Rowing: Three NZ crews make semis at world champs

Emma Twigg. Photo / AP
Emma Twigg. Photo / AP

Three out of four of the New Zealand crews raced themselves into semifinals on the fourth day of competition at the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam.

In the repechages of the women's double sculls Zoe Stevenson and Fiona Bourke's efforts yielded a first placing which nailed a semifinal spot for them. The New Zealand duo required a top two placing to keep their world championship dreams alive and clocked in a time of 7:23.33, with the Russian crew taking the second qualification spot.

From the other two repechages the United States, Ireland, Germany and Ukraine also advanced to the semifinals.

Lithuanian sculler Mindaugaus Griskonis led New Zealand's Mahe Drysdale in the men's single scull quarter-final for the first half of the 2000m race, shortly after passing the halfway mark Drysdale took control. With a top three finish required to advance to the semifinal, Drysdale kept pushing through to a comfortable winning margin over the Lithuanian, who finished second and the French sculler Francesco Cardaioli who was third. Drysdale's winning time was 7:09.68.

New Zealander Emma Twigg was competing against the Olympic Champion Czech sculler Mirka Knapkova and China's Jingli Duan, these three scullers commanded the field to claim the top three spots in the first quarter-final of the women's single scull. The three boat race saw Twigg taking the lead early and she continued to build on her boat speed as the race carried on finishing first in 7:48.84. China's Jingli Duan claimed the second placing just over three seconds back to 7:51.99, while Knapkova grabbed the final qualifying position.

The men's lightweight double scull of Alistair Bond and Adam Ling were unsuccessful in their goal to progress to the A/B quarter-finals, finishing fourth in 6:41.76, with only the top three crews progressing to the semifinals. The Swiss double were ahead of the field, with Great Britain taking the second spot and Austria edged the New Zealanders out for the third and final qualification spot in the second quarter-final. Bond and Ling will contest the C/D semifinals which will decide which crews will race the C and D finals.

Tomorrow's racing will see New Zealanders race in quarter finals for the men's double scull, while the women's pair, men's pair, women's lightweight double scull, the women's quad and men's quad will challenge A/B semifinals. The men's lightweight double scull will compete in the C/D semifinal.

- NZ Herald

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