first two World Rowing Cups, and are the reigning European Champions, against the World and Olympic Champions of Ireland, Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan, who have not yet raced together this season. The Swiss took the early lead, but the Irish slowly attacked. At the 1000m, the two crews posted the exact same time. The Irish continued to push away from the Swiss, and crossed the line just a second ahead. They will both face the A-Final tomorrow, along with Spain.
A first for Para rowing
For the very first time on the Rotsee, Para rowing was included in this weekend’s programme. While only an exhibition race, this was a step many years in the making. Lucerne will host the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta next year for the first time, in conjunction with the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta.
In the women’s race, Moran Samuel got out in the lead, which seems to be her usual race plan. She was followed by Manuela Diening of Germany. Birgit Skarstein, undefeated since 2016, tried to make a move, but was unable to catch up.
Marcus Klemp of Germany finished first in the PR1 men’s single sculls, ahead of Shmuel Daniel of Israel and Arkadiusz Skrzypinski of Poland.