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Olympic prospects shape Munich World Rowing Cup finals
Women’s pair (W2-) – Final
Helen Glover and Heather Stanning of Great Britain made their stand at the start of this Final. The two-time World silver medallists have won both World Cup’s this season and were aiming to make it a hat-trick here in Munich. Settling into a 35 stroke rate pace, Glover and Stanning looked good. World Champions, New Zealand followed in second but going through the half-way point, Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown of New Zealand would have to have a great second half to get in front.
Turning the race into something rather like a procession, Glover and Stanning remained in front, with Haigh and Scown back in second and two-time Olympic Champions, Georgeta Andrunache and Viorica Susanu of Romania solidly in third.
At the line Glover and Stanning had made a clean sweep of the 2012 World Cup season and go to the Olympics with huge confidence. Haigh and Scown will now go away and try to work out how to gain a few seconds of boat-speed. Andrunache and Susanu will be feeling confident that they are on track for a good showing at the Olympics after doing a very solid 2012 comeback. However, at the end of the race Andrunache and Susanu admitted that the final pair for the Olympics was still to be decided by their country.
Results: GBR, NZL, ROU, GER1, CAN, ARG
Italy’s Claudia Wurzel and Sara Bertolasi qualified for the London Olympics last year at the World Rowing Championships when they finished seventh but their results haven’t been quite as good this season after they finished 10th at the Lucerne World Rowing Cup. Today they raced Germany2 for seventh overall and made easy work of it.
Results: ITA, GER2
Women’s double sculls (W2x) – Final
Coming into this final there was a lot of talk about the arrival of Australia’s new doubles combination of Kim Crow and Brooke Pratley. Could this duo that had the fastest qualifying time earlier in this regatta beat the formidable British duo of Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins? In the opening of the race everything went to plan for Grainger and Watkins. The British duo got out strongly with Crow and Pratley following in second. By the middle of the race Crow, who was second in the single at the Lucerne World Rowing Cup last month while Pratley recovered from injury, and Pratley had closed the gap on Great Britain and were underrating the British by a pip.
Grainger and Watkins were ready for anything. At around the 1500m mark Great Britain did a piece and broke away from the Australians. Crow and Pratley had no answer and had to settle for second. Meanwhile a huge finishing battle went on between Poland’s Julia Michalska and Magdalena Fularczyk and New Zealand2 – their spare crew. Poland got there first to claim a well-deserved bronze.
Results: GBR, AUS, POL, NZL2, NZL1, UKR
Tina Manker and Stephanie Schiller Germany1 took the lead early on. The German women’s sculling squad has been swapping between the quad and the double as the best Olympic combinations are worked out and for today Manker and Schiller race in the double. The duo took the lead for the entire race with Inge Janssen and Elisabeth Hogerwerf of the Netherlands holding on the second. The race was tight to the end with just over two seconds separating the top four crews with Belarus and Germany2 finishing in a photo finish.
Results: GER1, NED, BLR, GER2, ITA, FIN
Lightweight women’s double sculls (LW2x) – Final
At the 250m mark three boats were at the front of the field; Germany, New Zealand and Denmark with Lena Mueller and Anja Noske of Germany having a slight edge. Then Louise Ayling and Julia Edward of New Zealand got their nose in front. Ayling and Edward set a new World Best Time at the Lucerne World Rowing Cup, but did not win gold. Instead it was China, who are not racing in Munich.
Edward and Ayling continued to lead through the middle of the race with Denmark’s Anne Lolk Thomsen and Juliane Rasmussen right on the leader’s pace and so much so that the two crews moved into the final sprint at exactly the same time. Germany and Great Britain went head-to-head for third.
New Zealand upped their stroke rate to 39 to try and hold on. Denmark was at 38 and Germany and Great Britain were still very much in the race. There was nothing in it with the crowd loving the German move towards the line. This great finish meant that the finishing judges had to call the order. Edward and Ayling had won gold. Thomsen and Rasmussen got silver and late Olympic qualifiers, Noske and Mueller got bronze. These crews will meet again at the Eton Olympic regatta course next month.
Results: NZL, DEN, GER, GBR1, NED, GBR2
Jumping out at the start was Australia’s new 2012 combination of Bronwen Watson and Hannah Every-Hall. Watson has come out of retirement after last racing internationally in 2009 to join with Hannah Every-Hall who was part of the crew that qualified this boat for the Olympics in 2011. Through the middle of the race Watson and Every-Hall remained in the lead with Switzerland’s Olivia Wyss and Eliane Waser pushing into second. Wyss and Waser missed out on Olympic qualification by just one spot, but they are back racing at this regatta as they continue their 2012 season.
Watson and Every-Hall remained in first using a steady 33 stroke rate and taking it up to 35 in their push to keep their boat out in front.
Results: AUS, SUI, ARG, BRA, KOR, JPN
Women’s quadruple sculls (W4x) – Final
With two golds from two World Cups this season, Ukraine were the crew to beat. In the race for lanes two days ago, Ukraine (Kateryna Tarasenko, Nataliya Dovgodko, Anastasiia Kozhenkova and Yana Dementieva) had finished with the fastest time with Germany in second. Today Australia took off in the lead with Ukraine following in second. Australia has had quite a rocky road leading into this regatta. Team mate, Pippa Savage was replaced in the boat by Amy Clay after compatibility issues developed and the current line-up was very keen to show their worth.
By the middle of the race Ukraine, at a lower stroke rate, had slipped into the lead with Australia holding on to second. Then Germany started to really pick it up. The German crew is reshuffled as selectors are still picking their double and quad line-ups for the London Olympic but with top single sculler, Annekatrin Thiele in the boat it is likely that this is the priority line up. With Ukraine now comfortably in first Germany and a fast moving Great Britain went head to head for the line. Germany, with the support of the crowd on their side, had just squeaked home in second with Great Britain taking third.
Results: UKR, GER, GBR, AUS, NZL
Women’s eight (W8+) – Final
The Canadians were the first to cross the 250m mark with the Netherlands right on their pace. Canada is stroked by Andreanne Morin who is a veteran of two Olympic Games, having come fifth in 2004 and fourth in 2008 in the eight. The Canadians almost broke the United States six year winning streak last month at the Lucerne World Rowing Cup and at that point everyone knew that Canada was the crew to watch.
In the absence of the United States, Canada continued to lead through the middle of the race. Then coming through the third 500 Romania began to move, getting their boat ahead of the Netherlands and into second. The ratings began to rise as Romania, Canada, Great Britain and the Netherlands all hit 40 strokes per minute. Again a tight finish was on the cards. At the line Canada had held on to first, Romania earned their second silver medal for the season and the British had conducted a storming finish to take bronze.
Results: CAN, ROM, GBR, NED, AUS, GER
Women’s single sculls (W1x) – Final
Denmark’s Fie Udby Erichsen came flying out of the start with a very high rating. She remained in the lead and had worked her way to a clear water lead with just 600m gone. Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus, rating much lower, followed in second with New Zealand’s Emma Twigg now in third.
Coming through the middle of the race Erichsen remained in the lead although Karsten, who seemed to be rowing a rather conservative race, had closed the gap on the leader. So had Twigg, who had a major overlap on Karsten. Karsten then did a big push in the third 500 and it was enough to get her into the lead. Did Erichsen have a reply? This is Karsten’s first international race this season as has she kept a low profile while recovering from rib problems.
Twigg then attacked in the last 300m and got her boat ahead of the Dane with Karsten moving away to a solid win. Twigg held on to second with Donata Vistartaite, 23, of Lithuania getting her boat ahead of Erichsen to take third. This is Vistartaite’s first World Cup medal and continues the rise of this talented athlete and Lithuanian rowing.
Results: BLR, NZL, LTU, DEN, AZE, IRL
Nicole Beukers of the Netherlands got out very quickly but by the first 500m mark, Marie-Louise Draeger of Germany2 had grabbed the lead. With Germany’s top single sculler Annekatrin Thiele now in a team boat a spot in the single for the Olympics has come available. Would it go to lightweight sculler, Draeger? Draeger was still in the lead going through the middle of the race but then Iva Obradovic of Serbia got her nose in front.
Draeger fought back and there was very little in it, with Laura Schiavone of Italy following in third. In the final sprint Draeger was back in front with Peggy Waleska of Germany1 now pulling out a huge charge at a 37 stroke rate. Waleska won it on the line by 14/100th of a second over Draeger. The German selectors will have a hard job here.
Results: GER1, GER2, NED, SRB, NOR, ITA