Day Two of the 2022 World Rowing Championships began with similar conditions to yesterday but rain soon arrived in Racice and gradually got heavier. The racing block was a mix of heats and preliminary races. With some tough progressions in the heats, we were treated to close racing as crews hoped to secure direct qualification to semifinals.

Para Preliminary Races

Today’s racing began with preliminary races for four of the para boat classes. With fewer than six entries, all crews will progress to their finals and it is an opportunity to test their speed and see how they compare to their opposition . The PR2 men’s and women’s single sculls were both won by the reigning world champions, Corne De Konning of the Netherlands and Kathryn Ross of Australia. The PR3 men’s pair saw a convincing win for Great Britain’s Oliver Stanhope and Edward Fuller, who would go on to race in the mixed four later in the session. Finally, the PR3 mixed double was a win for Brazilians Diana Cristina Barcelos De Oliveira and Valdeni Da Silva Junior.

Comfortable qualification for Olympic champion women’s pair

Heat one of three was a battle between the strong pairs from Great Britain and the Netherlands. While Emily Ford and Esme Booth led the field for the initial stages of the race, they were eventually overhauled by Ymkje Clevering and Veronique Meester. With the top three boats progressing to the semifinals, those two plus Italy were safe. Meanwhile, in the second heat, we saw the gold medallists from the European Championships, Ioana Vrinceanu and Denisa Tilvescu from Romania finish narrowly ahead of Americans Maddie Wanamaker and Claire Collins with Croatia’s Jurkovic sisters taking the third qualifying place. The third and final heat saw the return of the reigning Olympic Champions, Grace Prendergast and Kerri Williams. Their time of 7:06.30 may have been the slowest winning time across the three heats but as they finished over ten seconds ahead of second-placed Ireland, they weren’t exactly flat out.

Reigning Olympic Champions miss direct qualification

With just one boat to qualify directly for the semifinals, the it was all to play for in the four heats of the lightweight women’s double scull. It was a convincing win for Great Britain’s Imogen Grant and Emily Craig in heat one as they led from the start against the Swiss double, Patricia Merz and Frederique Rol. The second heat saw a win for Mary Reckford and Michelle Sechser of the USA, finishing ahead of the Greek boat which contains the youngest competitor at these Championships, Dimitri Kontou, who is just sixteen years of age. There was a shock in the third heat when the reigning Olympic champions, Valentina Rodini and Federica Cesarini of Italy only managed third place and will need to contest the repechage tomorrow. That heat was won convincingly by Ireland’s Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen. The final qualification place, from the fourth heat, went to last year’s Olympic silver medalists, Laura Tarantola and Claire Bove of France.

Familiar faces secure places in W2x semifinals

After the four heats of the lightweight women’s double sculls, attention moved to the openweight women’s double sculls where the top two from each of the three heats would progress through to the semifinals. Heat one saw a convincing with for Ireland’s Sanita Puspure and Zoe Hyde with Austria’s Lobnig sisters, Katharina and Magdalena finishing narrowly ahead of China. The strong Dutch pairing of Roos De Jong and Laila Youssifou, who have already enjoyed much success this season, took the win in heat two with American’s Kristina Wagner and Sophia Vitas taking the second qualifying place. In the final heat, it was the turn of the reigning Olympic and European Champions, Ancuta Bodnar and Simona Radis of Romania. The Romanian’s led comfortably from the start, crossing the line over eight seconds ahead of Great Britain’s Kyra Edwards and Saskia Budget.

Stage set for epic battle in PR3 mixed 4+

Great Britain has been dominant in this boat class for so long, and they won their heat fairly convincingly in a time of 7:14.84 with Germany taking the second qualifying place from that heat. However, Australia went even faster in heat two, finishing in 7:12.58. France also secured their place for the final, which will take place on Saturday.

Photo finish in women’s four

The British crew, which has enjoyed much success this season, including smashing the World Rowing Cup Best Time in Lucerne, won heat one in a time of 6:29.44. In the second heat, the Irish crew, which is the same line-up that won Olympic bronze in Tokyo last year, clocked 6:27.59 to win the heat. The third heat of three was won by Australia, the crew containing two of their Olympic champions in this boat class. Australia crossed the line in a time of 6:30.12. Behind Australia, there was a photo finish for second place with China finishing just 0.04 seconds ahead of Poland. Both crews will progress to the semfinals along with Australia.

Identical times in men’s four heats

The men’s four saw four heats with the top two from each progressing to the semifinals. The Romanian crew contains three rowers that won silver in this boat class at last year’s Olympic Games so it perhaps wasn’t a surprise to see them winning their heat, with South Africa taking the second qualifying place. Rather incredibly, Great Britain’s winning time in the second heat was exactly the same, they too clocked 5:54.90. The Netherlands, who won silver behind Great Britain at the recent European Rowing Championships, stepped things on in heat three, clocking 5:52.36. There are three reigning Olympic champions in the Australia crew, and they won the fourth heat was won by Australia in 5:53.31. We’ll look forward to what could be some epic semifinals on Thursday.

Chinese women’s quad under pressure

Ukraine led heat one from the start and despite matching their time for the final 500m, the Netherlands were unable to catch them and finished took second place. In the second heat, we expected to see the reigning Olympic and World Champions from China run away with the race, but that wasn’t the case., and Australia kept them under pressure throughout, sitting just 0.86 seconds behind with 500m to go. Great Britain won the third heat in 6:21.51, their time just 0.34 seconds quicker than Ukraine’s winning time from heat one.

Close times across men’s quad heats

The reigning European champions, Italy, led from the start of heat one, finishing in 5:43.94. The Netherlands took the second qualifying place. Meanwhile, the second heat was a reversal of the result from the recent European Rowing Championships. On this occasion, Great Britain, who have been building through the season, finished just over a second ahead of Romania. There was disaster for France when a huge crab ended their chance of direct qualification. Great Britain’s winning time was 5:41.91, the fastest across the three heats. In the final heat, Ukraine led off the start, but silver medalists from the Europeans, Poland, worked their way through the pack to eventually cross the line first, clocking 5:43.00. With the winning times across the three heats all so close, we look forward to some exciting semifinals on Thursday.

Afternoon repechages to close day 2

The afternoon session of racing featured a block of repechages in which competitors were given a second opportunity to gain qualification for further rounds of racing. There was a surprise result in the second repechage of the women’s sculls when 2019 world bronze medalist Kara Kohler of the USA missed out on qualification for the semifinals.

Racing resumes tomorrow, 20 September, at 9:30 CET. You can find the full programme on worldrowing.com


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