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Kiwi junior rowers off to great start on Olympic regatta cou

Kiwi junior rowers off to great start on Olympic regatta course

The opening day of racing at the World Junior Rowing Championships on Dorney Lake in Eton in the UK produced some great Kiwi performances, with the junior women's straight four and junior men's coxed four grabbing places in A finals with dominant heat wins.

The junior women's four of Catherine Shields, Alice White, Frederika Archibald and Grace Spoors went out in the lead in their heat after a fast start and maintained a healthy lead at the front ahead of Great Britain, Australia, Italy, the Ukraine and the Czech Republic. Their win moves them directly to the A final. They also clocked the fastest time of the two preliminary heats.

The junior men's coxed four followed suit with a dominant win in their heat to also qualify directly for the final with the fastest qualifying time. Gregory Brand, Louis van Velthooven, Adam Smith, Andrew Potter and Caleb Shepherd led all the way and like the women's four, will start the final from one of the favoured lanes as a race favourite.

The junior men's quadruple scull - a packed event with four heats - also saw a solid Kiwi performance with the junior NZ quad of Lewis Hollows, Mitchell Horner, Stephen Jones and Scott Green again leading home a field which included the Australians. They qualify directly for the semi finals and will line up against some stiffer opposition as the event progresses.

The junior women's quad of Ashleigh Hodge, Georgia Perry, Jessica van Rossum and Tessa Young held second in their heat - and needed to finish in the top two to qualify directly for the semi final - but fell back to fourth at half way in a close fought race. The moved back into third at 1,500 metres but could make no further progress in that race, leaving Great Britain and Italy as direct qualifiers. They found their feet in the repechage however, giving the home fans something to cheer about in the last race of the day as they moved from third to second and finishing just behind the USA and ahead of Australia to progress to the main semi final.

Riordan Morrell had a quiet race in his single scull, coming home third in one of six heats. With four going through the quarter finals, he is still in the game, but perhaps as yet to show his true hand, and speed.

The regatta continues this evening NZ time with Morrell's quarter final appearance. Full results and times here:


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