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Three Australian crews progress straight to A-Finals in USA

Positive start for Australia at World Rowing U23 Championships in USA

Australia began its 2019 World Rowing U23 Championships overnight with three crews progressing straight to A-Finals after winning their respective heats. The U23 Men’s Coxed Four, U23 Lightweight Men’s Pair and U23 Women’s Single Scull all won their heats to make Saturday and Sunday’s A-Finals.

Meanwhile, the U23 Men’s Single Scull, Cormac Kennedy-Leverett, finished second in his heat to progress to the quarter-finals in his boat class. The U23 Women’s Pair, U23 Men’s and Women’s Fours and the U23 Lightweight Women’s Single Scull will all contest repechages today (Thursday) in the Sarasota-Bradenton after just missing out on qualifying spots in their respective heats.

The U23 Men’s Coxed Four of Ben Canham, Mitchell Hooper, Angus Dawson, Adam Bakker and coxswain Caitlin Hockings led their heat from start to finish. The crew took the lead early on in their heat and rated 38 strokes per minute for the majority of the race to take out the win and the only A-Final berth on offer from the heat.

The Lightweight Men’s Pair of Patrick Boere and Rohan James were sat in second place in the 500 metres of their heat, with Brazil in the lead. However, a boat-stopping incident for the Brazilians saws the Australians capitalise on their opposition’s mishap and take the lead. The West Australian duo took out the heat in a time of 6 minutes 40 seconds.

Australian U23 National Champion, Ria Thompson, continued her strong form in the single scull, with the Australian winning her heat in a time of 7 minutes 36 seconds. Thompson proved to be the faster winner of the two heats of the Women’s Single, with her closest competition coming from the hometown favourite, the USA’s Emily Kallfelz who won her heat in a time of 7 minutes 41 seconds.

Cormac Kennedy-Leverett, making the step up to the U23 stage this year, and finished in second place in his heat to progress to the quarter-finals in the U23 Men’s Single Sculls. Kennedy-Leverett had a push and pull race with South Africa’s Mmbudzeni Masutha, who was ultimately the victor in the heat.

Earlier in the day the U23 Women’s Pair of Tara Rigney and Dyone Bettega had a race to the line in their heat in a bid to nab third place from the Netherlands and automatically progress to the semi-finals. The duo finished fourth and will now contest the repechage today.

The U23 Men’s and Women’s Fours will also both contest repechages today (Thursday). The U23 Men’s Four of Nick and Rohan Lavery, Will O’Shannessy and Marcus Britt finished second in their heat to miss out on the automatic A-Final berth, while the U23 Women’s Four of Lily Alton-Triggs, Grace Reid, Nicela Martincic and Olivia Jones were fourth in their heat.

Finally, Georgie Masters, racing in the U23 Lightweight Women’s Single Scull required a top three finish to progress to the semi-finals and avoid the repechage. The New South Welshwoman finished in fourth place and will therefore contest the repechage today.

Racing has been moved forward to start at 08:00 local time (22:00 AEST) on Thursday.

Australian crews to race today are as follows (race times subject to change):

U23 Women’s Double Scull: Heat – 08:00 local time (22:00 AEST)

U23 Lightweight Men’s Double Scull: Heat – 08:35 local time (22:35 AEST)

U23 Men’s Eight: Heat – 08:50 local time (22:50 AEST)

U23 Lightweight Women’s Pair: Heat – 09:00 local time (23:00 AEST)

U23 Women’s Pair: Repechage – 09:05 local time (23:05 AEST)

U23 Lightweight Women’s Single Scull: Repechage – 09:35 local time (23:35 AEST)

U23 Women’s Coxed Four: Preliminary Race – 10:05 local time (00:35 AEST)

U23 Women’s Four: Repechage – 10:40 local time (00:40 AEST)

U23 Men’s Four: Repechage – 10:45 local time (00:45 AEST)