The two Tokyo 2020 Olympic Champion boat classes – the Women’s and Men’s Fours – took the spotlight on the final day of racing at World Cup 2 in Poznan as they defended their titles.
The Men’s Four only had the one crew change; Jack O’Brien moved into the stroke seat, with Olympic Champions Jack Hargreaves OAM, Spencer Turrin OAM, and Alex Purnell OAM filling out the rest of the boat. The crew took the race head-on, striking higher than any other crew in the race to lead from start to finish, securing the Gold.,
O’Brien, who moved from the Eight at Tokyo to now in the Four, said he was still re-acquainting himself with racing the boat class. “It was good to get back in there, it’s a quick boat to be in. These boys have got some good experience behind them, so it’s good, I’m learning a lot. I’ve learned in this race, so hopefully will bring it home for Henley [Royal Regatta] and World Cup 3.”
The Women’s Four also thrilled the crowd; the crew of Annabelle McIntyre OAM, Bronwyn Cox, Kat Werry, and Lucy Stephan OAM had a tighter race through the first 1000m, fending off attacks from the Dutch crew, and made a decisive move through the third 500m to push away and storm home with the Gold a boat length clear of the Dutch who took Silver, a repeat result from Tokyo 2020.
The Lightweight Women’s Double Scull Final was a thrilling event for Australian senior racing debutantes Anneka Reardon and Lucy Coleman. The two had a measured start, staying in contact with the field in fourth position, but built momentum throughout the race. In a dash for the line, the two young scullers pushed through to finish in second place, nabbing the Silver.
Both Men’s and Women’s Eights secured podium finishes in their finals; the Women’s crew winning the Bronze Medal behind the Danes and the Dutch, whilst the Men’s crew won the Silver Medal in the last race of the day, behind the Germans.
Race of the day went to the Men’s Double Scull; a typically highly competitive event, Jack Cleary and Caleb Antill thrilled the crowd with a final sprint to the line leading to a photo finish for the Bronze Medal. After officials could not split the bow balls on the photo finish, they called a dead heat, meaning both Australia and The Netherlands were bottom step of the podium.
Of the race, Antill laughed at the result. “In true style, Jack left it to the last minute to wind it home. I definitely thought we didn’t have it, so great to get the dead heat.”
Erik Horrie OAM secured the Silver Medal in the PR1 Men’s Single Scull, sculling proficiently against the relative newcomer, Italian Giacomo Perini, who won the event, having clinched a new world record in the heats.
Tara Rigney had a fantastic debut in the Women’s Single Scull, winning the Bronze. Rowing a mature race plan, Rigney kept touch with the race leaders through the first 1000m and pushed up to secure a podium finish in the later stages of the race.
The Women’s Quad was another hotly contested race, with returning Olympic Bronze Medallists Rowena Meredith and Harriet Hudson joined by Georgie Gleeson and Kate Rowan. The crew kept contact with the race and looked strong throughout the race, but just got edged out of the podium finish by the fast-finishing Swiss crew, finishing fourth overall.
David Bartholot and Sam Marsh left the field behind in the B Final of the Men’s Single Sculls claiming first and second respectively. This gave Bartholot a ranking of seventh, while Marsh finished in eighth.
The Women’s Pair put together a solid race in their B Final, finishing ahead of the French crew, giving them an overall world ranking of 11th.
Performance Director, Paul Thompson MBE concluded: “It has been an encouraging start to our international racing for 2022, and the Paris Olympiad. Many of our rowers were competing internationally for the first time. It was fabulous to see the fours maintain their winning ways and how hard the crews fought to get on the podium.
“The nine podium finishes is credit to the hard work, dedication and effort of our rowers, coaches and support staff. The team has built some good momentum in Poznan and now look to maintain it into Henley Royal Regatta and Luzern World Cup in the coming weeks.”
If you missed World Cup 2 then the races will be replayed on Foxtel from 10 am – 12 pm on Monday 20 June here: https://www.foxtel.com.au/tv-guide/Live-Rowing-World-Rowing-Cup-II/133816822
The Australian Rowing Team, except for the Paras, will next be racing at Henley Royal Regatta (27 June – 3 July) in England, followed by World Cup 3 (8 – 10 July) in Lucerne, Switzerland. The full Australian Rowing Team will compete at the World Championships in Racice, Czech Republic (18 – 25 September).
World Cup 2 – Full Results
Alex Purnell OAM
Spencer Turrin OAM
Jack Hargreaves OAM
Lucy Stephan OAM
Annabelle McIntyre OAM
Cox: Kendall Brodie
LW2x – SILVER
PR1 M1x – SILVER
Erik Horrie OAM
LW1x – SILVER
Coach: Ellen Randell
Cox: Talia Barnet-Hepples
M2x – BRONZE
W1x – BRONZE
W4x – 4TH
M1x – 7TH
AUS 2 – David Bartholot
LM1x – 8TH
M1x – 8TH
AUS 1 – Sam Marsh
LM2x – 13TH