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Golden girl Thompson crowned World U23 Champion

Patten and Hudson win silver in U23 Women’s Double Scull

Sunday’s medals in addition to U23 Men’s Coxed Four gold and U23 Women’s Coxed Four bronze on Saturday in Florida

Australia’s Ria Thompson was crowned the World Rowing U23 Champion in the Women’s Single Scull on Sunday in the USA. The 21-year-old put in a sublime race to overtake the American favourite, Emily Kallfelz, in the final 40 metres to claim her first World Championship title.

In addition to Thompson’s gold on the final day of the 2019 World Rowing U23 Championships, the Australian Women’s Double Scull of Giorgia Patten and Harriet Hudson won a silver medal in their boat class. Today’s results were in addition to the Australian U23 Men’s Coxed Four being crowned World Champions on Saturday in Florida, and the U23 Women’s Coxed Four winning a bronze medal in Florida. More details of Saturday’s results can be found here.

By virtue of winning two gold medals, a silver medal and a bronze medal, Australia wrapped up the 2019 World Rowing U23 Championships ranked fourth overall.

Thompson was the final Australian to race at the 2019 World Rowing U23 Championships and she did so in style with the Australian putting in an incredible race to be crowned the 2019 World Rowing U23 Champion. The Victorian, who is currently based in Queensland, took on scullers from Canada, Italy, USA, France and Bulgaria in the finals of the U23 Women’s Single Scull.

Victory for Ria Thompson (Copyright Rowing Australia)

Thompson, who is coached by Ben Southwell, was sat back in fourth for the first 1250 metres of the race with Kallfelz taking an early lead, with the scullers from Bulgaria and France ahead of the Australian. However, Thompson worked her way through the pack and overtook the Bulgarian and French scullers, to then be within half a boat length of the American.

With 40 metres to go, the Australian U23 National Champion, began to sprint and pushed past the American to take the victory.

“That was the most surreal race ever! Emily was so far ahead and I didn’t know where she was, but I have to say congratulations to her on a great race. I just went for it on every single stroke and when it came down to it, it paid off,” admitted Thompson who currently rows out of University of Queensland Boat Club.

The U23 Women’s Double Scull of Giorgia Patten and Harriet Hudson, who have been training in Western Australia under the guidance of Rhett Ayliffe, were drawn in Lane Two of their A-Final. Taking on China, Hungary, Germany, Greece and Austria, the Australians paced themselves well at the start, with Greece coming out fastest in Lane Five.

At the halfway mark, the Australian combination had muscled their way into second place and were within touching distance of the Greeks who had led from the start. As the crews hit the final 500 metres, Hudson upped the Australians rating and the crew edged in front of the Greeks. However, Anneta Kyridou of Greece answered the Australians push by upping the stroke rate to sprint to the line and take home the gold, three seconds ahead of the Australians who took silver, while Hungary took bronze.

Hudson said post-race, “It’s been a long campaign and we’re delighted to come away with a silver medal. Giorgia and I were selected after the Australian Nationals in March this year and it’s great to win here in Florida. It’s been awesome to race here, the conditions have been great and it’s been a fantastic experience.”

The U23 Men’s Eight were drawn in Lane 1 in their A-Final, racing against Netherlands, USA, Great Britain, Romania and Germany. The crew of Elliot Apel, Mitchell Hooper, Alexander Wolf, Harry Crouch, Jack Robertson, George Finlayson, Jackson Kench, Angus Morrison and coxswain Alannah Gilsmore would no doubt have been buoyed overnight by Hooper’s victory in the U23 Men’s Coxed Four final.

The Australians came out of the start rating 47, and the crew coached by John Bowes, were in fifth, while Great Britain took the early lead. As the race progressed, the Australians couldn’t manage to catch race leaders, and eventual winners, Great Britain, with the Australians crossing the line in sixth place.

In the B-Finals of the regatta the U23 Women’s Four finished in third place in their race, meaning they concluded the regatta ranked ninth overall in the world. The U23 Men’s Four crossed the line also in third to be ranked ninth overall, while Cormac Kennedy-Leverett, in the Men’s Single Scull, finished seventh overall after finishing in first place after an impressive sprint for the line.

Georgie Masters was third in her B-Final of the U23 Lightweight Women’s Single Scull and therefore ranked ninth overall, while Nathan Kennedy and Mitchell Reinhard had an incredible sprint to the line, facing down New Zealand, to finish the regatta ranked seventh overall after winning their B-Final.