Mixed Fortunes For Kiwi Rowers in Lucerne Semi-Finals
Mixed Fortunes For Kiwi Rowers in Lucerne
It was a day of mixed fortunes for New Zealand's rowing world champions overnight in Lucerne - with wins for Mahé Drysdale, the men's and women's pair and the men's lightweight double scull - but disappointment for heavy double Joseph Sullivan and Nathan Cohen who failed to make the A final.
Drysdale was first up for the Kiwis and picked up where he left off in the heats with an easy quarter final victory. This moved him to the semi where he encountered his first real test of the regatta with Alan Campbell of Great Britain and Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic in his race. In typical Drysdale style, he sat comfortably in third place before making his move in the second half to pass first Synek and then in the final dash came out two hundredths to the good against Campbell. That meant tree wins out of three and a favoured lane in the A final tonight.
Storm Uru and Peter Taylor enjoyed a win in their semi-final, defeating the Canadians and the British Olympic and world champions Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter with another row through the field from a relatively slow start. France, Germany and Denmark complete the field in what will be a fierce final on the Rotsee this evening.
Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown, double world champions in the coxless pair, showed their class in the semi-final with a dominant win ahead of Australia and Argentina. Great Britain are the major threat and were quickest crew overall in the semi-finals, the only crew to dip below seven minutes.
The men's pair of Eric Murray and Hamish Bond won their semi-final in the men's coxless pairs to secure an A final start in one of the favoured two lanes, and they will have a race on their hands with the Canadian Olympic silver medallists Scott Frandsen and Dave Calder, just a second or so slower in their semi-final.
Emma Twigg qualified for the final in an outside lane after a third place finish in her semi-final with Zhang of China and Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic finishing well ahead after a battle for the win that went all the way to the line. Sarah Gray - recovering from an injury and working her way back into the women's quad - also started in this semi-final and finished a creditable fifth for a place in the B final.
The only casualty for the team came when world champion men's double Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan were put into the B final with a lowly fifth place in their semi - a little too far off the overall pace for their powerful sprint finish to work on this occasion.