Australia’s Women’s Double Scull and PR3 Men’s Pair both picked up wins today (Monday) at the 2019 World Rowing Championships.
The PR3 Men’s Pair of Jed Altschwager and debutant William Smith won their heat to progress to Friday’s A-Final, while Genevieve Horton and World Championships debutant Amanda Bateman won their heat to progress to Thursday’s semi-finals.
Altschwager and Smith were the quicker finishers of the two heats, with Canada, the reigning World Champions winning the other heat to progress to the A-Final. The Australians led their heat from the start, with the French partnership of Jerome Hamelin and Laurent Viala hot on the heels. However, Altschwager upped the crews stroke rate and they broke free and crossed the line in a time of 7 minutes 26 seconds.
Post-race, Altschwager, who won silver in this boat class last year, said, “It was just really good to open up the account up today and see what it’s like out there, not bumping around when training. We’re looking forward to Friday now and the final.”
At 19-years-old, Smith made his Senior Australian Rowing Team debut today and loved the experience, “It was a total rush, I can’t actually remember the first 500 metres, it felt really good coming out of the blocks, it’s a huge thing – I’ve never done anything like this before and it’s amazing to be a part of the team.”
The Women’s Double Scull opened their 2019 World Championships account with a victory today. The crew, who have won medals at this season’s World Rowing Cups, came out fast but were chased by China and France. Australia retained its lead throughout, and despite a sprint from France to pass China, the Australians held on to take the win and the only semi-final berth.
Bateman said the significance of racing at her first Senior World Championships, as well it being an Olympic qualification regatta was not lost on her.
“All season John’s (Keogh) been telling us this season’s World Championships is going to be a step up from any other World Champs because it’s the Olympic qualifiers and sitting on the start line I really felt that Olympic Qualification is on the finish line, so I felt we had to do everything we could to get our bow across the finish line first to get us one step closer to qualifying this boat for the Olympics next year.
“It’s pretty amazing to think I’m now part of the group of Australian Rowing Team athletes who have a McVilly-Pearce Pin Number. It is such a privilege to know I’m going to receive my pin number, it’s like wearing the coat of arms on your chest, it’s an honour that not many people get to experience.”
Bateman added that the opportunity to row with Olympian Genevieve Horton has made her first senior team even more enjoyable, “I am practically speechless getting to row with Genevieve, she’s so experienced and she’s really level headed and taken me under her wing. From the moment I joined the National Training Centre, and now in our double, we’ve grown together in our rowing. She’s always seen me as an equal and we both want this boat to go well together, so we do whatever we can to lift each other and ultimately lift our boat to a new standing.”
Australian Rowing Team – World Rowing Championships races – Tuesday 27 August
Lightweight Women’s Single Scull (Arch): Repechage – 11:03 local time (19:03 AEST/ 17:03 AWST)
Women’s Quadruple Scull (Meredith, K Bateman, Ewing and Grzeskowiak): Heat – 12:05 local time (20:05 AEST/18:05 AWST)
Women’s Eight (Saunders, Edmunds, Cox, Rowe, Popa, McIntyre, Morrison, Goodman and Rook): Heat – 12:15 local time (20:05 AEST/ 18:05 AWST)
Men’s Eight (Forsterling, A Purnell, Moore, Keenan, Booth, Masters, Turrin, Widdicombe and Brodie): Heat – 12:35 local time (20:35 AEST/18:35 AWST)