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Golden day for Murphy, as Nesbitt takes bronze

12 A-Finals booked for Australian crews in Olympic and Paralympic boat classes

Australia’s Sean Murphy today (Saturday) claimed gold in the Lightweight Men’s Single Scull A-Final at World Rowing Cup 2 in Poland. The 23-year-old didn’t lose a race throughout the regatta, picking up his first senior medal in the process. Meanwhile, fellow lightweight sculler, Georgia Nesbitt claimed a bronze in the Lightweight Women’s Single Sculls final in Poznan.  

Gold medalist in the Lightweight Men’s Single Scull – Sean Murphy (Copyright RA)

In addition to the medals claimed by the lightweight scullers today, Australia secured 10 A-Final berths off the back of today’s semi-finals and repechages. Australia will now contest 11 Olympic boat class A-Finals and one Paralympic boat class A-Final on Sunday.

Murphy had a great regatta, winning his heat, semi-final and then wrapping up today with a win in the A-Final. Having recorded the fastest qualifying time, he went into the race facing stiff competition from European Champion Peter Galambos of Hungary as well as hometown favourite, Poland’s Artur Mikolajczewski.

As the scullers moved off it was the Pole who showed his mettle first, inching out ahead of Murphy, rating at 37 strokes per minute. However, Murphy stayed with him and through the middle of the race the duo broke away from the rest of the field for their own two-way battle. As the duo approached the line, the Polish sculler upped his stroke rate to the 39 but the young Australian, went to 40 and pulled clean away to win his first senior World Rowing Cup gold medal.

Murphy admitted his racing and preparation had changed since making the step up from Under 23s into the Senior Australian Rowing Team saying, “Our race plan has changed a lot recently. I’m now a lot stronger and fitter. I had two big pushes at the 500m and halfway mark.

“I know I can get quite excitable, so I needed to calm myself down as the reality is you can’t win from the start but you can lose a race from it. I’m so stoked with the outcome today!”

Nesbitt recorded the fastest qualifying time in the morning’s semi-finals giving her one of the favoured middle lanes for the A-Final. At the start of the final, there was merely half a second separating the top five boats, one of which was the Australian. At the halfway mark, Nesbitt picked up the pace and took over in the lead but it was Canada’s Jill Moffatt who picked up her pace then to chase down the Tasmanian.

Moffatt had finished second to Nesbitt in the morning’s semi-final, but by the 1600 metre mark, Moffatt was edging ahead and moved away from Nesbitt. It was then Fang Chen of China who raced up the outside to challenge Nesbitt at the line, with the Australian taking home the bronze medal.

Georgia Nesbitt and her bronze medal (Copyright Rowing Australia)

Post-race, Nesbitt said, “It was a good race but tough conditions. The weather has been changing all week. Everyone wants to win so I’m stoked to come away with a medal. It’s been a really good regatta here in Poznan.”

Erik Horrie booked himself a place in the A-Final of the PR1 Men’s Single Scull after leading his semi-final from start to finish. The Australian clocked a time of 10 minutes 53 seconds and will no doubt have a cracking battle in tomorrow’s A-Final where the competition will include PR1 sculler Roman Polianskyi of the Ukraine who crossed the line to win his semi-final just 3.98 seconds slower than the Australian.

The Lightweight Men’s Double Scull of Hamish Parry and Leon Chambers secured Australia its first A-Final berth at a World Rowing Cup in five years. The new partnership finished second in their semi-final in order to book a place in the A-Final.

The Women’s Pair established a definitive lead in their semi-final to book a place into the A-Final tomorrow. Jessica Morrison and Annabelle McIntyre crossed the line in a time of 7 minutes 32 seconds setting themselves up for what will no doubt be a great battle with their Trans-Tasman rivals, Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast, who won the other semi-final.

Alexander Hill and Joshua Booth won their Men’s Pair semi-final in a time of 6 minutes 48 and will take on New Zealand, Serbia, Italy, Canada and Great Briitain in what will be a hotly contested race.

Amanda Bateman and Genevieve Horton finished third in their Women’s Double Scull semi-final, securing Bateman her first Senior team World Rowing Cup A-Final. Following their female counterparts, the Men’s Double Scull of Hamish Playfair and Campbell Watts continued their fine form at this regatta to secure a place in Sunday’s A-Final. The duo led their semi-final, only to be pipped at the line by Poland in what was a photo finish – the Poles being given the win by 0.06 of a second.

The Men’s and Women’s Fours both won their semi-finals to book A-Finals berths for Sunday, while the Men’s Quadruple Scull won their repechage to progress to the A-Final. The final repechage of the day for Australia was that of the Men’s Eight, with the crew finishing in second and booking an A-Final berth alongside Canada, New Zealand, Italy and the already qualified Germany and Great Britain.

Earlier in the day, David Bartholot and Luke Letcher won their D-Final in the Men’s Double Scull; Lilly Tinapple and Georgie Gotch finished third in the C-Final of the Women’s Pair, while Alice Arch and Sarah Pound were third in the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls C-Final.

A-Final race times for the Australian Rowing Team at World Rowing Cup 2 – Sunday 23 June 2019

  • PR1 Men’s Single Scull (Horrie): 18:51 AEST (10:51 local time)
  • Women’s Pair (Morrison and McIntyre): 19:08 AEST (11:08 local time)
  • Men’s Pair (Booth and Hill): 19:22 AEST (11:22 local time)
  • Women’s Double Scull (A Bateman and Horton): 19:52 AEST (11:52 local time)
  • Men’s Double Scull (Playfair and C Watts): 20:06 AEST (12:06 local time)
  • Women’s Four (Aldersey, Werry, Hawe and Stephan): 20:20 AEST (12:20 local time)
  • Men’s Four (Masters, N Purnell, Hargreaves and O’Brien): 20:34 AEST (12:34 local time)
  • Lightweight Men’s Double Scull (Parry and Chambers): 21:03 AEST (13:03 local time)
  • Women’s Quadruple Scull (Ewing, Grzeskowiak, Meredith and K Bateman): 21:31 AEST (13:31 local time)
  • Men’s Quadruple Scull (Antill, Girdlestone, A Purnell and D Watts): 21:45 AEST (13:45 local time)
  • Men’s Eight (Donald, Black, Medway, Hicks, Turrin, Keenan, Moore, Widdicombe and Brodie): 21:59 AEST (13:59 local time)
  • Women’s Eight (Saunders, Edmunds, Cox, Rowe, Popa, McIntyre, Morrison, Goodman and Rook): 22:43 AEST (14:43 local time)