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Women’s Four into semi-finals

Reigning World Champions progress; PR3 Mixed Coxed Four have strong debut race at World Championships

Australia’s Women’s Four, the defending World Champions, opened their title defence at the World Rowing Championships with a victory today (Monday) in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Day two of the 2018 World Rowing Championships saw four Australian crews compete with the Women’s Four progressing to the semi-finals, the Men’s Single Scull to the quarterfinals and the PR3 Mixed Coxed Four and Women’s Single Scull into their respective repechages.

Making their World Rowing Championships debut, Australia’s PR3 Mixed Coxed Four opened proceedings for Day Two of the regatta. Nikki Ayers, Alex Vuillermin, Ben Gibson, James Talbot have all come through Rowing Australia’s #Train4Tokyo para-rowing initiative and, alongside coxswain, Renae Domaschenz, were drawn in Lane 1, taking on the reigning World Champions, Great Britain, along with Korea, France, Russia and Mexico.

The PR3 Mix4+ (Copyright Rowing Australia)

A swift start from the Australians saw them come out alongside France and Great Britain. The crew maintained their momentum throughout the race, and despite Great Britain pulling ahead, the young crew of Tokyo hopefuls held off a challenge from Russia to take third. They will now contest Thursday’s repechage.

Head Para-rowing Coach, Gordon Marcks said, “I’m so impressed with the crew to have raced so well in their first international regatta. They will improve a great deal through racing and with their obvious power, they can only get better.”

Three heats lined up for the Women’s Four with the goal being a top three finish to make the semi-finals. Australia’s reigning World Champions, Lucy Stephan, Katrina Werry, Sarah Hawe and Molly Goodman lead the race from the start and by the middle had built up a boat length lead over Germany in second and Poland close behind. As the crews crossed the line, Australia took the win in a time of 6 minutes 28 seconds, while Poland surged ahead Germany who held off a late challenge from Canada.

Australia’s main challengers in this boat class will no doubt come from the USA and Denmark who both won their heats in swift times.

Madeleine Edmunds opened up her World Championships, in the Women’s Single Scull, in a heat with the reigning World Champion, Jeannine Gmelin, as well as scullers from New Zealand, Namibia and Puerto Rico.

Maddie Edmunds (Copyright Rowing Australia)

The Queenslander came out firing and took an early lead in the warm and windy conditions. By the 750 metre mark, Edmunds was still leading but Gmelin was building momentum and creeping into the lead. As the crews crossed the halfway mark, the Swiss sculler had taken pole position, while Edmunds maintained a good speed. As the crews crossed the line, it was Gmelin who took the only semi-final berth on offer, while Edmunds, who finished in a time of 7 minutes 39 seconds, took second and a place in the repechage.

In the repechage of the Men’s Single Scull, Luke Letcher had a fast middle thousand to go on and finish in second place after taking on Vanuatu, Egypt, USA and Benin. He will now contest his quarterfinal on Wednesday in Bulgaria.

Luke Letcher (Copyright Rowing Australia)

Tomorrow will see reigning PR1 Men’s Single Scull World Champion, and Paralympian, Erik Horrie take to the water in his heat. Horrie will race against scullers from Sri Lanka, France and Poland and needs a top two finish to make the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Tuesday will also see two repechages – Hamish Parry in the Lightweight Men’s Single Scull and Hannah Vermeersch and Addy Dunkley-Smith in the Women’s Pair.

Images are available via Rowing Australia’s Facebook Page here.

Race times for Australian Crews on Tuesday 11 September 2018
PR1 Men’s Single Scull (Horrie)Heat: 09:54 local time (16:54 AEST)
Lightweight Men’s Single Scull (Parry) – Repechage: 10:10 local time (17:10 AEST)
Women’s Pair (Vermeersch and Dunkley-Smith) – Repechage: 10:49 local time (17:49 AEST)