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Hot conditions see Australians sizzle

Junior Men’s Coxed Four and Junior Women’s Four straight to semi-finals

Hot conditions in Račice today (Thursday) saw racing bought forward by half an hour at the 2018 World Rowing Junior Championships. Australia had four crews competing today, with two automatically qualifying for their respective semi-finals. The Junior Men’s Coxed Four won their heat, while the Junior Women’s Four finished second in their heat, with both progressing straight to Saturday’s semi-finals.

The Junior Women’s Coxed Four finished second in their heat and the Junior Men’s Pair third in their race, so both crews will race repechages tomorrow (Friday) in the Czech Republic.

The JM4+ (Copyright Rowing Australia)

Despite the predicted heat, the temperature was in fact only 27 degrees when the Junior Women’s Coxed Four opened proceedings today in Račice. The crew of Lauren Graham, Ella Mentzines, Laura Chancellor, Isabelle Furrer and coxswain, Hannah Cowap needed a first place finish to automatically make the A-Final.

The JW4+ (Copyright Rowing Australia)

The Australians came out fast at the start alongside a quick USA, and by the halfway mark were in second. As the USA began to flag, the Italians came up the outside of the Australians to muscle into the lead, while the Australians maintained their second place spot. With 250 metres to go, Cowap called on the crew to up their rating to chase the Italians but the charge came a little late with the Italians taking the only A-Final berth and the Australians a spot in the repechage.

The Junior Men’s Coxed Four were up next for Australia. The crew of Ben Gerrard, Logan Ullrich, Miller Rowe, Hamish Henriques and coxswain, Isaac Schmidt, needed a top three finish to make the semi-finals. A swift start from the crew of Queenslanders and West Australians saw them take the lead at the halfway mark, with home favourites, the Czech Republic, in second and Germany in third.

The Junior Men’s Pair of Hamish Wynn-Pope and Jack Thornton were drawn in Lane 6 in their heat, taking on Peru, Hungary, Netherlands, Belarus and Serbia

The JM2- (Copyright Rowing Australia)

. The Victorian pair needed a first place finish to progress straight to the semi-finals and avoid the repechage.

At the halfway mark, the Australians had worked their way from fifth to third and were chasing down the race leaders, Belarus who were being followed by Serbia. As the crews approached the final 250 metres, the Belarusians began to slow, with Serbia and Australia upping their rating to chase the leaders. However, the Belarus crew sprinted again and crossed the line to take the only automatic semi-final berth, and the Australians a place in the repechage on Friday.

The Junior Women’s Four rounded off Australia’s racing for Thursday in the Czech Republic. The crew of Queenslanders, Phoebe Robinson, Hilary Ballinger, Jessica Scott and Leukie Smith needed a top three finish to automatically make the semi-finals on Saturday.

Drawn in Lane 4, the crew took on Great Britain, Switzerland, Italy and Ukraine with the Australian crew coming out fast alongside Italy. Australia led for the first half of the race, but as the crew hit the third 500, it was Italy who nipped into the lead with the Australians in second place. With 250 metres to go, Italy took a clear water advantage over Australia, who, knowing they needed a top three finish to make the semi-finals, crossed the line in second.

The Junior Women’s Four (Copyright RA)

Tomorrow will see Australia race in repechages for the Junior Men’s Pair and Junior Women’s Coxed Four, while the Junior Men’s and Women’s Single Sculls will both contest quarterfinals.

Race times for Friday 10 August at 2018 World Rowing Junior Championships

Junior Women’s Coxed Four (Graham, Mentzines, Chancellor, Furrer and Cowap): Repechage, 17:48 AEST
Junior Men’s Pair (Wynn-Pope and Thornton): Repechage, 18:24 AEST
Junior Men’s Single Scull (Kennedy-Leverett): Quarterfinal, 20:36 AEST
Junior Women’s Single Scull (McCarthy-Smith): Quarterfinal, 20:42 AEST